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First Look: Directv HD DVR Networking Kit


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104 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   bobnielsen

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 11:48 PM

I had my HR21 networked using a Buffalo wireless ethernet converter, but was having problems with the RF path (it is about 60 feet through several walls and I suspect the insulation is foil-backed). I was getting limited success with On Demand and music and pictures with Media Share, but Media Share video files would not transfer smoothly. I felt the need for a better connection but running a CAT5 cable would be somewhat difficult (working in my crawl space in the winter is not something I relish), so I decided to order a set of the new HD DVR Networking adapters.

This kit uses ethernet-over-powerline networking as an alternative to a direct ethernet or wireless networking. A basic installation requires two adapters, but it appears that up to 16 devices can be networked. They use HomePlug® technology and are rated at 85 Mbps.

There are two models available, a basic one ($24.99) which plugs into a standard wall socket and has a RJ-45 ethernet connection and a powerstrip model ($54.99) which incorporates six extension sockets and surge protection. A CAT5 cable is included and the price includes FedEx shipping (the units arrived in a couple of days). The manufacturer is tii network technologies. A data sheet for the basic model is at http://www.tiinettec.../HNX-ET_IDS.pdf and for the powerstrip version at http://www.tiinettec...NP6L-ET_IDS.pdf.

Since I was a bit stretched for power connections at both locations, I bought two of the powerstrip models. They appear to be quite solidly constructed. No configuration was required and I was able to get my HR21 networked in practically no time (I had already set it up using the Buffalo wireless converter). There was an enclosed CD with a manual and a Windows program which can be used to add an encryption password to the device (which might be advantageous in a multifamily dwelling). If encryption is used, it must be applied to all powerline devices in the network.

The units have been working for the past three days without problems for both On Demand and Media Share (including video files).

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#2 OFFLINE   lakaw

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 05:17 PM

Is there any way for you to test the throughput and post the results?

#3 OFFLINE   bakers12

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 10:20 AM

The data sheet claims speeds "up to 85Mbps."

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#4 OFFLINE   drx792

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 02:36 PM

wait 16 devices??? so if i buy 2 for 2 different HR2*s and then have a third near the router that third would run both?

Or is it like i can hook up 16 different adapters in the house?

#5 OFFLINE   MIAMI1683

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 08:54 AM

Ok so on demand spped questions. Is the hrxx using a bittorrent format?
if so maybe port forwarding will work fo me
Sometimes it just is what it is :nono2:

#6 OFFLINE   lakaw

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 09:42 AM

The data sheet claims speeds "up to 85Mbps."


Thanks for your input, but I would like to see some real world numbers. If you've done any research on this topic, you'd know that the specs don't mean much.

#7 OFFLINE   bobnielsen

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 12:14 PM

wait 16 devices??? so if i buy 2 for 2 different HR2*s and then have a third near the router that third would run both?

Or is it like i can hook up 16 different adapters in the house?


I believe the answer is yes to both questions.

#8 OFFLINE   drx792

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 04:58 PM

I believe the answer is yes to both questions.


:D i had no idea that there only needed to be one plug available near the wall.

This will prove to be very useful if i get the speed.

#9 OFFLINE   Swheat

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 08:15 PM

I had my HR21 networked using a Buffalo wireless ethernet converter, but was having problems with the RF path (it is about 60 feet through several walls). I was getting limited success with On Demand and music and pictures with Media Share, but Media Share video files would not transfer smoothly. I felt the need for a better connection but running a CAT5 cable would be somewhat difficult (working in my crawl space in the winter is not something I relish), so I decided to order a set of the new HD DVR Networking adapters.

This kit uses ethernet-over-powerline networking as an alternative to a direct ethernet or wireless networking. A basic installation requires two adapters, but it appears that up to 16 devices can be networked. They use HomePlug® technology and are rated at 85 Mbps.

There are two models available, a basic one ($35) which plugs into a standard wall socket and has a RJ-45 ethernet connection and a powerstrip model ($60) which incorporates six extension sockets and surge protection. A CAT5 cable is included and the price includes FedEx shipping (the units arrived in a couple of days). The manufacturer is tii network technologies. A data sheet for the basic model is at http://www.tiinettec.../HNX-ET_IDS.pdf and for the powerstrip version at http://www.tiinettec...NP6L-ET_IDS.pdf.

