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Old 08-16-2014, 10:57 AM   #1
SaintDanBert
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U-Verse "requires" separated LAN for TV vs. data


During a recent AT&T U-Verse support call, the tech said that they want their video parts on separate wire segment from segments used for other in-home data.

Has anyone else heard this balderdash?

I called for support because the wired set boxes lost connection to the video mother ship and would not recover the connection. Because of the house LAN, the tech wanted serious money to diagnose the troubles. At this point, he made the "separate segment" announcement.

My home is pre-wired with CAT-6 and giga-bit switches (Netgear). I cannot think of any possible reason to "require" separated segments for video and data? Well, maybe if AT&T video connections want to fill the wire with blather and cannot recover from whatever distractions other data traffic might provoke. Even so, wouldn't giga-bit CAT-6 offer enough bandwidth?

Isn't there a technical name for situations where an eNet part starts spewing packets to the point that nothing else can get through?

My in-home net looks like this:
Code:
{Internet}==[AT&T gateway]==+==[switch1]
                            +==[AT&T DVR]
                            +==[AT&T TVwifi]
[switch1]==+==[printer]
           +==... various AV parts ...
           +==[switch2]
           +==[switch3]==[switch4]
=====
Notes
=====
all switches are 10/100/1000 switches from Netgear.
[AT&T TVwifi] -- their box for connecting their wifi set boxes
[switch2 & 3] -- connected to the house CAT-6 home runs
[switch4] -- home office printer, desktops, NAS, wifi AP, etc

Last edited by SaintDanBert; 08-16-2014 at 02:47 PM.
 
Old 08-16-2014, 02:09 PM   #2
xode
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintDanBert View Post
During a recent AT&T U-Verse support call, the tech said that they want their video parts on separate wire segment from segments used for other in-home data.

Has anyone else heard this balderdash?
Not this particular instance, but this sounds just like the phone (and electric) company, and all so called IT departments for all of the large corporations I have dealt with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintDanBert View Post
I called for support because the wired set boxes lost connection to the video mother ship and would not recover the connection. Because of the house LAN, the tech wanted serious money to diagnose the troubles. At this point, he made the "separate segment" announcement.
When you originally signed up for the AT&T service, did any of the terms and conditions for that service mention any kind of "requirement" that their video parts be on a separate wire segment from segments used for other in-home data? What do their ads, for the service you have with AT&T, say? You will likely need to take this up with AT&T upper management and force the issue with those IT creeps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintDanBert View Post
My home is pre-wired with CAT-6 and giga-bit switches (Netgear). I cannot think of any possible reason to "require" separated segments for video and data? Well, maybe if AT&T video connections want to fill the wire with blather and cannot recover from whatever distractions other data traffic might provoke. Even so, wouldn't giga-bit CAT-6 offer enough bandwidth?

Isn't there a technical name for situations where an eNet part starts spewing packets to the point that nothing else can get through?

My in-home net looks like this:
Code:
{Internet}==[AT&T gateway]==+==[switch1]
                            +==[AT&T DVR]
                            +==[AT&T TVwifi]
[switch1]==+==[printer]
           +==... various AV parts ...
           +==[switch2]
           +==[switch3]==[switch4]
=====
Notes
=====
all switches are 10/100/1000 switches from Netgear.
[AT&T TVwifi] -- their box for connecting their wifi set boxes
[switch2 & 3] -- connected to the house CAT-6 home runs
[switch4] -- home office printer, desktops, NAS, wifi AP, etc
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 08-16-2014, 02:30 PM   #3
SaintDanBert
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Does anyone see anything about my home-LAN config that might be a source of troubles?

The switches are all Netgear GS-108T Managed 10/100/1000 8-port boxes. They have a web-enabled "console." {see note}

Does anyone have suggestions about how to diagnose what is happening on the LAN? I've all sorts of linux-based workstations and servers that I could setup as monitors (blush, grin) if I knew what I was doing. I guess I've been lucky in that my UTP wire LAN's have all worked well enough that I've never learned to diagnose troubles that I didn't have.

