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How to add ethernet (wired) internet connection for AV equipment (1 Viewer)

edee_em

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Hi again. Hope everyone is well and safe.

I have a Samsung Blu-ray player that is exhibiting spotty wireless connectivity. I noticed, more than once, when I went to use the Netflix app via the BD player I would get a "wireless network not connected" message. This got me thinking about improving all equipment to a wired set up for all the AV stuff. I have since gotten Amazon Fire so I don't need the app via the BD player, but I've noticed that the picture has this weird blotchiness in the background (kind of like it is pixelating in blotches ??) when watching something on Netflix via the Fire TV.

I was able to get the BD player connected to the wireless network last night and the Netflix picture (same show for consistency) through the BD player was way better than what I saw through the FireTV. This leads to my first question: Is it worth the effort to switch over to wired from wireless? Will any of these issues be fixed by going wired or are they independent of connection?

Along with the Blu-ray and Fire TV there is a Samsung 1080p TV, a Yamaha AVR and a Bell Fibe set top box. The Fire TV is attached to the AVR so the sound gets processed through the AVR. . I have a Cisco (I think??) modem laying around somewhere that I can use to help make the connections, if it is needed.

If the answers to question #1 above says go wired, Is it a matter of running a cable from existing Bell modem to the Cisco modem and then running wires to each device from there or is there way more involved? Thanks
 

David Norman

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You don't need another modem. A wired connection would be more stable and consistent plus also take the stress off your wireless bandwidth. Personally I fell the more you can easily do wired Ethernet then better in my opinion, though with rapidly improving Wireless Protocol, Nest style wireless systems it is better than it used to be.

I guess some housekeeping -- is the BellFibre settop box the modem/router/wireless controller or just a TV Box?
If not, when the Internet comes into your house - what does it connect to and where is the current wireless signal being generated?

The normal setup would be something like Incoming Internet cable -- Modem -- Router (or a modem/router) combination -- ethernet cable out of router to your device. This assumes the Router has 2/4/8 Ethernet Out connections -- 4 seems most common in the US. If most everything you need connected is in the same vicinity, then it's not hard at all. If you multilevel house or 4 different distant Rooms with 'stuff' then it becomes more complicated.

If you have tons of things to wire it often goes Modem-Router-Switch(es) with 4/8/16 outputs each, then each individual device is most directly connected to the switch



The diagram is this article actually sums things up pretty well or at least how to think of each leg of the system.
 
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edee_em

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Thanks for the reply and the link David!
I guess some housekeeping -- is the BellFibre settop box the modem/router/wireless controller or just a TV Box?
If not, when the Internet comes into your house - what does it connect to and where is the current wireless signal being generated?
I'm sure I'm using the terms modem and router incorrectly. Let me explain.

The Bell (our main provider here in Canada) set top box is a receiver that connects to the main TV PVR unit located in our basement as that was where the telephone wire used by Bell enters. The set top boxes allow us to have wireless TV around the house where ever we want to put a TV. They are not the modem/router.

The Bell Fibe modem/router is separate from those TV receivers/boxes. There are ethernet ports on the back and, of course, it is wireless as well. It is located in the basement as well. This is our connection to the outside world!

What I was thinking of doing, because all the devices I mentioned are in the same area, albeit upstairs from the modem/router, is use the modem/router I mentioned that I have as a spare as a splitter (trying to reuse/recycle) to connect the equipment to it rather than running a separate cable to each device. I have no issue buying a splitter if that's better. Does that make sense?
 

John Dirk

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What I was thinking of doing, because all the devices I mentioned are in the same area, albeit upstairs from the modem/router, is use the modem/router I mentioned that I have as a spare as a splitter (trying to reuse/recycle) to connect the equipment to it rather than running a separate cable to each device. I have no issue buying a splitter if that's better. Does that make sense?