Since I was a bit stretched for power connections at both locations, I bought two of the powerstrip models. They appear to be quite solidly constructed. No configuration was required and I was able to get my HR21 networked in practically no time (I had already set it up using the Buffalo wireless converter). There was an enclosed CD with a manual and a Windows program which can be used to add an encryption password to the device (which might be advantageous in a multifamily dwelling). If encryption is used, it must be applied to all powerline devices in the network.

The units have been working for the past three days without problems for both On Demand and Media Share (including video files).


So, how do I buy this kit? I went to Directv"s website and it's nowhere to be found.

#10 OFFLINE   bobnielsen

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Posted 26 January 2008 - 08:52 PM

So, how do I buy this kit? I went to Directv"s website and it's nowhere to be found.


I found it under "change hardware" on the web site. You can also order by phone.

#11 OFFLINE   gregjones

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 11:38 AM

Ok so on demand spped questions. Is the hrxx using a bittorrent format?
if so maybe port forwarding will work fo me


The HR2x pulls information down from the DirecTV servers. BitTorrent (specifically the problem with ISPs controlling it) has more to do with client machines acting as servers. The HR2x does not act as a server in any way for the DOD functionality. Ports do not need to be forwarded. Port forwarding is used when making a service on the internal network available to the external network (Internet).

Since the HR2x acts as a client requesting all of the downloads, there is no need for port forwarding.

Being designed like to function like a torrent would only be relevant if DirecTV were going to allow downloads from neighboring HR2x boxes. I can see where this would be a horrible customer service failure.

It works quite well. If anything, DirecTV could add additonal mirrors and bandwidth on their end. I have had no issues with the speed of download on my 5Mbps/768kbps DSL connection.

#12 OFFLINE   vee528

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 12:29 AM

So, how do I buy this kit? I went to Directv"s website and it's nowhere to be found.

Go to directtv.com and Log in to your account
At the top of the page click on the link"My programming and equipment"
On the scroll down menu click "add kits and equipment"
That's it. Please note if you do not have an HD DVR unit assigned to your account
the kit will not appear in the kits and equipment section.
Hope this helps...

#13 OFFLINE   ticmxman

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 06:06 AM

So what's the bottom line is this a good option or should I set up a wireless network? By the way my house was built in 1950. Will my hodge podge upgraded electrical system create any issues?

#14 OFFLINE   DrJohnC

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 02:05 PM

Purchased two Powerline Powerstrip Kits yesterday. They arrived today.
Plugged one in upstairs.
Plugged another in by the DVR.
Tuned DVR to channel 1000 ... voila, there be On Demand Captain!

#15 OFFLINE   coota

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 03:12 PM

Please help me to understand all of this. Currently I just have a modem on my computer. Do I need to purchase a router and two of the Powerline kits or just two of the Powerline kits and no router?

#16 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 08:50 PM

Has anyone validated the 85Mbps yet?

I suspect that even if it hits that rate, it will be far to slow to move large data files across with any speed that is worthwhile.
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#17 OFFLINE   ccorey123

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 09:42 PM

Couple novice questions:

(1) Looking at the FAQ, it appears that you must either plug directly into the wall or use their powerstrip ... so I assume I can't purchase the single-plug option and plug into an existing powerstrip, correct?

(2) When I look at the purchase options, it's $35 for a wall mount and $60 for the powerstrip. Does the $35 wall mount include hardware for both ends of the connection (1 for the receiver end and 1 for the router end)? Or do I need to purchase 2 wall mount kits?

Thanks,
Chris

#18 OFFLINE   convem24

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 10:05 PM

The 85 MBPS is not a huge deal for DOD but for media share it could be a little to slow. I will be interested to hear what the results are. Luckily I am moving into a house Monday that is Cat5 wired so I have the wiring issue down but if I ever need a better solution when I move out of this place. Good luck Bob!!!
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#19 OFFLINE   bobnielsen

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 10:41 PM

I don't expect that one could realize 85 Mpbs (I certainly don't get 54 Mpbs with 802.11g). I don't know what bit rate Directv uses for HD programming, but my local OTA HD stations run a bit under 17 Mbps (less for those with subchannels). If MPEG4 is enabled for Media Share, the rate would be somewhat lower.

