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Picture of How to set up a coax (MoCA) network
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Like many existing homes, my parents' home has a limited wired Ethernet network and a wireless (Wi-Fi) network covering the rest. My mom, who has rented Netflix DVDs for a while, wanted to start streaming her favorite shows in the family room and bedroom rather than waiting for disks. Prior to me coming home for Labor Day, they set up an Apple TV on the wireless network. I recommended that they switch to a wired network connection for a faster and more reliable solution.

My parents' Ethernet network is limited to the home office and a small bedroom directly above it. With the family room and bedroom on the opposite side of the house, expanding the wired Ethernet network conventionally would have been labor intensive. Fortunately, there's a wired networking solution that allows high speed Ethernet to bridge over the existing coax cable (cable TV) network in the home. It's called MoCA.

Before I get into the installation, the next step will cover a quick overview of the coax networking technology. 
 
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Step 1: What is coax networking (MoCA)?

A coax network is an extension of the existing home network onto the coax cable network in the home. Just like Wi-Fi is the ubiquitous standard for wireless home networks, MoCA is the nearly ubiquitous standard for coax networks. MoCA stands for the Multimedia over Coax Alliance. If your cable service provider offers a service called Multi-Room DVR, they are almost certainly using MoCA to enable it.

The current standard for MoCA is 1.1 and the equipment used in this project is standards compliant. 

A MoCA network is broadcasted roughly between 500MHz and 1.5GHz (1500MHz). The technology is designed so that it does not interfere with the broadcasts of traditional cable TV service. However, satellite TV, which runs on different spectrum, is not compatible with the 1.1 MoCA standard. For their respective multi-room DVR services, they use a proprietary coax networking technology. The MoCA 2.0 standard in development is expected to work for all service providers. 

To get the most detailed and updated information about this technology, visit the MoCA website.
http://www.mocalliance.org/
khurtwilliams5 months ago

Something about this setup bothers me.

You are splitting your cable signal. One line goes to the cable modem and the other to the MoCA adapter. The network signal then goes into the MoCA adapter which sends your network packets back out through the splitter back to the same wire that's coming in from the public feed.

I'm concerned about security. It seems to me that with your setup you are pushing you network signal back over the public cable segment.

2 things:

1st is you are not splitting the cable signal. The MoCA adapter is an In-Line adapter. It has an input (from your cable) and an output ( to your cable modem)

2nd is there is really no need to worry about security. Every cable tech is required to insatll a MoCa filter at the POE (point of entry) to your home...usually the ground block or the input of the first splitter. This keeps your MoCA network contained strictly to your home. Also many MoCA devices such as TIVO have an option to secure you MoCA network with a password.

ravin108 (author)  khurtwilliams5 months ago
Hi Khurt,

Very good point. For security, you can purchase a MoCA signal blocker and place it at the entry point of the system.

In many instances, a cable amplifier will also filter the MoCA signal.
jcoman ravin1082 months ago

Putting a MoCA filter in place is not an option on a CATV system, it's required. By failing to put one on, you are introducing noise onto the system, causing problems for your cable company. These problems include degraded service to you and your neighbors and the potential to crash the node you are part of. This will cause an outage in your area.

As to what khurtwilliams said, he is correct in pointing out that your network will be insecure. However, your network will only be open to a handful of your neighbors. The reason for this is the frequency MoCA operates at, and the type of coax used in your house. The attenuation is great at the frequency range MoCA is operating at. Also, because CATV amplifiers typically operate between 5 and1,000 MHz (some systems have older equipment that operates even lower in frequency), the MoCA signal is blocked after the amplifier. Basically, only your next door neighbors will be able to see your network if they are also have MoCA adapters.

To add to this discussion, if you experience issues with your television service after adding MoCA - things like freezing and tiling on digital TV channels - add a MoCA filter to the affected televisions but in reverse. MoCA filters are one-way and block between 1-1.5 MHz. Flipping it keeps the MoCA signals out.

fred_elkins5 months ago

Do you actually need cable service for this to work or will it just work with existing coax? I don't have cable but have coax throughout the house

ravin108 (author)  fred_elkins5 months ago
Fred,
Great question.
No need for active cable service. It will work with an existing coax network. If you have any issues, check the quality of your splitters.
Dtnel787 days ago
I have the wcb3000n myself to extend the wireless range upstairs. Bought it based on the great feedback I'd seen online and to help keep the drop you get with standard range extenders down.

My problem is when I have it installed properly per mfr instructions using the splitter with one going to the quad tivo box and the other the range extender the wi fi signal drops after a period of time of the network being up.

