MRV Can't Start with Netgear XE104 Powerline Adapters (1 Viewer)

jimjar

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Jun 24, 2009
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I have a number of Netgear XE104 Powerline adapters throughout my house, including in two adjacent rooms where I have my HR-22 and HR-23 DVRs. I have had the XE104's for a couple of years, and I have liked them. I have used them in the past for TIVO MRV with no problems. They are rated at 85Mb/s.

My DirecTV DVRs have been working fine over the XE104's to connect to the internet. The DVRs have good IP addresses on the same subnet.

My problem is that the two receivers don't seem to be able to see each other for DirecTV MRV. If I connect a long ethernet cable directly between the two rooms, MRV starts working within a minute.

The funny thing is, if I start watching a program with MRV and then disconnect the direct cable, the DVRs can then find each other through the Powerline connection and the program continues streaming over the Powerline, although the receivers no longer show each others programs on the 'list' screen. There seems to be sufficient bandwidth over the Powerline once the DVRs can find each other.

It seems like whatever protocol the DirecTV DVRs use to find each other and exchange the recorded program list is blocked by the XE104 Powerline adapters, but the data transfer protocol works fine.

Has anybody successfully used MRV over XE104's ? Over any other Netgear Powerline adapters ?
 

cfb

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 10, 2009
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I've run it with old school netgear 10Mb/s powerline (SD ok, HD ridiculously choppy) and Panasonic 170Mb/s powerline units (SD ok, HD very choppy). I know people have used 85Mb/s adapters from a variety of providers, some with success and some without. Some people with hard wired setups have trouble with one HR seeing another.

I'll have to dust off my network analyzer and put it on to see what they're doing protocol-wise. I know from the bits and pieces that I've seen that they're using a lot of unusual, seldom used and/or off-the-beaten-path protocols, primarily to handle peer to peer networking if there isnt a router/dhcp server and a whole lot of encryption on the wire.

Sometimes I wish directv spent a lot more time on robustness and performance and less time on the tons of stuff they do to prevent a very small number of people from stealing content.
 

yawn9

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Aug 28, 2008
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I've run it with old school netgear 10Mb/s powerline (SD ok, HD ridiculously choppy) and Panasonic 170Mb/s powerline units (SD ok, HD very choppy). I know people have used 85Mb/s adapters from a variety of providers, some with success and some without. Some people with hard wired setups have trouble with one HR seeing another.

I'll have to dust off my network analyzer and put it on to see what they're doing protocol-wise. I know from the bits and pieces that I've seen that they're using a lot of unusual, seldom used and/or off-the-beaten-path protocols, primarily to handle peer to peer networking if there isnt a router/dhcp server and a whole lot of encryption on the wire.

Sometimes I wish directv spent a lot more time on robustness and performance and less time on the tons of stuff they do to prevent a very small number of people from stealing content.
I'm pretty sure that the main protocols they're using are DLNA+DTCP. DLNA uses broadcast traffic to announce new servers, if I remember correctly. DLNA is common nowadays, DTCP is the encryption..
 

cfb

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 10, 2009
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True, DLNA is common but there are still a lot of compatibility issues. They also use a set of microsoft protocols for peer to peer networking when a dhcp server/upnp service is unavailable. They also make heavy use of upnp and there are a number of routers that have a variety of issues with their upnp implementations. Even the current release of dd-wrt has a fair number of known upnp issues.

I guess my point was less that what they're doing is weird than what they're doing is a little removed from the usual microsoft/apple stuff that the average router/operating system has to deal with and you're lucky if the microsoft/apple stuff works 100%.

For example, the HR's used to have issues with some network printers and the popcorn hour device because either the HR or the other 3rd party device did things that werent typical. I know when I had the protocol analyzer on the wire last year that the HR was periodically very chatty with everything else on the network. I have a upnp service and some media sharing stuff on my laptop, and the HR20 was trying its darndest to strike up a conversation.

Back to the OT, I'm guessing they're doing something with a broadcast or multicast that the XE104 is filtering out because the average windows/mac client doesnt use it and up until now nobody has had a serious problem with what they're filtering it out. Its not unusual...I see a lot of people with various powerline or wireless bridges/game adapters that wont work on an HR2x.
 

jimjar

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Jun 24, 2009
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Tucson
Okay...I can read the handwriting on the wall, and there aren't too many adjustments I can make with the XE104's or my HR-2x boxes. I will try another brand of Powerline adapters and see what happens.
 

cfb

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 10, 2009
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One last thing to try. Connect the two HR's with two of the XE104s but not to your router or anything else. HR to XE104, second XE104 to the other HR. No other XE104's plugged in anywhere in the house.

