New member here, registered specifically to share my experience troubleshooting whole-home/MRV. I believe it may help others and add more detail on how MRV works to the knowledge base of this forum.
As a beta tester of whole-home I was allowed to keep using it with my initial (current) setup - wired ethernet, no DECA (and no support).
- 2 x HR22-100 DVRs
- 1 x H23-600 receiver
- 1 x HR10-250 DVR (Tivo) - doesn't play with other equipment in MRV
- Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH router running Buffalo firmware (not DD-WRT)
Everything has been working fine for over 2 years (when I got the router) until mid August this year. Then the two HR22's started losing connection to each other (occasionally at first), as well as the H23 could not see the DVRs. First I thought it might be related to the software update my DVRs received on 8/14, as I haven't done any changes to my network. Other functionality like DIRECTV2PC and VOD was not affected, so the network was fine - all DirecTV equipment was using DHCP at the time. Then at some point MRV went completely down (DTV2PC and VOD still working), but I didn't have much time to troubleshoot...
This weekend I finally decided it was time to get it fixed as the NHL season began and I really use MRV during the season. First thing was to set up the DVRs with static IPs - didn't help. Rebooting everything, including the router worked for few minutes, then connectivity between DVRs went down again. I tried many other things like changing the gateway on the DVRs so they don't have Internet access, or subnet mask (to change their broadcast) - nothing worked. Only when the router was powered off, the DVRs could see each others recordings - they are connected to an internal gigabit switch, not directly to the router, so LAN is still up when the router is off.
I was about to get started with installing DD-WRT firmware on the router, but I noticed that every time I made changes to the network settings on the DVRs, Windows Media Player (Library View) was showing the DVRs for a few seconds, then they would disappear for a few (not at the same time), and so on for about 2 hours. After that they would stabilize and stay in WMP - confirmed it on multiple PCs. That got me thinking in a different direction (after replacing several LAN cables) and I ran "arp -a" on the PC and saw a bunch of 169.254.x.x entries, all with the MAC address of my router. I did a traceroute on few of them, and they were all going out outside my LAN to my ISP (TWC).
Some of you probably know about "Link-Local" address space - 169.254.0.0/16. More info here http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3927.txt
You can also see Link-Local as the last line in Advanced Network settings on your DVR. If it is empty, MRV will not work!
It turned out that one (or more) of my ISP routers advertise routes to 169.254.x.x, so these routes were picked up by my Buffalo router and all packets in the 169.254.x.x address space were forwarded there. That explains the 2-hour "hesitation" shown in WMP - the DVRs were changing their Link-Local addresses in an effort to establish connectivity, but everything was being forwarded outside my LAN.
Once I figured it out, the fix was easy - added a static route on my Buffalo - 169.24.x.x is sent back to one of the DVRs 192.168.x.x address. MRV came back right away and is rock-solid.
Not sure who's to blame here - my router, or my ISP - but I'm leaning towards the ISP, as 169.254/16 is not supposed to be routed, see the link above. A cheap home router is excused from not adhering to the RFC standards, but an ISP is not.
Be aware that while the DVRs are using the assigned IP for VOD and DIRECTV2PC, they use Link-Local 169.254.x.x to communicate between them.
Hope this helps.