InfiniTV 6ETH Pixelates when WiFi or Internet Traffic Exists

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clockwiseq

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InfiniTV 6ETH Pixelates when WiFi or Internet Traffic Exists

#1

Post by clockwiseq » Mon Sep 26, 2016 1:31 pm

I'm at my wits end on trying to diagnose my issue, but here's my setup:

Ceton InfiniTV 6ETH
Lenovo IdeaCentre PC, Quad-Core i5 (4th Generation), 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD (O/S Drive), 512GB SSD (Scheduled Recordings), 4TB Western Digital HDD (Library), AMD R240 4GB Video.
Apple AirPort Extreme
Motorola SB6141 Cable Modem
Comcast is my provider and I have one of their standard packages for TV and the Extreme 150 internet.

All devices are connected via hard-wired (gigabit supposedly). I have a single SSID broadcasting and have 4 phones, 2 tablets, 2 printers, 3 AppleTVs, and 5 laptops on WiFi.

Now, on to the issue at hand. During Prime Time TV hours (7:00PM - 10:00PM), the picture of any channel (HD or not) is pixelated and so bad at times that you cannot see a picture at all or hear anything. At one point, the picture was so bad, WMC failed to record certain shows. The same goes for Saturdays during college football games (all day).

1st Attempt - Video Card
I thought it was my video card causing the problem, so I replaced my R220 with an R240 (only thing Best Buy had available) and that had no affect. I also replaced all of my HDMI cabling in case it was a bad cable.

2nd Attempt - Signal Strength
I thought it was the signal itself, so I borrowed a friend's meter and determined that I had absolutely perfect signal. I also called Comcast and had them run various tests on my cable modem and the CableCard and they claim that all looks good (while the issue was occurring).

3rd Attempt - Internet Traffic
I discovered that if I unplug my cable modem (kill the internet traffic), that the TV cleared up quite a bit, not perfect, but much much better. So, I left the cable modem unplugged for a while and after a few hours, the issue returns.

4th Attempt - Disable Wireless
Since I thought it was the internet traffic causing the issue, I shut down my wireless on the AirPort and at first I thought that cleared it up completely, but no, the issue still existed. Again, after a few hours, the issue returned.

So, logically, I would think it's something with the Apple AirPort not being able to route packets properly due to the amount of traffic crossing over the built-in switch. Does anyone have this same issue and if so, other than the things I've tried, are there any other things I can try to resolve this? One person on a thread here mentioned the splitter. I've replaced the splitter already and that didn't make a difference. Since I've narrowed it down to the traffic flowing through the AirPort, could it be something with the AirPort? If so, could someone recommend a router for this setup? I was thinking of going the enterprise route and purchase a Ubiquiti EdgeRouter X and add their switch and wireless AP. Any suggestions would be greaty appreciated.

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#2

Post by STC » Mon Sep 26, 2016 3:56 pm

I have always found a small dedicated unmanaged switch between HTPC, Eth and extenders works very well keeping all streaming TV traffic off my main network. A simple Netgear GS105 will suffice.
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#3

Post by IownFIVEechos » Mon Sep 26, 2016 4:43 pm

A simple "switch" will not isolate network traffic. You would need to have a router in between and your networks on different sub-nets. And then route the desired traffic to them.

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#4

Post by clockwiseq » Mon Sep 26, 2016 4:48 pm

Thanks for the replies. So, before I run out and spend another $100 on a switch, does it sound like it is the network traffic that is causing packet collisions or loss that in turn causes my pixelation problem?

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#5

Post by IownFIVEechos » Mon Sep 26, 2016 4:53 pm

Sometimes the actual hard drive is the problem. Once multiple things start to record it brings out the problem. I had a system that would be fine on one tuner and then when multiple tuners went off it would do as you are saying. I rebuilt a new system and problem gone. Some people sometimes suggest even building out a second system to test. Stick it on the same network and see if it works fine. Then you can remove all network issues from the equation. Most people don't have a spare around. Even a laptop can work etc.. Just used for testing purposes. Best of luck.

