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Dignan17

March 22nd 2013 4:53 pm

"you'll need a wired network or a workaround"

I'm not sure I'd say "a workaround." MoCA is a perfectly good networking method that gets better performance than WiFi in most situations. Some users (like myself) will be able to simply plug the Mini into a cable outlet and go, because Fios routers have MoCA built into them, and the Tivo Premiere boxes do too. Even if your router doesn't have it, you can buy an adapter for about $120 and get really high speeds to any area of your house with a coax jack.

It's a small nit to pick, but I wanted to mention it. I won't argue with the score of 74 because it seems like most of the discussion of the Mini on the web has concluded it's more like a 37. Like many products, I think it depends on the user's specific needs, and for me, the Mini is more like a 90-95 :)

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10 replies
marc

Thanks for mentioning that. Maybe "workaround" isn't the most precise term. What it really comes down to is whether you've got a suitable wired solution in your home, which would include Ethernet, MoCA, or alternatives like the type of jack you describe. Either way, a lot of consumers will find that, in addition to the Mini's base price and monthly fees, they'll have to consider additional costs in order to get the most out of it.
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Dignan17

A small correction: I didn't mention any type of special jack. I was just talking about a regular cable jack in your walls. Naturally, most houses aren't wired for ethernet, but most are wired for cable. I just wanted to observe that if you had Verizon Fios, there is no need for networking because MoCA is already built into the router they provide, and it's already in the Mini-compatible Tivo.

If you don't have Fios, I was observing that for about $120 (actually, it's probably half that because that's usually the price for two MoCA adapters) you could enable your entire home for this sort of thing. Then you can put a Tivo Mini anywhere there's a cable outlet.
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sintpa

TiVo sells the Actiontec ECB2500C for $49.99 and has recently been throwing one of them in for free in some of their bundles. It's also worth noting that the Premiere 4/XL4 can act as a MoCA bridge so if your host DVR is near your cable modem/router you can easily light up MoCA even in non-FiOS homes.
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Dignan17

Exactly. In fact, my home has ethernet, but in the name of fewer wires, when I eventually get a Mini I'll be using MoCA because it works so darn well.

It's too bad that MoCA never took off. I think people have gone a little WiFi crazy, and use it in places that wired makes more sense for reliability reasons. If anything, it looks like MoCA is regressing. Netgear made the adapter kit that was the best value going, but they discontinued that at least 8 months ago :(
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bjdraw

Never took off? Just about every single whole-home DVR relies on some flavor of it, including those from every major TV provider in the US. It could be more prolific, sure, I'd love to see it in every smart TV .
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Dignan17

Okay, I should say "never took off as a consumer technology." Not a single average consumer has any idea what MoCA is, even though they use it.

Instead, it's being used by the providers to make those things you're talking about possible. While that's great, it would also be nice if people realized that they could use MoCA for their regular computers and game systems as well. If they did, we'd be seeing more adapters for sale, but instead all I can see are Actiontec models. While that's fine, I tend to dislike Actiontec because of the awful interface on my Fios router :)
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bjdraw

Most consumers don't know 802.11n either. They focus on what a product does for them, not the specific underlying technologies.

I agree that I wish more people made MoCA adapter, was disappointed to see Netgear discontinue theirs, but I wouldn't blame Actiontec for the FiOS router UI. Based on the fact that the VZ Westel has the same UI, I'd assume that is a Verizon thing.

The real problem for MoCA going more mainstream is that it is an in-between technology. WiFi is more flexible and CAT5 is faster. MoCA is great if you need the reliability of a wired connection, have coax run already and don't need Gig speeds. So basically, to stream a ~19Mbps MPEG2 video.
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Dignan17

"Most consumers don't know 802.11n either. They focus on what a product does for them, not the specific underlying technologies."

That's really not analogous. The fact that they don't know what the difference between a/b/n is nothing like not knowing an entire technology exists. They know that WiFi exists and what it can do for them. They have no idea what MoCA is or what it can do for them, they just know that their Comcast DVR is letting them watch recorded programs on all their TVs.

"The real problem for MoCA going more mainstream is that it is an in-between technology. WiFi is more flexible and CAT5 is faster."

I definitely agree with that, but I also think that it's going to take an extremely long time before a majority of homes have ethernet throughout, and WiFi will probably never really improve in the areas it's lacking. MoCA adapters should have a pretty big niche to fill, but people just don't understand it.

Probably a bigger hit to MoCA is the decline of the desktop. With everyone moving to laptops/tablets/phones, people don't want wired solutions anymore. I'd love to see a WiFi range extender with MoCA built in, so you don't have to have two devices to accomplish that sort of thing.
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bjdraw

The 4 tuner Premiere will act as a MoCA bridge. TiVo only sells separate MoCA bridges in case you don't have an internet connection where your Premiere is.
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bjdraw

Actually, there are no additional charges to use MoCA in this scenario, even if you don't have a wired network solution in your home. Cable TV has been prevalent in the majority of homes for years, which means people have coax where they have TVs.

The Mini only works with 4 tuner TiVos, which all include MoCA. So as long as your four tuner TiVo is connected to the internet and you have coax where you want the second TV (and the main TV), there is nothing else to buy. The Mini will connect to the Premiere via coax and the internet via it as well.
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