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No Walls Were Harmed...


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...Enabling the Playback of This 1080p Content.


Otherwise known as "How Trendnet TPA-311s Save Me a <Bleep> Load of Trouble" :)


I have a SageTV dual-tuner setup in my basement's unfinished utility room colocated along with my WHS2011 server (details here).

For the last couple of years, I have been using wireless to get the content to the main TV's HD-200 extender.

Wireless, in general, worked better than expected and quite capabile of pushing 720p but hopelessly out-gunned for 1080p (i.e., my native HD-DVD/BR rips).


My only alternative was running a drop - but running one the length of the house with no access from above (bungalow), below (finished basement) and across HVAC ducting and main steel beam was never going to be much fun or pretty.


I had known of powerline/MoCA potential but never really tried them out for some reason - until now.


The WD Livewire kit was available locally so I gave it a shot - it works but suffers from the standard powerline issues (reliability, very dependent on electrical circuit/noise). By moving it around to different outlets, the best I could get was 40Mbps - not enough and too "flaky" for my liking.


I did some research and stumbled upon the Trendnet TPA-311 (uses HPNA versus MoCA) that I could source online (seems to be very little available MoCA/HPNA-wise up here).


For sub $100 all-in, I connected a unit to each end of the coax line and bingo, consistent/reliable 80-90Mbps - 1080p streaming smooth as butter.


Note that HPNA will conflict with cable service but, for me, my satellite service has its own cabling and the house coax is stranded / not used.


If you have a hard to get to spot for Ethernet connectivity, the TPA-311/HPNA technology might allow the use of existing coax to solve that problem.



P.S. I know that, one day, I might have to run that cable for GIGE driving of consumer 4K displays - but that day is not today.

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You are very fortunate to have COAX pre-installed in your house. I'm not sure that applies to many people. I was also wondering if you could use the COAX as a pull-string to run CAT5/6 cable between the 2 locations. Since COAX isn't electrical cabling, it often is not stapled to joists, etc. If you could determine that it can be pulled back, you could attach a nylon pull-string and be able to pull whatever cable you like in the future (assuming it doesn't run through any too-small holes that is). :)


Also, what about the attic? You can't run cable through there, or you really don't relish the idea? :)

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Fortunate to have coax pre-installed - really ? I have never been in a house that did not have coax and never heard of such a thing.

Perhaps not originally present in the house on construction but the cable installers are pretty good at ugly (stapling to baseboard) and pretty (wall fishing) add-ons.


Alas, as my house is a bungalow and I have no attic to speak of :(


The coax run I am using was run in the hot HVAC duct by previous owners - clearly the cable guy at the time had no other alternative - much like me contemplating the Ethernet run.

I did some work when I moved in to get that coax into the wall instead of it popping out of the register.


So I could have used that coax to pull some 5e/6 plenum/riser cabling but would just end up replacing one undesirable (but necessary) code violation (i.e., low-voltage cabling in ductwork) with another (i.e., cat 5e/6 in the ductwork instead).


Doing it the right way would be a lot of extra work...

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Don't know about your locale, but I believe plenum-rated cable is allowed in ductwork in my area. 'Course, FT6 does cost more :angry:

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