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#6

Post by clockwiseq » Mon Sep 26, 2016 4:59 pm

Well, I can eliminate that as a potential issue because this happens when I simply watch a channel. I never make it to the recording stage.

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#7

Post by clockwiseq » Mon Sep 26, 2016 5:06 pm

So IownFIVEechos, what is your setup? If I simply add a switch (which I happen to have a spare lying around now that I think about it), I don't think I can route traffic to that granular of a level with my Apple AirPort.

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#8

Post by IownFIVEechos » Mon Sep 26, 2016 5:17 pm

One thing I did not see you mention is how long this setup has been working? Years and now problems? Some people complain the ETH over heats? I have SD Homerun so I am not hands on the ETH. But since you have the spare switch I would say just connect the Media center and the ETH to the switch with nothing else and see how that goes? The Airport (again something I never used) could be broadcasting heavy traffic for some reason, even with the WAN port off. Also; I assume you did this, but I would cycle all devices off.

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#9

Post by clockwiseq » Mon Sep 26, 2016 7:00 pm

It ran for about 2 years without problem. My ETH does get warm, but never extremely hot. The Apple AirPort Extreme is my router as well as a wireless AP, so I can't disable the WAN. It's my gateway to the outside world. I'm assuming the traffic through it is the problem and I will setup the switch tonight and see if it makes a difference. I can cycle everything down, bring it back up, and the issue disappears for about an hour or so, and then it returns. Thanks for all the advice.

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#10

Post by STC » Mon Sep 26, 2016 7:21 pm

IownFIVEechos wrote:A simple "switch" will not isolate network traffic. You would need to have a router in between and your networks on different sub-nets. And then route the desired traffic to them.
The switch would route the stream packets between source and destination IP. You are adding this switch inside an existing switched network. A router already exists. Data travelling from Eth to HTPC through new switch will not travel outside of the newly installed switched network. It doesn't have to.
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#11

Post by STC » Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:35 pm

If it is a network saturation issue at the Apple router, trying this method wouldn't hurt.
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#12

Post by Space » Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:46 pm

STC wrote:
IownFIVEechos wrote:A simple "switch" will not isolate network traffic. You would need to have a router in between and your networks on different sub-nets. And then route the desired traffic to them.
The switch would route the stream packets between source and destination IP. You are adding this switch inside an existing switched network. A router already exists. Data travelling from Eth to HTPC through new switch will not travel outside of the newly installed switched network. It doesn't have to.
I have to agree that a separate switch would keep the traffic off the main switch (your router, a home router is simply a router with a built-in switch), but I am not sure that it would make any difference if the main switch is functioning properly.

A switch is different than an old broadcast hub in that the only traffic that is sent out one of the ports is traffic meant for hosts that are attached to that port, so that means unicast traffic destined for the MAC (Ethernet) address connected to that port as well as all broadcast traffic. So the only traffic that would be sent to the main switch would be traffic meant for other nodes connected to that switch (including the Internet if it is connect to the main switch) as well as any broadcast traffic (which is usually minimal).

Also, switches are designed so that you can have the full bandwidth between any two ports on the switch, so you can have 1gb going from port 1 to port 2 and 1gb going from port 2 to port 1 as well as 1 gb going between port 3 and port 4 (both ways) all at the same time. Which brings up the question of why would you need a separate switch in the first place, since your main switch should be able to handle the full bandwidth between you HTPC and your Ceton even if there is a whole lot of other traffic on the main switch between the other ports. The only way it should interfere is if there is a lot of traffic going from or to one of those other ports to/from your HTPC or your Ceton device, in which case the bandwidth is shared. And if that is the case, a new switch will make no difference, unless it is a faster switch (like if you main switch is 100mb max and the new switch is 1gb).

Example:
Ceton on port 1
HTPC on port 2
Other PC on port 3

Communication from port 1 to port 2 can be at full 1gb speed. But if the Ceton also starts sending data to the other PC (port 3) then the bandwidth can be cut in half, with 500mb going to port 2 and 500mb going to port 3. Of course this will only happen if that much bandwidth is actually being sent between those nodes.