See if it comes up and if it does, try streaming some heavy HD content like a football game from NFLHD and see if the quality is good.

It may be that the XE104 is blocking something that your router needs to help facilitate the connection. By making a direct connection with the two powerline adapters, the two HR's should behave as though they're hardwired together.

If it doesnt work, the powerline adapters just arent going to work. If this does work and the quality stinks, you'll know you need powerline adapters that are > 85Mb/s. If it works and the quality is good, you may be able to tweak the router settings or get yourself a snazzy new wireless N router for $35 that could solve the problem.

I'm sort of guessing your router has some kind of upnp or dlna issue that the powerline adapter is aggravating. Is there a firmware upgrade for your router or the xe104's that you dont have?
 

cfb

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 10, 2009
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Found your problem...

Answer

Looks like you can wait for some firmware for the XE104 to resolve this, or new powerline adapters.

Heres a fairly wacky option for replacement powerline units:

[ame="http://www.amazon.com/NBG-318S-Powerline-HomePlug-802-11g-Wireless/dp/B000VY72PQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1245956578&sr=1-1"]Amazon.com: ZyXEL NBG-318S 200 Mbps Powerline HomePlug AV 802.11g Wireless Router: Electronics@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31JEkK25wtL.@@AMEPARAM@@31JEkK25wtL[/ame]

This is a wireless b/g router that incorporates a built in 200Mb/s AV powerline adapter that works through the single power plug for the router, $35. It also has a four port 100Mb/s ethernet switch in it. You can simply disable the wireless piece and turn off all the unique router functions like DHCP, and assign a static IP address to each router that isnt the one connected to the internet.

You can basically turn this cheap router into a powerline adapter, or leave the wireless turned on and have multiple 11g hotspots with integrated four port wired switches, all backboned by the 200Mb/s powerline AV connection.

They're cheap because not many people have thought of buying 2-5 routers and using them as a wired/wireless access point to powerline. Half the price of a plain vanilla 200Mb/s powerline AV adapter, plus a free switch and wireless if you need it. Not bad...
 

cfb

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 10, 2009
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jimjar

Thread Starter
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Jun 24, 2009
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Tucson
cfb, I saw the Netgear solution article but I never found the fix code. I will give that a try.
 

jimjar

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Jun 24, 2009
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cfb, you nailed it !!

(took me a little while...the Netgear firmware app only works on WinXP so I had to build a WinXP machine)

I loaded the new Netgear firmware and MRV started working across the NetGear Powerline . Problem solved !!
 

cfb

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 10, 2009
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Cool, glad that fixed it.

BTW, someone somewhere (i'm sure a google would find it) came up with a tool that lets you build a winxp cd/dvd boot disk. You cant run complex apps that fiddle with the registry and whatnot but one-off .exe's run good with it. I made one and used it a few times when I first started running vista on my main machine and I was bumping into all sorts of things that wouldnt run on vista.

Another BTW...netgear didnt bother to link their new firmware to the problem statement like they said they would back a few years ago, nor did they put it on their download list for the product...but they did go out of their way to allude to the fact that other powerline networking products may experience the same problem, which leads me to believe they were using some common piece of code in their firmware that other suppliers of powerline AV products were also using.

So if others have similar problems with powerline gear, shake the trees for any firmware upgrades.
 

twizt3dkitty

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Feb 15, 2009
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Pennsylvania, United States
Heres a fairly wacky option for replacement powerline units:

Amazon.com: ZyXEL NBG-318S 200 Mbps Powerline HomePlug AV 802.11g Wireless Router: Electronics

This is a wireless b/g router that incorporates a built in 200Mb/s AV powerline adapter that works through the single power plug for the router, $35. It also has a four port 100Mb/s ethernet switch in it. You can simply disable the wireless piece and turn off all the unique router functions like DHCP, and assign a static IP address to each router that isnt the one connected to the internet.

They're cheap because not many people have thought of buying 2-5 routers and using them as a wired/wireless access point to powerline. Half the price of a plain vanilla 200Mb/s powerline AV adapter, plus a free switch and wireless if you need it. Not bad...

Amazon is listing this at 85$ right now :( Im gonna check ebay. does anyone use these with MRV?
 

cfb

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 10, 2009
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I think a lot of sellers have wised up to people buying these as cheap 200mb/s powerline adapters with the bonus switch/wireless/routing capability.

However...

