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>>> TIVO HMO and Gigabit Ethernet Works Great! <<<

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HTXpertGuy is offline Old Post 06-20-2003 04:30 AM
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HTXpertGuy
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Thumbs up TIVO HMO and Gigabit Ethernet Works Great!

Just wanted to let everyone know that I have had great success in setting up a Sony Series 2 TIVO with HMO and Gigabit Ethernet. I used the following specs:

1. 2 Sony Series 2 TIVO with HMO

2. Belden 7851a and 7881a CAT 6e DataTwist cable (for Jack-Jack termination and patch cables)

3. Linksys Eatherfast Gigaswitch - 12 port

4. Two Linksys USB 2.0 Ethernet Adaptors

So, you may be wondering what I gained and about the obvious fact I will top out due to the USB connectors on the TIVO units long before hiting Gigabit speed. Well, you are correct, I will hit a wall limit there, since they don't have a built-in Gigabit Ethernet network card (something I truly want to see in Series 3). But, the beauty of it is that my home network server CAN run full speed Gigabit over the network and stream files at much faster speeds than what CAT 5e can provide. Therefore, I'm streaming to any home network device (i.e. TIVO, music networks, etc.) at MUCH improved speeds. Needless to say it totally kills wireless devices when using any wired network. Now, when and if we can get TIVO to throw in a Gigabit Ethernet card in the Series 3 +, I will be running full speed at Gigabit speed to and from the TIVOs.

Just thought some might like to know that it works now and gives plenty of future room to grow for changes in the home network, be it TIVO or whatever. One thing you do want to mention if you don't know how to do this is make sure and tell your installer to spec out the above cable because most will say "You mean CAT 5e" and I always have to say "No! They ratified CAT 6 in Summer 2002 and Belden makes CAT 6 cables that are speced beyond those requirements and are CAT 6e." If you can afford the extra cost, I HIGHLY recommend a true Gigabit wired home ethernet. I couldn't be happier with what I did.

Also, please remember to ask TIVO for this option on future models. I payed only $80 or so for my Linksys Gigabit card and in bulk they should be half that. So I figure it may add about $40 to a new generation TIVO, something I would certainly pay for.

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Dan203 is offline Old Post 06-20-2003 05:59 AM
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Re: TIVO HMO and Gigabit Ethernet Works Great!

quote:
Originally posted by HTXpertGuy
I payed only $80 or so for my Linksys Gigabit card and in bulk they should be half that. So I figure it may add about $40 to a new generation TIVO, something I would certainly pay for.


You payed way to much for those cards! We recently put gigabit cards into two of our computers at work, and we only payed about $25 each for a couple of Netgear cards.

Dan

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SteakMan is offline Old Post 06-20-2003 11:41 PM
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And it will probably cost even less to add the components to the motherboard
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jdfs is offline Old Post 06-21-2003 06:56 AM
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I doubt gigabit would provide much, if any, of a performance boost over 100Mb. On 7200 RPM disks, the transfer speeds top out at 100Mbps. I doubt all that could be utilized anyway since the hardware is also always writing (live buffer) and reading (if not paused). So the direct links from the Tivo to the switch can be 100 Base-TX and the shared links (switch to switch), or links to devices that can utilize it, could be gigabit to keep network congestion down.

Also, gigabit can run over CAT5 cable.

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HTXpertGuy is offline Old Post 06-21-2003 09:56 AM
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jdfs:

I hate to contradict your comments, but there are some known issues with what you said.

First, you MUST run CAT 6 or CAT 6e cable according to the official specs if you want guranteed support for Gigabit Ethernet. See the white papers on them if you need more technical details. Granted, "CAT 5e" (NOT CAT 5) can support up to 1000Mbps. But what you failed to mention is that is the cap on CAT 5e and IS NOT offically recommended. Ask any intallers, talk with Network Administrators at computer companies if you don't believe me. You CAN NOT use CAT 5e for such purposes. The CAT 6 or even CAT 6e gives you the head room needed for such tasks and is speced out in the white papers.

