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Hardware Support Discussions related to using various hardware setups with SageTV products. Anything relating to capture cards, remotes, infrared receivers/transmitters, system compatibility or other hardware related problems or suggestions should be posted here.

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  #1  
Old 12-21-2009, 01:09 PM
Greg Greg is offline
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HDHomeRun: Single or Dual LAN Connection?

I posted this question in the thread titled "What CPU?", but as this thread has 107 posts and it was near the bottom I thought that it would get more exposure in it's own thread.

I will be using 1, maybe 2 HDHomeruns. Is it better to have a dedicated ethernet port for the HDHR's to isolate the traffic from the network? Some say yes, while others say it doesn't matter and to keep it simple. All components will be gigabit ethernet.

What are the options to do this (I took a stab at it, below)?

1. Dual Ethernet jacks integrated on the motherboard. In the case of 2 HDHR's I assume that I would use a 2-port switch to feed one of the ethernet ports with the two HDHR's as inputs to the switch.

2. Add a NIC to a motherboard that has only 1 ethernet port and connect the HDHR's, as above.

3. What if I only have 1 ethernet port on the motherboard, how would that be set-up? Would you use (2) 2 port switches with one switch dedicated to the HDHR's, as above and this switch feeding one input of the second switch and the router feeding the the other port (HDHR switch and router feeding into a 2port switch that connects to the ethernet port on the motherboard).

The reason that I ask is that it appears that the only motherboards that have dual ethernet ports are the more expensive 790 chip set boards. And many of these boards require a video card, as there is no integrated video, increasing the cost even further. I still may get a video card no matter what.

Another question:

Regarding the Realtek LAN chip, what does support Teaming mean?

Thanks,
Greg
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  #2  
Old 12-21-2009, 01:21 PM
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GKusnick GKusnick is offline
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My advice would be that you don't try to solve problems that haven't actually come up. Just connect your HDHR to your existing LAN and see what happens. If it just works (and it probably will), then you're done.
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  #3  
Old 12-21-2009, 01:57 PM
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ChaOConnor ChaOConnor is offline
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Greg, I agree with GKusnick... Just add the HDHomerun to your existing switch and let it work itself out. Unless you start getting some serious network choke, I think you'll be better off doing it that way. I am ordering a HDHomerun today and that is my plan.

Good luck!
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  #4  
Old 12-21-2009, 02:12 PM
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Agreed. I just moved from a machine where I had dual NICs on the motherboard to one with a single NIC. I crossed my fingers, and it seems to be fine.
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  #5  
Old 12-21-2009, 03:24 PM
sic0048 sic0048 is offline
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I don't think two HDHRs are going to saturate the network - even a 10/100 network. Of course it depends on what other network traffic might be going on. If it is a gigabit network, then I think there is little to be concerned about.

Teaming NIC generally refers to the process of tieing both NIC together and using one IP address for both of them. So in essence, you end up with a 2000gb network port. Your network switch must be capable of supporting teaming however so it isn't something that can be used is a lot of basic residential network switches.
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  #6  
Old 12-21-2009, 03:31 PM
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I'm running gigabit (only one NIC) with 3 HDHR units and 4 HD extenders. I never choke my network.
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  #7  
Old 12-21-2009, 04:29 PM
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I wouldn’t base your motherboard decision on whether it has dual LAN. It limits your options and you’re probably not going to need it. If you did need it you can always add a nic, they even have USB ones… Think about your tuners and hard drives first. The number of PCI, PCI-e, and SATA ports are probably the most important thing. I understand that you’ll be using at least one HDHR but keep in mind internal tuner combinations further down the road.
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  #8  
Old 12-21-2009, 05:32 PM
jasonl jasonl is offline
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We've tested 4 HDHomeRun devices (8 tuners) all streaming a full QAM channel (38.4Mb/s each), for a total of about 300Mb/s, on a gigabit network and not encountered issues. Obviously not something you want to try on a 100Mbit network, but a decent gigabit network should be fine.