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#13

Post by clockwiseq » Tue Sep 27, 2016 1:44 pm

I believe the issue is resolved for now (fingers crossed). I had a spare Cisco Meraki MX64 lying around and tried the following:

Motorola Cable Modem --> Apple AirPort Extreme (as router and AP) --> Cisco Meraki MX64 (as a switch) --> HTPC, Ceton, Other PC

In this configuration, it did not work. The issue was actually worse. So, I disabled the DHCP and NAT on the AirPort Extreme and configured the Cisco Meraki MX64 for DHCP and NAT and then had the following config:

Motorola Cable Modem --> Cisco Meraki MX64 (as router DHCP/NAT) --> HTPC, Ceton, Other PC, Apple AirPort Extreme (as AP)

In this configuration, it worked perfectly. So, it seems the issue is the AirPort. Tonight more shows that we watch are coming on so the DVR will be active (scheduled) and then I'll tune to other channels to give it a full test as well as having our wireless devices streaming other video as to mimic the scenario where the pixelation occurs. I'll give everyone an update in the morning. Thanks for all the comments and suggestions.

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#14

Post by Space » Tue Sep 27, 2016 3:31 pm

Interesting. When in the first configuration the traffic between your Ceton and your HTPC should not even be hitting the AirPort (other than the initial DHCP, DNS, etc. lookups).

Perhaps the AirPort is sending extraneous broadcast or unicast traffic on your network when configured as a router?

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#15

Post by STC » Tue Sep 27, 2016 5:06 pm

Do you happen to own a Roku?
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#16

Post by volfan6415 » Tue Sep 27, 2016 10:36 pm

It looks like you may have resolved the issue, but my question is how is the cable connections wired?

I had a similar issue with an infiniTV and a cable modem which were connected on the same splitter. The issues wasn't fixed until i moved the infiniTV cable feed signal to behind the Tuning Adapter.

http://www.thegreenbutton.tv/forums/vie ... =68&t=7868

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#17

Post by clockwiseq » Wed Sep 28, 2016 4:39 am

STC wrote:Do you happen to own a Roku?
No, I do not own a Roku

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#18

Post by clockwiseq » Wed Sep 28, 2016 4:43 am

volfan6415 wrote:It looks like you may have resolved the issue, but my question is how is the cable connections wired?

I had a similar issue with an infiniTV and a cable modem which were connected on the same splitter. The issues wasn't fixed until i moved the infiniTV cable feed signal to behind the Tuning Adapter.

http://www.thegreenbutton.tv/forums/vie ... =68&t=7868
The issue is not resolved. I just performed the "Prime-Time TV watching Time" (7:00-10:00PM CST) and sure enough, around 8:45PM, the pixelation returned. Odd that you mention the splitter deal because another thread I read the other day mentioned that it could be the splitter. So, I only have a Ceton infiniTV 6 ETH, I don't have a tuning adapter. So, how in the world would you NOT have the cable feed not on the same splitter as the cable modem? The reason I ask is that when I unplug my cable modem, the issue is nearly gone. There is a single feed in the house, then I split in my media closet into two feeds (one for cable modem and one for the infiniTV).

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#19

Post by RyC » Wed Sep 28, 2016 4:30 pm

I just went through a similar issue when I moved to a new house. Unfortunately, it was a signal issue that needed a tech from Comcast to come out while the problem was happening. Do you remember what the upstream power of the modem was when you were testing?

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#20

Post by clockwiseq » Wed Sep 28, 2016 5:21 pm

RyC wrote:I just went through a similar issue when I moved to a new house. Unfortunately, it was a signal issue that needed a tech from Comcast to come out while the problem was happening. Do you remember what the upstream power of the modem was when you were testing?
I have to play stupid, I don't know what that is. I know Comcast remotely tested my signal strength and it seemed to be fine. I ran internet speed tests and I am consistently getting 182Mb/s down and 28Mb/s up, so I'm assuming it's not a "loss" of signal. How do I check the upstream power of the modem?

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