Second, you DO get a huge performance boost from a Gigabit Ethernet. If you use a RAID configuration using SATA drives or SCSI's newest offerings, then it absolutly screams off the server. The point I was trying to make is that if TIVO does have a dedicated Ethernet connection (which they REALLY need) then it should be Gigabit speed. Doing so would certainly take the bottle neck off what I have now since you would be Gigabit from the TIVO to the home network server computer.

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jdfs is offline Old Post 06-21-2003 10:48 AM
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I'm sure there are servers that can take full advantage of the gigabit ethernet, but Tivo won't. I agree there should be a 10/100 port on the Tivo, that would be great. I don't see any reason to put anything faster. I don't think they would make all the other changes to the hardware to make gigabit beneficial. The same bottle neck would be there, the Tivo would just be using a fraction of the available bandwidth. But that doesn't stop you from running the rest of your network at gigabit speeds.

I've seen many papers that even say CAT5, not CAT5e, works with gigabit, but maybe those were older papers, or just have distance limitations. Obviously, if you're going to install a network at a corporation, you are not going to take any chances. If I already had CAT5 or CAT5e wire in the house, though, I would give it a try. Don't forget, the clock rate on gigabit is not really ten times faster then 100Mb. It's been a long time since I looked at it, but I believe it uses multiple pairs and more thresholds (which of course requires a cleaner signal), to up the bit rate. But you probably knew that already.

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SteakMan is offline Old Post 06-21-2003 11:50 AM
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You are both right.

I have two servers with 1000 cards connected with a 3' CAT5 x-over cable.

As the distance increases the speed will decrease, obviously the speed over CAT5 will drop sooner than 6, but it is gradual. It's not like 100' works and 101' doesn't. Especially if you only have a handful of devices.

If I was stringing a new house, I'd consider 6 or 6e, but if I already had 5 installed, I wouldn't let it keep me from buying Gigabit equipment.

-SteakMan-

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Dennis Wilkinson is offline Old Post 06-21-2003 12:17 PM
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Are you sure the TiVos are actually talking Gigabit? I ask because unless Linksys has shipped new models that aren't on their website yet, they don't ship any USB->Ethernet adapters that actually do Gigabit yet. Even if they had, it's unlikely that the TiVo software would recognize them (there were no Gigabit adapters in the last driver list I saw floating around here.)

I'd guess that the ports on your Gigaswitch that those TiVos are attached to have downshifted to 100baseT (not that that's anything to shrug at.)

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HTXpertGuy is offline Old Post 06-21-2003 05:36 PM
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HTXpertGuy
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Dennis:

Please go back up and read the posts I made a little more closely. If you do, you will see this has already been covered. Notice that I point out the current TIVO's don't transfer at Gigabit speed. They are confined to the both USB limitations AND 100Mbps speed (in theory). As has been mentioned, the worst part is there is no dedicated ethernet port/card in any TIVO's (yet). What I'm trying to point out is when TIVO does do this (which is certainly needed) it should be a "Gigabit" ethernet board so you can have the speed without bottlenecks as you say.

jdfs:

Some of your points I understand a little better now. However, the white papers do support my statements about CAT 6 over CAT 5e. Also, no where have I ever read that Gigabit is even close to supported on anything but CAT 5e or greater. It may have been discussed by the consortium many years ago about CAT 5 doing so, but was quickly dropped. No matter what the cable length is, CAT 5 was never OFFICALLY deemed Gigabit capable. Although, "CAT 5e" is of course mentioned as you know for Gigabit, but as you point out, that's the maximux threshold on it. Therefore, the longer the run the worse off you are in achieving guranteed Gigabit speed.

FYI: CAT 6/6e can run up to 325 feet guranteed Gigabit speed or better. The new Belden cables we run are all "CAT 6e" which goes beyond a gurantee of Gigabit speed at maximum length.

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Dennis Wilkinson is offline Old Post 06-21-2003 10:30 PM
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Dennis Wilkinson
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quote:
Originally posted by HTXpertGuy
Please go back up and read the posts I made a little more closely. If you do, you will see this has already been covered. Notice that I point out the current TIVO's don't transfer at Gigabit speed. They are confined to the both USB limitations AND 100Mbps speed (in theory). As has been mentioned, the worst part is there is no dedicated ethernet port/card in any TIVO's (yet). What I'm trying to point out is when TIVO does do this (which is certainly needed) it should be a "Gigabit" ethernet board so you can have the speed without bottlenecks as you say.