To clarify my original symptoms, things work well for some time. Then the video will quit at one or more wired set boxes. I'll move flat tires to different wheels {see note} and the trouble will clear. The situation will eventually repeat itself.


Follow-up:
Can someone tell me how to use Wireshark or similar to monitor and log my home-LAN so that I can see what happens at the time of the failure?


I didn't see any "separate segment" requirement when we signed-up. We were aware of their limit of four(4) active high-def programs in progress at the same time. "Active" meaning any combination of viewing or recording of HD content. We were also aware of the one-DVR restriction.

Frustrated,
~~~ 8d;-Dan

=====
NOTES
=====
"switches" -- Again, I don't know what I'm doing, but can I used the management features of these switches to logically separate the video and data segments?

"flat tire" -- I say this to mean that I take all sorts of steps, trying to be systematic, trying to do something meaningful, but without know cause-effect motives. Eventually, the problem clears. My actions include: power cycle, soft reset, factory reset, segment disconnection, reboot computers or AV devices or other video or data devices, etc.

Last edited by SaintDanBert; 08-16-2014 at 02:48 PM.
 
Old 08-16-2014, 02:32 PM   #4
jefro
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ATT has some overseas (maybe nice) people but they are totally clueless. Why would you believe them? They are in no way technical. They have no access to any tier 2 support. ATT doesn't care about you or your money. My humble opinion is ATT sucks based on my years of experience. They think that not teaching anyone simple tasks it will improve service.

Not sure I get the part about the lan attached dvr.

If there is a way to log into some device to see load that might help. Without any metrics I can't guess what you have.

Last edited by jefro; 08-16-2014 at 02:36 PM.
 
Old 08-16-2014, 02:42 PM   #5
xode
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Quote:
We were aware of their limit of four(4) active high-def programs in progress at the same time. "Active" meaning any combination of viewing or recording of HD content.
The merging of your data and your video on one network cable could be causing AT&T's gateway to think that you have exceeded the above limit. Does AT&T's gateway have 2 or more ethernet ports on it? Is one of those ports explicitly marked for data (i.e. not TV)? If so, you might try to temporarily plug in another ethernet cable and hook all of your data through that 2nd cable.
 
Old 08-16-2014, 02:44 PM   #6
SaintDanBert
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefro View Post
...
Not sure I get the part about the lan attached dvr.
One of the set boxes combines the features of a typical set box with those of a digital DVR for AT&T video content. Like all wire-connected set boxes, it hangs off of the home-LAN UTP thus "lan attached DVR."
Quote:
Originally Posted by jefro View Post
If there is a way to log into some device to see load that might help. Without any metrics I can't guess what you have.
The switches have web-page "consoles" along with various "management" features. I have no idea how to use these to diagnose. I'm very open to suggestions. In addition, I have all sorts of linux boxes around from which I could run net monitor or watch-dog sofware (grin, blush) if I knew what I was doing. Again, suggestions are welcome and encouraged.

Regards,
~~~ 8d;-Dan
 
Old 08-16-2014, 04:06 PM   #7
metaschima
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From what I know Uverse cable boxes are connected directly to the coaxial cable, there is no ethernet cable plugged into them. Am I right ? If so, then the two networks are separate. One coaxial cable runs to the modem/router, and all the ethernet cables run from that to all your switches and computers. Draw a diagram of the network and see for yourself.

From my personal experience with ATT, it's their fault 99% of the time, bet on it.
 
Old 08-18-2014, 02:46 PM   #8
jefro
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For some odd reason ATT has a wealth of info on their products internal web pages. Yet when you ask ATT about the data they have no idea what you are talking about.

When you log into them you should be able to access various pages about it's connections. Use other forums to discover what the metrics mean.

I'd have to see your system to get a better idea.
 