Some have reported issues with the Netgear GS10x series switches when used with mixed gigabit and 100Mbit devices, like the HDHomeRun and a PC or a PC and an extender, so watch out for that.

Jason
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  #9  
Old 12-21-2009, 08:57 PM
hugenbdd hugenbdd is offline
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I agree with the mixed devices on netgear. I had this problem. I just decided to seperate the traffic, I bought a second NIC (PCIe) and 1g switch (cheapest I could find on new egg at the time). This just works for my setup 2 HDHR's (4 tuners). I would try it without first, like others have suggested.

Dave
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  #10  
Old 12-21-2009, 09:14 PM
Greg Greg is offline
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Thanks everyone for the feedback. I read a thread or two that got me concerned. Glad to hear that this will likely not be a problem. Gives me more flexibility on the motherboard selection.

So, what's the best way to hook-up the HDHR's, connect them like this using a 3-port switch (probably would be a 4 port switch in reality)?:

See attached image.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonl View Post
We've tested 4 HDHomeRun devices (8 tuners) all streaming a full QAM channel (38.4Mb/s each), for a total of about 300Mb/s, on a gigabit network and not encountered issues. Obviously not something you want to try on a 100Mbit network, but a decent gigabit network should be fine.

Some have reported issues with the Netgear GS10x series switches when used with mixed gigabit and 100Mbit devices, like the HDHomeRun and a PC or a PC and an extender, so watch out for that.

Jason
Silicondust Support
Jason,

Thanks for the heads-up on the potential Netgear issue.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg HDHR Hook-up.JPG (6.4 KB, 205 views)

Last edited by Greg; 12-22-2009 at 08:46 PM. Reason: Changed attachment from BMP to JPG
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  #11  
Old 12-22-2009, 05:20 AM
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I have a 8 port gigabit switch with 2-HDHRs plugged in. Works great. Any number port switch will work. And I would spring for a gigabit switch even though the HDHR connection is 100 mb.

Gerry
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  #12  
Old 12-22-2009, 05:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonl View Post
We've tested 4 HDHomeRun devices (8 tuners) all streaming a full QAM channel (38.4Mb/s each), for a total of about 300Mb/s, on a gigabit network and not encountered issues. Obviously not something you want to try on a 100Mbit network, but a decent gigabit network should be fine.

Some have reported issues with the Netgear GS10x series switches when used with mixed gigabit and 100Mbit devices, like the HDHomeRun and a PC or a PC and an extender, so watch out for that.

Jason
Silicondust Support
The HDHomerun is limited to 100 megs according to the specifications. How does a gig network help?

I put the SageTV computer, HDHomerun, and extenders all on their own switch. I have cat 5e cable. My switch and router are both 100 megs. I don't understand how 1 gig router and switch would help if both the HDHomerun and exenders are limited to 100 megs.

Dave
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  #13  
Old 12-22-2009, 06:18 AM
paulbeers paulbeers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davephan View Post
The HDHomerun is limited to 100 megs according to the specifications. How does a gig network help?

I put the SageTV computer, HDHomerun, and extenders all on their own switch. I have cat 5e cable. My switch and router are both 100 megs. I don't understand how 1 gig router and switch would help if both the HDHomerun and exenders are limited to 100 megs.

Dave
Because if your server is connected to 100mb switch, then it can only receive and send 100mb/s worth of data. We aren't recommending gigabit switches for the extenders and the HDHomeruns, we are recommending it because your server will only have 100mb/s bandwidth. With 1080i shows taking about 20mbps themselves, if you have 2 HDHomeruns and serving to 2-3 extenders, that could easily pass the 100mbps that your server needs to send/receive (in the above scenario that would easily be 7 streams worth of i/o equalling 140mbps). If your switch is on a gigabit switch, then it has more than enough bandwidth to supply those 7 streams to the 5 different 100mb devices.
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  #14  
Old 12-22-2009, 11:19 AM
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GKusnick GKusnick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davephan View Post
I don't understand how 1 gig router and switch would help...
If the only thing plugged into the router is the switch, and everything else is plugged into the switch, then a gigabit router won't help, since all it's handling is Internet traffic.