Actually, I had read your previous posts carefully -- nowhere did you mention that the TiVos were limited to 100baseT (you did mention the USB limitation,) and the title of the thread certainly suggests that the TiVos are talking Gigabit, which they aren't. To be clear: these are not TiVos running slowly on a gigabit network, they are TiVos running slowly on a 100baseT network. It's a subtle difference, but it is important. If it wasn't clear to me, it wasn't clear to others -- just didn't wany anyone confused.

I disagree that TiVo needs to build in the Ethernet support. USB 2.0 combined with 100baseT would be fast enough on a switched network for the TiVos, and on a switched network the TiVos wouldn't disturb/slow down the other devices. For existing homes, wireless or HPNA might be better choices. I wouldn't want to see TiVo include all of them. Heck, they could even drop the internal modem, and ship each box with your choice of adapter: modem, Ethernet, 802.11, HPNA, whatever.

(I'm an engineer -- that glass isn't half empty, it's twice as big as it needs to be. )

That being said, I think eventually TiVo probably will end up including Ethernet in the box, but I don't see it being gigabit unless it costs the same as 100baseT for the components, since the rest of the TiVo isn't really fast enough to handle gigabit data rates. Remember that initial gigabit cards were limited not by the network but but the systems and PCI busses they plugged in to. A TiVo is many things, but a server-class box it's not.

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HTXpertGuy is offline Old Post 06-23-2003 03:59 AM
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Corrections to posts by Dennis Wilkinson

Dennis:

I wanted to make sure and post this so anyone reading this thread knows the facts as they are for my useage. Don't take it as hard feelings or starting a debate, there is simply nothing to debate about and I'm only trying to present the facts to the readers.

Point 1:

quote:
To be clear: these are not TiVos running slowly on a gigabit network, they are TiVos running slowly on a 100baseT network.


Actually, this IS NOT correct. I have a home network setup using the parts described in the first post. It needs to be edited to reflect the Gigabit cards in my Computer Home Network servers, but that about it. Therefore, my entire network, minus devices such as TIVO, are running at Gigabit speed. So, this means the TIVO is the only bottleneck in the chain slowing things down. If it had Gigabit Ethernet support, then the entire chain point-to-point would be full speed. As it stands now, as has already been mentioned, TIVO is limited to 100Mbps at most.

Point 2:
quote:
I disagree that TiVo needs to build in the Ethernet support. USB 2.0 combined with 100baseT would be fast enough on a switched network for the TiVos, and on a switched network the TiVos wouldn't disturb/slow down the other devices.


Well, got to disagree STRONGLY with you there. Also, it's not as simple as USB 2.0 support combined with 100baseT causing bottlenecks. That wasn't at all what I have been refering to or the topic of this thread. What you state implies that it would be good enough to use USB 2.0 with 100baseT as long as you use a switch for your home network server routing. Everyone should realize they MUST use a "switch" hub for their home network to avoid bottlenecks. But, that has nothing to do with Gigabit speed VS slower Ethernet speeds such at 100baseT. Rather your home network is CAT 5e or CAT 6/6e, you need to use a "switch" to avoid the bottlenecks you speak of. Having built-in Gigabit Ethernet on a TIVO has nothing to do with what you refer to here. It's purly a home networking server issue only regarding the use of a "switch" router.

Point 3:
quote:
A TiVo is many things, but a server-class box it's not.


Well, I will sort of agree with you here and meet you half way. While I fully understand and so do many others that TIVO is not ever ment to be a server class box, that's exactly why you are SERVING it from your own home network computer(s). You can certainly achieve MUCH faster transfer speeds to and from the TIVO if it supported Gigabit Ethernet. Of couse, how much you realize depends entirely on your home network setup. You may not achieve full Gigabit speed, but you can certainly make it a LOT faster.

