Switch recommendation

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Switch recommendation

Post#1 » Wed Jan 14, 2015 6:28 am

Hi All - I am looking at getting a dedicated switch since I am getting some network bandwidth issues reported by my Xbox 360s during recorded TV playback recently. I think my SurfBoard AP might be getting ready to go kaput, but I have been wanting to offload my internal traffic from the AP for a while anyways. I will have the following devices connected: 2 Xbox 360, 1 Xbox One, 1 Blu-ray player, 1 Smart TV, 1 Windows 8.1 PC (with USB Hauppauge 2650), plus the uplink to the AP (or perhaps replacement router in the near future). The switch will go behind or in an entertainment center and have semi-restricted airflow. The use cases for my network are only what you see above. My household watches a lot of Netflix, Amazon, and other streaming media, and plays online games via Xbox Live, but doesn't use a lot of bandwidth otherwise (e.g. no torrenting).

Cheaper is better, but more important is excellent support out of the box with minimal configuration for WMC.

Any recommendations?
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Post#2 » Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:35 am

Cheaper is better

I disagree. Cheaper isn't better. Only better is better. Choose the right tool for the job first, and the value will follow.

It's the cheapest man who spends the most.

Four years ago when I started down the WMC path, based on the recommendations on the old MS Green Button site I got a Dell commercial switch. Used, from Ebay.

Not particularly quiet (fan), and it's unmanaged, but my network has been rock solid. Prior to that I had consumer grade switches that failed in weird ways. I probably spent over $100 for said 24 port unit, but apparently I got what I paid for. And I planned for the future and bought the 24 port unit instead of the 8 or 16 port unit for only a couple bucks more.

I spent money, but I spent it the right way and received huge value.

And it's just a switch. Plug it in and go. It needs support like a power strip needs support--which is to say, not at all. And there isn't any configuration; again, just plug it in and go. Plug network wires into it. Just like an extension cord--plug stuff in. That's it.

I've never, ever run my WMC stuff through a consumer router. I've always separated the cable modem, router, and network switch stuff. For the record my router is an Apple Airport, and it's rock solid. Always has been. Again, the value is there. I don't look at the price, I look at the value.

I see a couple Dell 2816s on Ebay for $85 or so. You're already at 7 connections, right? Don't buy an 8 port and strangle yourself. It would be a false economy to save a couple of bucks. Get a 16 port unit to keep yourself from having to spend more money to go through this all over again when you add that one more device next month.

BUT: your physical placement might not be suitable for the Dell unit. Fan noise and airflow are the issues. I don't know if they're an issue with other commercial units, but I wouldn't be surprised at all if that were the case. Can you bring your inbound cable and all your network cables together in a location that isn't behind your TV? I realize you need a cable feed to your tuner, which is USB attached to your PC itself, which I presume is plugged into your TV? That's fine; you can also have a cable outlet somewhere else in the house where all the networking comes together, out of the way, and easy to plug in a commercial switch that generates some fan noise and wants some airflow.
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Post#3 » Wed Jan 14, 2015 4:00 pm

steveo_in_sd wrote:Any recommendations?



Connect my HD HomeRun Prime and PC to it, and I can record three programs while doing Gb file transfers to another PC also connected to the switch. (Not really recommended usage, but sometimes I forget.) Try that with my router's built-in switch, and there will be massive pixelation. The TP-LINK OTOH is flawless, and it's only $25 for 8 ports. Non-critical devices can still be connected to your router's switch.
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Post#4 » Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:30 pm

I have 2 3-tuner HDHomeruns plus multiple Xbox 360 extenders - and have never had any networking problems.

I use only gigabit switches - and only have a single connection to the router, with all internal traffic routed through the switch.

I have one switch for the media center and tuners (and other equipment in the rack) and that connects to a second switch (in another room) which connects outlets to the rest of the house.

If possible, have the Ethernet tuners on the same switch as your media center, to avoid any extra hops or having to share a network connection with the other tuners. Though in my previous house, I had the Ethernet tuners on the "house" switch close to the outside cable connection and the media center was located in a different room off an 8-port switch, and never had any problems.

And, so far, I haven't had any problems using consumer switches - recently purchased two D-Link 24-port switches (on sale for $99 each) - and they've been working great.

The bandwidth for HD video from the tuners actually isn't that high - and in a home environment where you'll likely only have a few devices generating significant traffic, you should be OK as long as you stay with gigabit switches and use wired connections.
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Post#5 » Thu Jan 15, 2015 2:06 pm

Thanks for the replies, everyone.
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Post#6 » Wed Jan 21, 2015 6:27 am

I ended up making a modest $25 investment to see if a switch (TP-LINK TL-SG108 8-Port 10/100/1000Mbps Desktop Gigabit Steel Cased Switch, IEEE 802.1p QoS) would resolve the issue, and indeed performance is once again great. I guess my SurfBoard AP might really be nearing EOL. Since the XB1 will cover BR and streaming apps, I can always remove the smart TV and have already removed the dedicated BR player, leaving plenty of room for wired expansion.

Just as a point of interest, I had been noticing along with the recent stutters and pixelation that the video would at times have poor contrast, especially during darker scenes. I thought that must be someone changing the TV settings but all was well once again with the addition of the switch. I did reseat all the HDMI cables so that may have played a part as well, but interesting nonetheless.
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Post#7 » Sat Jan 24, 2015 6:54 am

The 8 port switch here works just fine and has a good price
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Post#8 » Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:42 pm

Just adding for any future searchers: Another successful user of TP-LINK TL-SG1008D for $24.99.
Switch directly feeds HTPC/PC, Magic Jack, 1 echo, 1 smart tv, InfiniTV 6 ethernet, and 1 CM6004 (channelmaster MoCA injection point).
CM6004 feeds 3 other CM6004's, which in turn feed 5 more echos, an Xbox360, another smartTV, 2 connected BluRay Players, and a Roku.
Absolutely 0 issues so far, minus the InfTV 6 eth...... Unit has no fan, and does not seem to get hot.
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