Old 08-18-2014, 09:00 PM   #9
SaintDanBert
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Quote:
Originally Posted by metaschima View Post
From what I know Uverse cable boxes are connected directly to the coaxial cable, there is no ethernet cable plugged into them. Am I right ?
All of my set boxes have both a 75-ohm coax connector and an RJ-45 wire net connector. The gateway box has settings that enable either or both coax or wire-net distribution of video content.
Quote:
Originally Posted by metaschima View Post
If so, then the two networks are separate. One coaxial cable runs to the modem/router, and all the ethernet cables run from that to all your switches and computers. Draw a diagram of the network and see for yourself.
Wire net can be installed as a point-to-point star using LAN switch hardware. On the other hand, coax is usually a buss connected with various "splitter" devices. While there are various amplifier and video distribution devices available, my experience with them has always been terrible -- regardless of the price paid for the distribution devices or installation services.
Quote:
Originally Posted by metaschima View Post
From my personal experience with ATT, it's their fault 99% of the time, bet on it.
For me, all of these network vendors border on worthless. If the in-home situation is more complex than a toaster (I mean a literl "toaster") they seem unable or unwilling to engage to provide either "service" or "support" for their customers.
 
Old 08-18-2014, 09:11 PM   #10
SaintDanBert
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefro View Post
For some odd reason ATT has a wealth of info on their products internal web pages. Yet when you ask ATT about the data they have no idea what you are talking about.
I'd love to know how to find and access some of this internal information if there is any sort of public door.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jefro View Post
When you log into them you should be able to access various pages about it's connections. Use other forums to discover what the metrics mean.

I'd have to see your system to get a better idea.
What do you want to know? (blush) How do I ask my components to tell me what you want to know?
Quote:
Originally Posted by jefro View Post
Travis County, abusing the public trust, one drunk driving district attorney at a time. Blood Alcohol Count .239
I, too, live in Austin, Travis County. PM if your interested in more direct communication.

Last edited by SaintDanBert; 08-18-2014 at 09:12 PM.
 
Old 08-18-2014, 09:25 PM   #11
metaschima
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintDanBert View Post
All of my set boxes have both a 75-ohm coax connector and an RJ-45 wire net connector. The gateway box has settings that enable either or both coax or wire-net distribution of video content.
Seriously ? Because I asked them that specifically, and they said no. Maybe yes, with the exception that it has to be a separate network ? It might actually have to be depending on how the boxes work, I mean don't expect any standards compliance whatsoever. It is likely, like you said in the OP that the boxes cannot deal without specifically crafted traffic and may cause a mess if other devices are added.

You could try it out with one box and see if it works, but it probably won't. Companies tend to go out of their way to make their technology as proprietary, obfuscated, and non-standards compliant as possible.

Here is one thing they did tell me, with the wireless boxes you can supposedly plug in a computer and get internet ? I never tried it with the wireless boxes, but I did try it with the wired boxes and it does NOT work. I don't know if I tried hard enough, maybe it is a bridged connection ?

Last edited by metaschima; 08-18-2014 at 09:27 PM.
 
Old 08-18-2014, 11:37 PM   #12
xode
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintDanBert View Post
All of my set boxes have both a 75-ohm coax connector and an RJ-45 wire net connector. The gateway box has settings that enable either or both coax or wire-net distribution of video content.
...
What happens if you set the gateway box to enable video content only over the coax, hook all of your video to only the coax and then hook all of your computer devices to the RJ-45?
 
Old 08-19-2014, 12:10 AM   #13
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there may be some qos going on via identification w/ the mac address its been so long since i've worked in the uverse environment but i have some friends that still work there i'll contact them and see whats up.

Now that I think about it that does sound familiar, I think set top box traffic is prioritized from the gateway.
 
Old 08-19-2014, 11:36 AM   #14
SaintDanBert
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slugman View Post
...
Now that I think about it that does sound familiar, I think set top box traffic is prioritized from the gateway.
As a reminder, here is my
Original Posting
When you say, "prioritized from the gateway," are you saying that the U-Verse gateway throttles data traffic so that video through it and out to the set boxes goes first?

How does that explain my failure where video traffic stops while data continues?
It is almost as if something decides to block video packets. The failure is completely intermittent and unpredictable and persistent.

~~~ 8d;-Dan
 
Old 08-19-2014, 03:11 PM   #15
jefro
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What are the model numbers of these?
 
  


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