I think everyone should vote for built-in Ethernet support which is better than the USB work around now. The Gigabit Ethernet should be done when they do this so people that have Gigabit home networks like myself can take advantage of the increase in speed. It's my belief that if buying the chips/cards in bulk for the TIVOs they can easily get it in the ball park of just regular 100Mbps cards.

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Dennis Wilkinson is offline Old Post 06-23-2003 06:03 AM
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Dennis Wilkinson
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Re: Corrections to posts by Dennis Wilkinson

quote:
Originally posted by HTXpertGuy
I wanted to make sure and post this so anyone reading this thread knows the facts as they are for my useage. Don't take it as hard feelings or starting a debate, there is simply nothing to debate about and I'm only trying to present the facts to the readers.


No hard feelings, just a little friendly conversation on rainy (well, here, anyway) weekend.

quote:

quote:
To be clear: these are not TiVos running slowly on a gigabit network, they are TiVos running slowly on a 100baseT network.


Actually, this IS NOT correct.



Actually, the network the TiVo is attached to IS 100baseT. That's all your USB adapter supports, and the switch will have downshifted to 100baseT on that port as well. In effect, your switch is acting as a bridge between a 100baseT network where your TiVo(s) live, and a gigabit network that the remainder of your devices live on. The fact that they're both talking over Cat6e UTP (which is merely a rating of the physical wiring and connections, not the signals traveling over it, for anyone still reading this who isn't a network geek.) It's also most likely a single IP subnetwork as you've described it, but again, that has nothing to do with the base-ness of Ethernet.


quote:

quote:
I disagree that TiVo needs to build in the Ethernet support. USB 2.0 combined with 100baseT would be fast enough on a switched network for the TiVos, and on a switched network the TiVos wouldn't disturb/slow down the other devices.


Well, got to disagree STRONGLY with you there. Also, it's not as simple as USB 2.0 support combined with 100baseT causing bottlenecks. That wasn't at all what I have been refering to or the topic of this thread. What you state implies that it would be good enough to use USB 2.0 with 100baseT as long as you use a switch for your home network server routing. Everyone should realize they MUST use a "switch" hub for their home network to avoid bottlenecks. But, that has nothing to do with Gigabit speed VS slower Ethernet speeds such at 100baseT. Rather your home network is CAT 5e or CAT 6/6e, you need to use a "switch" to avoid the bottlenecks you speak of. Having built-in Gigabit Ethernet on a TIVO has nothing to do with what you refer to here. It's purly a home networking server issue only regarding the use of a "switch" router.



Only the physical wiring is Cat5/5e/6e/whatever, Having 6e installed is nice, but it doesn't give you a gigabit network, just a gigabit-capable one. You still need the devices to be speaking the right language, so to speak.

But you're missing my reason for disagreeing. My point is that people end up paying for things they don't need. I don't know that there's a consensus on what the most common home networks will be. Maybe it'll be wired Ethernet. Maybe it'll be wireless. Maybe HPNA. Maybe no network, just a modem connection. Given that, why NOT stick with USB and dongle-of-your-choice? Could even be a gigabit dongle, right? Sure, you're limited by the top speed of USB 2.0 (which isn't too shabby for a single attached device), but I suspect the rest of the TiVo would impose limits before you got there.

quote:
quote:
A TiVo is many things, but a server-class box it's not.

Well, I will sort of agree with you here and meet you half way. While I fully understand and so do many others that TIVO is not ever ment to be a server class box, that's exactly why you are SERVING it from your own home network computer(s). You can certainly achieve MUCH faster transfer speeds to and from the TIVO if it supported Gigabit Ethernet. Of couse, how much you realize depends entirely on your home network setup. You may not achieve full Gigabit speed, but you can certainly make it a LOT faster.

I think everyone should vote for built-in Ethernet support which is better than the USB work around now. The Gigabit Ethernet should be done when they do this so people that have Gigabit home networks like myself can take advantage of the increase in speed. It's my belief that if buying the chips/cards in bulk for the TIVOs they can easily get it in the ball park of just regular 100Mbps cards.



Can a TiVo be a server? Sure. Heck, I even had a ancient Mac SE/30 running as a file server until a few years ago. But that's not "server class" as most network admins think about it (which tends to imply lots of keep-the-system-up features like RAID and redundant power supplies.)