If I'm understanding you correctly, you have your main Wireless Gateway [as most providers call them] in your basement where Internet enters your home and your AV gear on the main floor. If that's correct can you easily run an Ethernet cable between the floors? That's the part I wasn't sure of from what you originally wrote.

If the answer is yes then you definitely want wired connectivity for any device with an Ethernet port but using a spare router to achieve this isn't the best option. Instead just purchase a passive switch such as this one, run the cable from your basement to it and place it near your AV gear. You can then easily connect the other devices.

The Cisco unit you have sitting around could possibly be used in the way you want but would require some configuration, which might pose a challenge easily mitigated with a $20.00 purchase.
 

edee_em

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If I'm understanding you correctly, you have your main Wireless Gateway [as most providers call them] in your basement where Internet enters your home and your AV gear on the main floor. If that's correct can you easily run an Ethernet cable between the floors? That's the part I wasn't sure of from what you originally wrote.

If the answer is yes then you definitely want wired connectivity for any device with an Ethernet port but using a spare router to achieve this isn't the best option. Instead just purchase a passive switch such as this one, run the cable from your basement to it and place it near your AV gear. You can then easily connect the other devices.

The Cisco unit you have sitting around could possibly be used in the way you want but would require some configuration, which might pose a challenge easily mitigated with a $20.00 purchase.
Thanks for the input John!

Yes, wireless gateway is in the basement and gear upstairs on the main floor. Basement is unfinished in area where the gear is so getting a cable up there should be doable (hopefully not jinxing myself). To give you a bit of perspective on prices up here, that switch you linked to is $15.99 ($5 off) for you and it is $29.55 up here, just because. Not that $30 is going to govern my decision but is it that hard to convert settings on the Cisco?
 

JohnRice

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Thanks for the input John!

Yes, wireless gateway is in the basement and gear upstairs on the main floor. Basement is unfinished in area where the gear is so getting a cable up there should be doable (hopefully not jinxing myself). To give you a bit of perspective on prices up here, that switch you linked to is $15.99 ($5 off) for you and it is $29.55 up here, just because. Not that $30 is going to govern my decision but is it that hard to convert settings on the Cisco?
Ethernet switches are a dime a dozen. Maybe a different one is cheaper. How about THIS one?

Or just look through the options for a 5 port gigabit unmanaged ethernet switch.

Actually, HERE ya go.
 
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John Dirk

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Thanks for the input John!

Yes, wireless gateway is in the basement and gear upstairs on the main floor. Basement is unfinished in area where the gear is so getting a cable up there should be doable (hopefully not jinxing myself). To give you a bit of perspective on prices up here, that switch you linked to is $15.99 ($5 off) for you and it is $29.55 up here, just because. Not that $30 is going to govern my decision but is it that hard to convert settings on the Cisco?
Cost aside, I would go with the switch. The one @JohnRice linked is reasonably priced. If you do decide to fiddle with the Cisco look for an option for "bridged mode." What you don't want are two devices on your network acting as routers.
 

Scott Merryfield

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I would suggest not fiddling with the Cisco modem and just buying an inexpensive ethernet switch. It's not worth the hassle of attempting to reconfigure the old modem -- heck, I was a network engineer before retiring, and I wouldn't bother with it.

Another option, if all your equipment is located in the same area on the first floor while your existing wireless gateway / router is in the basement, would be to relocate the wireless router to the first floor closer to your equipment. Depending on your home's construction, that floor could be impeding the wireless signal.
 

edee_em

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I would suggest not fiddling with the Cisco modem and just buying an inexpensive ethernet switch. It's not worth the hassle of attempting to reconfigure the old modem -- heck, I was a network engineer before retiring, and I wouldn't bother with it.

Another option, if all your equipment is located in the same area on the first floor while your existing wireless gateway / router is in the basement, would be to relocate the wireless router to the first floor closer to your equipment. Depending on your home's construction, that floor could be impeding the wireless signal.
Thanks Scott.

Appreciate the input re going with a switch over modifying the other router.