I've also found that it keeps the TiVo boxes both which are quad tuner TiVos from updating the guide for upcoming shows so I have to unplug the actiontec range extender then I can update the program guides on the tivo. Downstairs where the Poe is for the cable into the house in the utility closet there's a splitter with one going to a booster then one going for cable TV per the install techs a few yrs ago with signal issues which were resolved.

The other cable feeds the modem to the router. A cable comes off the router then feeds into a actiontec 2500 then injects the network signal into the cable network. With it being injected using the traditional moca to Ethernet adapter means I need to concert the signal from cable (moca) back to internet standard which is where the wcb3000n comes in as it's designed for this. The only thing I added to the network was the 3000n as the 2500 was already in place to feed the 2 quad tuner TiVo boxes and the mini which existed.

Has anyone had this issue and resolved it or is there somewhere on the TiVo forums anyone is aware of I need to look. I've thought about calling actiontec but I figure my fellow geeks out here will get me further before I try them support as we all have the school of hard knocks (experience) behind us instead of some industry standard troubleshooting chart some guy halfway around the world will follow and waste more of my time. Any help, suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
Malkaris1 month ago

These units aren't quite as cheap as wifi-dongles, or even using extra routers as wireless-bridges. If anyone knew of a homebrew/hack way to push signals down coax I'd love to see an instructable on that.

craigb58 months ago

Hi, I have a router on a dsl network and use coax cables that run from the HD OTA antenna to each of my two tv's currently. Can I split the coaxial cable coming from the antenna and run it to the router with a moca adapter, and then use the tv coax runs for the network connection as well, using splitters at each tv to avoid the signal interference problems you mentioned? I am planning to use the MOCA setup for a couple of tivo devices. Thanks, Craig

jcoman craigb52 months ago

I know this is 5-months late, but hopefully others that need help with MoCA will find this comment of use.

You mention using splitters in your setup.

Things to be aware of when setting up MoCA include using splitters that are rated for 5-1000 MHz (the highest they go). If you have splitters lower in frequency, it's likely your MoCA signal will be blocked at the splitter and nearly failed installation is caused by this mistake. Usually it's splitters rated for 500 or 750 MHz that cause the failure.

Also, use as few splitters as possible. The insertion loss is considerable with a splitter (a design feature). Any more than two splitters between a MoCA and the second device will cause the installation to fail.

ravin108 (author)  craigb57 months ago

Hi Craig,
Here's a link to a thread about setting up MoCA for OTA antenna setups. http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.ph...

Let us know how it goes.

lynn.yamagata4 months ago

I have a ZOOM AC1900 Model 5363 cable modem, and 2 Actiontec ECB2500C MoCA adapters. I am setting up my MoCA network for the first time. My modem says, "Integrated MoCA reject filter" I am a little confused about this.

1. From what I have read the filter should go where the cable comes into the house. Does that mean the router or the wall jack?

2. Do I need an adapter attached to the router? Or does the router already have an adapter if it has a filter?

3. I am trying to have MoCA in 3 rooms, 1 room has the router and 1 comcast cable set top box, the other 2 rooms have TIVO premier boxes. I am not sure if I need a third MoCA adapter or not.

ravin108 (author)  lynn.yamagata4 months ago

Hi Lynn,

1. Because your modem has a MoCA filter, you do not need to worry about adding a filter to your system.

2. For you to transition a network from twisted pair to coax cable, you need an adapter.

3. I advise calling TiVO's technical support to answer this question.

jcoman ravin1082 months ago

Ravin108,

I disagree. You do have to install a MoCA filter at the demarcation point at your house. This will be outside the house where the cable comes in.

The filter in the modem is to keep MoCA signals out of the modem. MoCA can cause issues with a modem, like causing speeds to slow or service to drop, because of noise from the MoCA on the downstream.

The reject filter is there to prevent MoCA signals from causing interference (noise) on your downstream. MoCA can cause problems with devices that do not require it to operate. To prevent this interference, it's common practice to install a MoCA filter backwards at each non-MoCA device to keep MoCA signals out. That's what this filter you reference is for.

slickwillyj055 months ago

I actually want to do the opposite of ethernet over coax. My house is fully wired with CAT6, but no coax. When Xfinity was installed, the tech would only run a single coax line into my living room. I have a splitter, with one cable going to my TV box and one cable going to my Internet modem (sitting on the TV stand as well). I want to use this device (or any other device) to put additional cable boxes in other rooms using CAT6. I am very tech savvy, so switches, routers, whatever is needed is no problem. I have looked everywhere online and can only find applications for Ethernet over Coax, not Coax over Ethernet. Thanks for any help

This is do able but only if you understand what the purpose of MoCA is and have devices that utilize these features.