FadFusion.com: NBG318S ZyXEL NBG-318S HOMEPLUG AV POWERLINE WIRELESS ROUTER
Zyxel NBG-318S Wireless Powerline Router - NBG318S
NEW ZyXEL Wireless Router Powerline NBG-318S 200 Mbps: NBG-318S-A netdirectbargains.com

Dont know anything about any of those sellers, but there are ratings in google and reseller ratings for them. Couple of them have good ratings.
 

twizt3dkitty

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Feb 15, 2009
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I think a lot of sellers have wised up to people buying these as cheap 200mb/s powerline adapters with the bonus switch/wireless/routing capability.

However...

FadFusion.com: NBG318S ZyXEL NBG-318S HOMEPLUG AV POWERLINE WIRELESS ROUTER
Zyxel NBG-318S Wireless Powerline Router - NBG318S
NEW ZyXEL Wireless Router Powerline NBG-318S 200 Mbps: NBG-318S-A netdirectbargains.com

Dont know anything about any of those sellers, but there are ratings in google and reseller ratings for them. Couple of them have good ratings.


Hey just a quick thought on this, does anyone know if it can use a powerline for its wan source? as in can I hook one up to my main router and bridge it, then use a second downstairs using the powerline as its wan feed, and connect d*, ps3, blueray, and tv (updates) ?? Im trying to keep wireless turned off everywhere possible.
 

cfb

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 10, 2009
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No reason why not but I've never tried it. The only hitch would be if the powerline devices registered as multiple non-NAT IP addresses to the ISP, who might not like that if your terms of service are for a single IP address.

Of course using the zyxel arrangement, you could use a zyxel powerline router where the WAN enters, firewall there and route the WAN traffic to a second zyxel router with the powerline as the backbone. Even at the lowest possible speeds in a legally wired home, you'd still exceed any high speed internet carrier throughput, unless you have a FIOS type connection.

Then you'd have a switch/wireless at the WAN POE, and also at the other end, at no additional cost but could turn off the wireless.

I like to minimize the wireless as well, but i'm running WPA2/AES. If anyone can break into that, they can have my lousy information.
 

twizt3dkitty

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Feb 15, 2009
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LOL, i like that wireless comment, i have verizon dsl 7.1 (no fios here) and its ppoe, i have to bridge my modem and have my router login to my isp, i was hoping that maybe i could just bridge the zyxel's and run them as switches, i just dont know if the powerline will support that as the uplink.

In the perfect senario, I would have a total of 3 routers, (or i could buy a 8port switch) right now i have the modem (single port) bridged to a linksys ddwrt wrt54gs, and the 4 ports are all in use, 1 and 2 are for 2 desktops sitting right next to the router, 3 is to a H21, 4 is to a dtv powerline adapter. I then have a powerline adapter in the same room running a r22, one in another room just as an internet feed to another desktop, and one downstairs in the living room for the hr22. my goal is to eliminate the power line on the r22 (switch used here) and also allow add another port or two for future gaming systems/blue ray/whatever, and then to get another router/switch in the living room, as there is an HR22, PS3, BD, and the TV itself with Lan ports there. So 4 ports would be used in the living room, 2 possibly 3 used at the tv in my room, and 3 used at the computer section of my room, before taking powerline feeds into consideration, so thats a total of 10 devices i suppose and you never know when other rooms may want to access MRV or such. I was thinking to keep the linksys bridged to the modem, run a zyxel at the tv of that room, and bridge it to the linksys, then use another zyxel in the living room getting its wan feed from the powerline of the previous zyxel. I just kinda want a little bit more knowledge of how the zyxel works before i shell out to buy two...
 
Last edited:

cfb

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 10, 2009
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It should do what you want, but I'm not 100% sure.

You should be able to go dsl modem to your existing linksys. One port on that linksys to a zyxel powerline router thats plugged into the wall, wireless off. That gives you 3 ports left on the linksys and 3 on the zyxel. Another zyxel whereever you want it, four ports there.

Turn off the wireless and dhcp server on all but your linksys, so the linksys will be the master dhcp server. That'll make all the zyxels just powerline routers with a switch on them.

There is also a zyxel product thats just a 4 port switch on a 200Mb/s powerline. Those can be had for <$60. Basically you'd lose the full routing/QOS/wireless aspects of the cheaper router, but it doesnt sound like you want or need the capabilities. Be simpler to set up, just plug and play.

Newegg.com - ZyXEL PLA470 Up to 200Mbps HomePlug AV Powerline Switch - Powerline Networking
 

cfb

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 10, 2009
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Yeah, the routers cheaper and has a lot more flexibility. But the number of places selling it for <$40 is drying up. Most are now charging $90+, which is a more sensible price point considering its $60+ just for the 200Mb/s powerline adapter.

Just one of those goofy mispricing things that the free market eventually sorted out.
 

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