Our home is typical wood and drywall construction. Signal gets to main floor and second floor without too many issues so I don't feel like the floors and such are impeding the signal. I think my original problem (bad wireless on Blu-ray player) is more about the player than the signal. The other issue, lower quality pic using Fire TV, is more puzzling because when I do get wireless to work on BD player, Netflix picture is so much better than the picture shown using Fire TV. Again, it seems like a device issue.

I like your suggestion about moving the gateway/router but I have to contact my provider because it is a telephone line from fibre coming to the neighbourhood. I have the feeling that I'm stuck to the current location because of the phone jack. That's something I'll have to check on.
 

JohnRice

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Thanks Scott.

Appreciate the input re going with a switch over modifying the other router.

Our home is typical wood and drywall construction. Signal gets to main floor and second floor without too many issues so I don't feel like the floors and such are impeding the signal. I think my original problem (bad wireless on Blu-ray player) is more about the player than the signal. The other issue, lower quality pic using Fire TV, is more puzzling because when I do get wireless to work on BD player, Netflix picture is so much better than the picture shown using Fire TV. Again, it seems like a device issue.

I like your suggestion about moving the gateway/router but I have to contact my provider because it is a telephone line from fibre coming to the neighbourhood. I have the feeling that I'm stuck to the current location because of the phone jack. That's something I'll have to check on.
There is always an option, even if it means turning off the WiFi on that router and buying & installing one of your own in a better location. Internet providers tend to make it sound like you are required to rent the equipment from them, but at least in the US that is probably never actually the case. I never get any hardware from internet providers. I buy my own and just pay them for service.
 

Scott Voth

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You've given me an idea. Let me know if I am understanding you correctly. My WiFi /wired router is in an upstairs bedroom. I'm currently using WiFi for AVR, TV, Game, computer printer and Fire TV in my downstairs living room but I do have an ethernet cable running down there from the router too. It is currently hooked up to an Arlo base station that was having trouble with signal strength to the camera when it was next to my router. I'm not having Wifi issues but will this work as an option: Can I plug the ethernet cable in the living room into the switch you mentioned and then run short ethernet runs from the switch to the various components mentioned earlier - all this coming off one port of the router? Will this have bandwidth issues all coming off the single ethernet run?
 

JohnRice

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You've given me an idea. Let me know if I am understanding you correctly. My WiFi /wired router is in an upstairs bedroom. I'm currently using WiFi for AVR, TV, Game, computer printer and Fire TV in my downstairs living room but I do have an ethernet cable running down there from the router too. It is currently hooked up to an Arlo base station that was having trouble with signal strength to the camera when it was next to my router. I'm not having Wifi issues but will this work as an option: Can I plug the ethernet cable in the living room into the switch you mentioned and then run short ethernet runs from the switch to the various components mentioned earlier - all this coming off one port of the router? Will this have bandwidth issues all coming off the single ethernet run?
That is exactly what you can do. That‘s what Ethernet is designed for. No bandwidth issues. Just be sure you connect the cable to the new switch before you connect power to it.
 

edee_em

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You've given me an idea. Let me know if I am understanding you correctly. My WiFi /wired router is in an upstairs bedroom. I'm currently using WiFi for AVR, TV, Game, computer printer and Fire TV in my downstairs living room but I do have an ethernet cable running down there from the router too. It is currently hooked up to an Arlo base station that was having trouble with signal strength to the camera when it was next to my router. I'm not having Wifi issues but will this work as an option: Can I plug the ethernet cable in the living room into the switch you mentioned and then run short ethernet runs from the switch to the various components mentioned earlier - all this coming off one port of the router? Will this have bandwidth issues all coming off the single ethernet run?
Hey Scott. Don't know who you are asking specifically, but if it's me, you got the wrong guy because that is why I am here!! However, it seems that by running ethernet to a switch and then on to the devices is a better connection than current wifi. I don't know enough about bandwidth to answer confidently but the theory is that the switch won't affect the bandwidth.
 