But as Paul says, a gigabit switch is still useful for removing bottlenecks on the switch-to-server leg (assuming your server has a gigbit NIC).
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  #15  
Old 12-22-2009, 11:46 AM
Greg Greg is offline
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Did you guys take a look at the attached sketch? See it again here.

Should the router be plugged into the switch or the switch into the router?

Sorry for the newbie type basic question.

Thanks,
Greg
Attached Images
File Type: jpg HDHR Hook-up.JPG (6.4 KB, 226 views)

Last edited by Greg; 12-22-2009 at 08:47 PM. Reason: Changed attachment from BMP to JPG
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  #16  
Old 12-22-2009, 11:52 AM
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ChaOConnor ChaOConnor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg View Post
Did you guys take a look at the attached sketch? See it again here.

Should the router be plugged into the switch or the switch into the router?

Sorry for the newbie type basic question.

Thanks,
Greg
Greg, you're good. Let the switch (Gigabit I'm assuming) handle all your internal network traffic. That way the router can act as your bridge between the LAN and WAN.

For what it's worth, this is the setup I have and how I'm going to plug my HDHR into it once it arrives.
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  #17  
Old 12-22-2009, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sic0048 View Post
I don't think two HDHRs are going to saturate the network - even a 10/100 network. Of course it depends on what other network traffic might be going on. If it is a gigabit network, then I think there is little to be concerned about.
Sorry but dual HDHR recording 4 MPEG-2 HD streams can certainly saturate a 100 Mbit connection, especially if you have an extender connected to the same switch/server streaming another HD show. That's 5 streams, even at 15 Mbits, is plenty enough to run into trouble, and worse yet if you are capturing OTA ATSC. But Greg, you should be just fine with a single gigabit link. I haven't heard of anyone having network bandwidth issues with gigabit.
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  #18  
Old 12-22-2009, 11:57 AM
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GKusnick GKusnick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg View Post
Should the router be plugged into the switch or the switch into the router?
The router's WAN port should be plugged into the modem.

The router and switch should be connected together on the LAN side. With modern auto-sensing switches, there's no particular directionality to this connection; it's symmetrical.

Everything else should be plugged into the switch.

(As a side note, more people might look at your sketch if you attach it as a PNG or JPG instead of BMP.)
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Last edited by GKusnick; 12-22-2009 at 12:24 PM.
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  #19  
Old 12-22-2009, 12:01 PM
Clift Clift is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg View Post
Did you guys take a look at the attached sketch? See it again here.

Should the router be plugged into the switch or the switch into the router?

Sorry for the newbie type basic question.

Thanks,
Greg
Looks good! here's mine for reference:
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2301/...dc28b498_o.jpg
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  #20  
Old 12-22-2009, 12:25 PM
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A good NIC is just as important as a good switch. A dedicated Intel NIC is King.

In practice, it probably won't matter with only two HDHomeRun devices and light LAN traffic. But if the server is overloaded with other traffic (like file copies to another PC), it's possible for you to have problems. HDHR traffic is UDP based which unlike TCP traffic, does not guarantee deliver-ability. VoIP is the same way. If there is enough TCP traffic, which can handle retransmissions, it may starve the UDP queues and create glitches in the video.

This is rare though on a LAN, especially a home user's LAN. But if you are truly paranoid, or have a lot of other traffic flowing in & out of the server's NIC (like a Sage Server + separate NAS), it wouldn't hurt to put the HDHomeRuns on a second NIC or VLAN.

The other option is to prioritize HDHomeRun traffic by CoS, UDP ports, IP address, etc. You'd need an intelligent switch for that, and maybe an equally intelligent NIC in the Sage server.


Without delving into Networking 101, the best option for most people is a good NIC and good switch.

Here is a great unmanaged 8-port switch.
HP ProCurve 1400-8G

and here are some good NIC's (note: If you have an onboard Realtek NIC, this may interest you)
Intel Gigabit NIC's
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