It's the fact that a TiVo is relatively low-power that leaves me unconviced that a TiVo would really be much faster on a gigabit network. If the rest of the system couldn't keep up, I don't think the TiVo would be saturating that network.

Edited to clean up some formatting

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Last edited by Dennis Wilkinson on 06-23-2003 at 06:29 AM

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jwehman is offline Old Post 06-23-2003 07:12 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by jdfs
On 7200 RPM disks, the transfer speeds top out at 100Mbps. .


Just a clarification: 7200RPM drives can transfer data at up to 70 MB/s...that's Mega BYTES per second, which translates to 560 Mbps. One can't exactly correlate ethernet to Disk-data rate, but I just wanted to point out the incorrect statement above.

This post might have been meaning to state 100 MB/s, which is the UDMA5 transfer-rate max, but again that's mega-BYTES per second.

Rgds,

JohnW

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SteakMan is offline Old Post 06-23-2003 05:13 PM
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Re: Corrections to posts by Dennis Wilkinson

quote:
Originally posted by HTXpertGuy
Everyone should realize they MUST use a "switch" hub for their home network to avoid bottlenecks. But, that has nothing to do with Gigabit speed VS slower Ethernet speeds such at 100baseT. Rather your home network is CAT 5e or CAT 6/6e
Why do you keep insisting this?
http://www.10gea.org/GEA_copper_0999_rev-wp.pdf
A little research, and I take back my "You are both right" above

I wanted to find specs on max distance for GB over CAT5, and guess what? It's the same as 100 TX. GB was designed to work over existing installations. 90% of existing Cat5 100 TX installations will support GB up to 100 meters, the remaining 10% are likely due to poor or non-standard connections.

Oh, and Dennis is 100% correct about the switched network.

-SteakMan-

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HTXpertGuy is offline Old Post 06-23-2003 06:54 PM
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HTXpertGuy
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Steakman:

I'm a little confused on your comments on the last post. I made my points about the switched network, which should be clear.

Dennis said:

quote:
In effect, your switch is acting as a bridge between a 100baseT network where your TiVo(s) live, and a gigabit network that the remainder of your devices live on.


Which is true and what I ment to state. But, what I keep stating is if TIVO had built in Gigabit support, when the entire chain would be Gigabit both from the home network servers to the TIVOS.

Actually Steakman, you are citing examples from non supported white papers that the consortium for TIA does not support today. I read the article in the link of your last post and this is OLD. Plus, it only talks about CAT 5 and is still NOT CORRECT. Offically, CAT 5 NEVER, I repeat, NEVER supported Gigabit. It was CAT 5e which was speced in the final white papers by TIA and the consortium to achieve Gigabit at the maximum levels. Running it over plain CAT 5 was never an option. Your paper here is full of old and incorrect information in certain major areas.

quote:
90% of existing Cat5 100 TX installations will support GB up to 100 meters, the remaining 10% are likely due to poor or non-standard connections.


Must 100% disagree with you there and I can prove it wrong for a fact. There is no way that even CAT 5e over the maximum distance will support anything close to Gigabit speeds. The shorter the distance the more likely you are to achieve it, but it's not OFFICALLY supported or guranteed to be such. You stating the remaining 10% is likely due to poor connections if totally incorrect as well. A poor connection will show up no matter what the speed is. All you have to do is use a network tone/tester, ping the runs and find your speeds. Many tools on the market give you a digital read out of just how fast the run is and if there any trouble at all. If you have a poor connection it should tell you and that will effect everything you do, not just Gigabit Ethernet.

Try looking at the current white papers for more details to read more on Gigabit. It was only offically ratified the Summer of 2002. TIA has some good reads as does many cable makers such as Belden, Berktek, etc.

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HTXpertGuy is offline Old Post 06-23-2003 07:13 PM
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HTXpertGuy
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Dennis:

I think we are both saying somewhat the same things, but just not communicating it with each other. However, I'm still going to disagree with you are certain things you've stated as I know for fact some of it is not correct. The only thing I wanted to address for fact is no matter what, a wired network is ALWAYS better than wireless if you can access it. They are certainly more reliable and won't slow down. Granted, Wireless "G" is better, but even 5 plus years there won't be anything near as good as wired because of FCC mandates and other matters. Therefore, the point is, why not have TIVO make it the best with Gigabit Ethernet support?