The deal with MoCA is it puts internet on the coax, it cannot put television on CAT5/6. The reason for this is simple. CATV operates between 5-750 MHz (in most systems). MoCA uses a single channel (about 6 MHz wide) to put internet into an area there are no CATV signals.

With that said, if you have a set top box, like a TiVO Q for example, you can install that at the point you have CATV service and then use that CAT5, or CAT 6, to run TiVO minis. TiVO minis are streaming devices and have no receiver. They use the receiver in the Q, which creates a stream to the Mini. That stream is transported via the intranet created by the MoCA.

This may not be relevant to you anymore, but... If you are not using the ethernet and simply need that cable to act as a coax cable, you are looking for what is called a "balun". Otherwise, if you are wanting both ethernet and and coax, amd you dont need PoE ethernet, you could co-opt these lines to perform the same job the balun would. Over shorter distance (100ft or so) this "shouldn't" create much issue.
ravin108 (author)  slickwillyj055 months ago
Hi Slick,

The MoCA standard won't help you here. You'll need the help of Comcast with Xfinity, I'm afraid.
JerelK3 months ago

Thanks for the article. I'm not sure what to do in my situation. We live in a rural area and have direct tv and hughes net satellite internet. Currently there are three rooms currently with directv thru coax and there are four bedrooms that have coax but not connected to directv. We want internet to run in those four rooms, plus in two of the three rooms with directv. I currently have the hughesnet cable modem connected to my linksys router and running wireless but I want to run wired internet through all the coax. Is there a different installation protocol in my situation?

ravin108 (author) 10 months ago
CR4,
Thanks for the message!
You would put the filter at the point of entry before the first splitter.
You do not necessarily need an amplifier. It's best to centralize the distribution as much as possible, so go with one 4 way splitter instead of two 2-ways.
You should place the first MoCA adapter where you can best access the Ethrernet network and coax network in one place.
I recommend installing the MoCA adapter with its own dedicated coax run. There's greater margin for error otherwise.
Good luck!
CR411 months ago

Thanks for the MoCA info! I am hoping to hook up a MoCA system in our Adobe home which has many dead spots because the walls are so thick. Fortunately, our house has coax wired into every room. We have a utility closet where the comcast point of entry. We are only using Internet and phone from Comcast- no TV signal.

At the point of entry there is a splitter which the phone modem is hooked into and the other goes to the 1st floor office coax outlet where the modem/router (its an all in one unit, MoCA light is on) resides.

What I want to do is have 4 rooms activated with the MoCA adapters. These 4 rooms have coax outlets where the coax runs from the room to the basement utility closet, where the cable point of entry is.

My questions are:
Do I need a filter at the cable Point of Entry before the 2 way splitter?

Do I replace that 2 way splitter with a 4 way splitter or should I add on a 4 way splitter off the 2 way? if I do that will I need an amplifier?

Can I hook up a MoCA adapter right after the Point of Entry splitter then hook up the 4 way splitter to go off to each room then at the outlets hook up the MoCA adapters. Keeping the modem in the office on the first floor? Or would I hook up the modem in the basement utility closet as well?

Or does anyone know of a MoCA device that hooks into the point of entry which has multiple coax outs? And would something like that work in my house?

Thanks for any input!

Mr.M111 months ago

I have the actiontec ECB2500C MoCA network adapter and the WCB3000N Wireless Ethernet Coax Bridge.

In my home office downstairs:

Adapter: coax from the wall to in port. the out coax is to the modem and the ethernet is to the wifi router . It shows power and ethernet light but coax light is not illuminated.

Bridge: in upstairs room coax from the wall is to the coax port (only one) and of course power. It also shows power light and 2.4 and 5 ghz signal illuminated but no coax light.

Should I put the splitters coming off the coax cable from the wall on both???

Right now with my set up I am getting no internet signal out of the bridge. My wifi router and desktop in my home office down stairs work fine

ravin108 (author)  Mr.M111 months ago
Mr. M1,

If I'm understanding your setup, you need to have a wired Ethernet source entering the adapter though a twisted pair Ethernet cable.
The MoCA adapter transmits that Ethernet signal from the twisted pair cable network to the coax cable network.

If you have that squared away, I do recommend using standards compliant splitters if you have them and the extra patch cable.