#20 OFFLINE   BubblePuppy

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 10:46 PM

Couple novice questions:

(1) Looking at the FAQ, it appears that you must either plug directly into the wall or use their powerstrip ... so I assume I can't purchase the single-plug option and plug into an existing powerstrip, correct?

(2) When I look at the purchase options, it's $35 for a wall mount and $60 for the powerstrip. Does the $35 wall mount include hardware for both ends of the connection (1 for the receiver end and 1 for the router end)? Or do I need to purchase 2 wall mount kits?

Thanks,
Chris

1. Yes..as long as the power strip is not a surge suppressor. It has to be a plain power strip.

2. You will need two kits..one for each end =$70
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#21 OFFLINE   bobnielsen

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 10:55 PM

Couple novice questions:

(1) Looking at the FAQ, it appears that you must either plug directly into the wall or use their powerstrip ... so I assume I can't purchase the single-plug option and plug into an existing powerstrip, correct?

(2) When I look at the purchase options, it's $35 for a wall mount and $60 for the powerstrip. Does the $35 wall mount include hardware for both ends of the connection (1 for the receiver end and 1 for the router end)? Or do I need to purchase 2 wall mount kits?

Thanks,
Chris


If you have a powerstrip without any filtering or surge protection, it would probably work, although with the tii powerstrip you get both EMI filtering and surge protection (the HomePlug circuitry is probably between that circuitry and the power cord. I haven't seen any other brands which have a powerstrip version.

You would need one (of either type) at each end of the circuit. Additional connections would require one device each (up to 16 total).

#22 OFFLINE   NR4P

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 08:32 AM

Couple novice questions:

(1) Looking at the FAQ, it appears that you must either plug directly into the wall or use their powerstrip ... so I assume I can't purchase the single-plug option and plug into an existing powerstrip, correct?

(2) When I look at the purchase options, it's $35 for a wall mount and $60 for the powerstrip. Does the $35 wall mount include hardware for both ends of the connection (1 for the receiver end and 1 for the router end)? Or do I need to purchase 2 wall mount kits?

Thanks,
Chris


You raise some good questions and after going into the site, it is confusing.
Its possible people will order one $35 wall mount and then not be able to use it. The site has this other yes/no check box and it's possible you could end up with either..
1- $35 wall mount or
1- $60 power strip

Since it reads as though the power strip doesn't include an extra wall device as I read it, to get one DVR up and running for someone without any PLC's, you will need a combination of

2-$35 wall mounts
or
1-$35 wall mount and 1-$60 power strip
or
2-$60 power strips.

That's my takeaway after putting things in/out of my shopping cart.
But if someone has ordered and received products, and can share more, please do so.

#23 OFFLINE   newsposter

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 07:59 PM

Since it reads as though the power strip doesn't include an extra wall device as I read it, to get one DVR up and running for someone without any PLC's, you will need a combination of

2-$35 wall mounts
or
1-$35 wall mount and 1-$60 power strip
or
2-$60 power strips.

That's my takeaway after putting things in/out of my shopping cart.
But if someone has ordered and received products, and can share more, please do so.



I hope its 2-35 dollar ones and not just one...because if i could have gotten away with 35 bucks instead of trying to hook up this darn GA, i'll be mad lol
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#24 OFFLINE   bobnielsen

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 09:12 PM

Yes, you will need two devices, one for the router and another for the DVR. The web site has been redone and is a bit more clear on this.

#25 OFFLINE   JasonC23

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 08:53 AM

These questions are probably answered elsewhere; my apologies if they are duplicates that I could have found answers to with a little more forum searching. But here are my questions:

1. Generally, is the DirecTV HD DVR Network Installation Kit more reliable than a wireless network? I have a Linksys WRT54GS wireless router hooked to my computer and was thinking of getting the Linksys WGA54G wireless-G gaming adapter to hook to my HR20-700. But that seems to be a potentially complicated process, judging by other posts on here (I'm a only-slightly-beyond-novice networker), and I know from my PS3 that I'll only get a connection strength of about 60% to 75% where the HR20-700 is. Will that be enough, or is the powerline solution a more robust one for me?

2. Can I use this powerline solution to network my PS3?

3. If so, what all do I need? If I get the $35 wall plug for the router and the $60 powerstrip for the HR20, can I just pug the PS3 into the powerstrip or would it need an additional $35 plug?

Thanks for any and all help you all can provide!




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