The best thing to do so I don't confuse others is to try to drop discussing technical matters for now. In short, if TIVO did have Gigabit Ethernet adaptor built-in, I would have true Gigabit speed (or close to) on my home network and can prove it at that time.

Just any FYI:

I'm a Computer Science major too and work as a Network Administrator custom designing network computer systems for small businesses (i.e. Doctor's offices, Law Offices, etc.) So, at least we have that in common.

A few details:

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jdfs is offline Old Post 06-23-2003 08:40 PM
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I still don't understand how gigabit ethernet on Tivo would make any difference to your network. I think we all agree:
1) The Tivo will not be able to take advantage of the extra speed. I stated it would probably not be able to fully utilize 100Mbit even.
2) For the same reason, a server will not be able to send the Tivo data faster then 100Mb (because the Tivo couldn't handle it)
3) This does not slow down the rest of your network except for the data path between the Tivo and server (it will have to do a lot of waiting and/or resends, but can still do other tasks while waiting)

If you swapped out the USB2.0 for gigabit, items 1, 2, and 3 would still be true.

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SteakMan is offline Old Post 06-23-2003 09:19 PM
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SteakMan
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Registered: Nov 2001
Location: Chicago
Posts: 765

quote:
Originally posted by HTXpertGuy
Which is true and what I ment to state. But, what I keep stating is if TIVO had built in Gigabit support, when the entire chain would be Gigabit both from the home network servers to the TIVOS.
Ah, OK.
quote:
Actually Steakman, you are citing examples from non supported white papers that the consortium for TIA does not support today. I read the article in the link of your last post and this is OLD. Plus, it only talks about CAT 5 and is still NOT CORRECT. Offically, CAT 5 NEVER, I repeat, NEVER supported Gigabit. It was CAT 5e which was speced in the final white papers by TIA and the consortium to achieve Gigabit at the maximum levels. Running it over plain CAT 5 was never an option. Your paper here is full of old and incorrect information in certain major areas.

You must not have read the paper if you think that is what it says. In fact, it doesn't say any cable will officially support GB because it IS from 1999.

The gist of it is as I summarized. GB was developed to run on existing installations, otherwise adoption would be too slow. The TIA may have dropped that philosophy, but that doesn't change the origins.

It also points out something I knew and forgot... Cat5 is rated at 100MHz. Cat5e is also rated at 100MHz, so Gigabit Ethernet must not need more than 100MHz.

There is no difference between Cat5 and Cat5e except that the 5e was tested to make sure that the return loss and ELFEXT are within spec. Cat5 doesn't spec out the return loss or ELFEXT at all, so it isn't tested. I've read that most Cat5 will actually meet Cat5e specs if you test it. That is why most 100 TX installations will work with GB and that is why you can sometimes clean it up at the connections.

-SteakMan-

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SteakMan is offline Old Post 06-23-2003 09:26 PM
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SteakMan
TiVo Forum Special Member

Registered: Nov 2001
Location: Chicago
Posts: 765

quote:
Originally posted by HTXpertGuy
The best thing to do so I don't confuse others is to try to drop discussing technical matters for now.
Naw, that's one of the things that makes this forum great

I'm sure of my facts but welcome the education if you can show me that I'm wrong.

-SteakMan-

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BlankMan is offline Old Post 06-23-2003 09:28 PM
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BlankMan
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Registered: Mar 2002
Location: WI
Posts: 1438

I do agree, I was misled by this:

TIVO HMO and Gigabit Ethernet Works Great!

I was wondering how you would do that over USB, so it succeeded in getting my attention for the most part.

And I agree, 5e works fine with Gigabit, my whole house is wired with it and my backbone and major runs are are all Gigabit using 3Com switches. I see no degradation in signal level but even my longest run does not approach the limit. You cannot be as sloppy with pinning and crimping the connections when using 5e, 6 is more forgiving, but you shouldn't be sloppy anyway.

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