ChrisOC

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If the answer is yes then you definitely want wired connectivity for any device with an Ethernet port but using a spare router to achieve this isn't the best option. Instead just purchase a passive switch such as this one, run the cable from your basement to it and place it near your AV gear. You can then easily connect the other devices.
Excellent advise. We had to have our house rewired when we bought it (it had an old 50-amp service with some knob & tube and even some aluminum wiring) and we had it wired for Ethernet, phone, and cable at the same time. We don't have a basement (just a small crawl space) so they brought all those cables up into the furnace closet in the middle of the house. I bought an 8-port gigabit switch and set it there next to the modem and router, and it does the job perfectly.

Just make sure you get a gigabit switch. There are also "fast" switches which cost less but will not deliver the same performance.
 

John Dirk

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Will this have bandwidth issues all coming off the single ethernet run?

In practical terms the total bandwidth available is usually 1Gbps. When you connect a switch to your network just remember that all of the devices connected to the switch will have to "share" the available bandwidth of the "uplink" port that connects them to the upstream router.

These days switches come in either 100Mbps or 1Gbps varieties. Avoid the former as the cost difference is minimal and it will introduce a potential bottleneck into your network. 10Gbps devices exist but are rare in residential settings. Done correctly, every wired device in your network will share a single 1Gbps "uplink" port to the router. Overall Internet speeds will be less and will depend on several factors such as the tier of service you are paying for from your ISP.
 

David Norman

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You've given me an idea. Let me know if I am understanding you correctly. My WiFi /wired router is in an upstairs bedroom. I'm currently using WiFi for AVR, TV, Game, computer printer and Fire TV in my downstairs living room but I do have an ethernet cable running down there from the router too. It is currently hooked up to an Arlo base station that was having trouble with signal strength to the camera when it was next to my router. I'm not having Wifi issues but will this work as an option: Can I plug the ethernet cable in the living room into the switch you mentioned and then run short ethernet runs from the switch to the various components mentioned earlier - all this coming off one port of the router? Will this have bandwidth issues all coming off the single ethernet run?

Hey Scott. Don't know who you are asking specifically, but if it's me, you got the wrong guy because that is why I am here!! However, it seems that by running ethernet to a switch and then on to the devices is a better connection than current wifi. I don't know enough about bandwidth to answer confidently but the theory is that the switch won't affect the bandwidth.

I'm always going to opt for a wired connection if possible. I just think it works better, it's more stable, it's likely more secure, and removing things from teh current WiFi just can't be a bad thing for the other things that require it. Esp in Scott's situation I think it's a no brainer to hook everything local up to a gigabit switch and take all those devices off the WiFi list

It sounds like edee_em might do a little work 1st, but it sounds like the house setup makes it pretty easy

I have a Netgear Router with 4 LAN Ethernet ports with each of the legs going to switches in different parts of the house hooked to either a 5 or 8 port switch. I have TPlink, Dlink, Zyxel, and Netgear switches probably whichever was cheapest at the time. The only things I have on WiFi current are Phones, Ipads, and a Laptop without a ehternet port. In theory with perfect WiFI and the new protocols they might be essentially equal, but I'm not a believer yet
 
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Clinton McClure

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I also always recommend people to use wired Ethernet if possible. Having said that, the house we bought last year was built in 1988 and renovated in the early 2000s but was never properly wired for Ethernet by running cat 5e / 6 to any room by the previous owners. After we moved in, I deployed an Eero pro mesh network until I could have the house properly wired for Ethernet and, after some experimentation in placement of each Eero unit and disabling the WiFi in my cable modem, I routinely get between 300 and 600 Mbps WiFi anywhere in the house, which is plenty for streaming 4K on four different TVs at the same time. Needless to say, I’m holding off on wiring for Ethernet because my WiFi is plenty fast enough and I don’t experience any issues. Your mileage may vary.
 

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