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Router recommendation for heavy streaming

Old 03-28-13, 03:57 PM
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Router recommendation for heavy streaming

So I'm thinking on going stream only, and cut my cable service. It's really hard for me since I have two girls, 7 and 13, and my wife, that watch a lot of TV, but it seems this can work.

But anyway, I'm looking for the best router for this, and tips on how to improve service overall.

I have Comcast HSI 20/4 (20 Mbps down, 4 Mbps up).

Right now I have the Linksys E4200, latest stock firmware. It was near top of the line when I bought it, two years ago or so.

What do I need?
To be able to stream with the best quality, HD or so, at the same time, 3 or more things.
Like last night, my wife was in the living room streaming some yoga videos using AppleTV. I was in the bedroom streaming stuff from the Xbox. My kids were in the HT room watching Netflix. Quality in the bedroom never reached HD.
So I need to be able to stream 2 o 3 videos at the same time and be able to play multiplayer games at the same time, and everyone should be able to have excellent reception.
One thing to note, everything in the HT room is wired, so wireless is not needed there, but bandwith is still limited I guess.

Should I should up my Comcast HSI? 50/10 I think is the next tier.
Right now my router is N, and I know that last year AC was released, a few routers were released with that tech, more coming this year. I may try to get into this, although I know that I will need bridges to be able to use my N devices.

any tips?
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Old 03-28-13, 04:07 PM
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Re: Router recommendation for heavy streaming

I'm no expert, but I can only offer the following:
- hardwire any devices to the router that you can via CAT5 (or CAT5e, or CAT6, or whatever people use these days). That's always the best connection, in my opinion.
- If any of your wifi devices are 5Ghz-compatible, then it's nice to have that band available on the router. It means having two SSIDs (ie: I have "jurassic bark" for 2.4Ghz and "jurassic media" for 5Ghz), but it gives the Wifi more room to breathe (supposedly...). Also, it'll use more electricity...
- If all of your devices are capable of "N" , then make sure the router only broadcasts N in the settings menu. Supposedly this helps with speediness.
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Old 03-29-13, 12:23 AM
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Re: Router recommendation for heavy streaming

what speeds are you actually getting? Netflix at the highest setting uses about 5mbps. with 3 streams, that would be 15mbps. are you always getting the full 20mbps? during peak times, it may drop.


if you are doing 3 or more, and want the highest quality, i might suggest upping your download speed.

also, i am assuming you have a docsis 3 modem, if not, go get one. and get one with 8 bonded downstream channels.
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Old 03-29-13, 07:32 AM
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Re: Router recommendation for heavy streaming

I agree with previous posters, hard wire everything you can for best streaming. 3 streams on comcast will be tough at best times and impossible at heavy times like nights and weekends.

Have you checked the price to unbundle and just keep internet w/ Comcast? When I looked into it they were going to triple the cost of the basic internet tier without TV service. At that point I didnt even ask about a faster tier of service. I switched to my local phone companies fiber service.
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Old 03-29-13, 01:10 PM
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Re: Router recommendation for heavy streaming

Great tips.

I will disable mixed signals in my router, I don't think I need to support B anymore, not sure about G, but it's still probably used.

I have triple play with Comcast, and with promos and stuff, I had Showtime, HBO, Starz, Latino, Sports/Entertainment packages. Yeah, that was expensive. Some of those promos expired and my bill ballooned to $277. So before asking for new discounts I decided to check what I was really using. Ended up removing all the premium packages and the Latino too. More than $60 saved there.

So yeah, I have the Motorola Surfboard SB6120, a Docsis 3.0 modem. Blast! or whatever it's called now, that has 50 down, costs $72 without TV service and $60 with. So only $12 more.

So yeah, I'm basically looking to save up to $200 a month.
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Old 03-29-13, 04:01 PM
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Re: Router recommendation for heavy streaming

The 6120 has 4 bonded downstream channels. If you notice a reduction in speed at peak times and your carrier supports 8 downstream channels, then you may notice a difference, especially if you have a higher package.
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Old 03-30-13, 11:24 AM
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Re: Router recommendation for heavy streaming

I'm paying $68 a month in Vegas with Cox for speeds up to 50 down. I purchased the Motorola Surfboard 6120 through Best Buy a few years ago and utilize it with an Airport Extreme.

Since it's a dual-band router, I have the Extreme set to broadcast both 2.4GHz (b/g/n) and 5GHz (a/n) networks. All of our Apple products (including the AppleTV as mentioned by the OP) pick up the 5GHz network. Everything else like our gaming consoles, Nest thermostat, Amazon Kindles, and other various electronic devices pick up the 2.4GHz network. I've never had issues with streaming, especially now that Cox supports Netflix's SuperHD and 3D streams.

The only device I've ever encountered issues with was the Xbox 360. However, I found answers online to help resolve those issues.

However, any option you go will require you changing the settings of your router, let it be your existing model or a newly purchased one. Since you have a Linksys router, have you tried DD-WRT?
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Old 03-31-13, 01:10 AM
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Re: Router recommendation for heavy streaming

I actually checked that my router supported dd-wrt after my post. I used dd-wrt in my previous router, a Buffalo one, and it worked really well. From the dd-wrt site it seems that the support is not the best, but I may try it before I do the upgrade to a new router.

D.Pham00, do you have any modem with 9 downstream channels that you recommend? To see if it's supported by Comcast locally.
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Old 03-31-13, 12:07 PM
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Re: Router recommendation for heavy streaming

Originally Posted by Raul3 View Post
I actually checked that my router supported dd-wrt after my post. I used dd-wrt in my previous router, a Buffalo one, and it worked really well. From the dd-wrt site it seems that the support is not the best, but I may try it before I do the upgrade to a new router.

D.Pham00, do you have any modem with 9 downstream channels that you recommend? To see if it's supported by Comcast locally.
i think you meant to say 8 bonded downstream channels. the sb6141 is pretty popular. but the main advantage over 4 bonded downstream channels is the additional channels So, say you have a 100mbps package, at peak times, you see it drag down to 50mbps on the sb6121. Upgrading to a sb6141 should see an increase in speed.

also note that the carrier has to support 8 bonded downstream channels in your area. i would imagine though, that if your carrier has a 100mbps or higher package in your area, that it should support 8 bonded downstream channels.

Me, I have TWC Turbo with 15/2 package. going from a docsis 2 to docsis 3 modem, i saw quite an increase, and at peak times before my modem speed would be 4-7mbps. with my sb6121, i see 14+mbps at peak times. So, even if I were to upgrade to a modem with 8 bonded downstream channels, i wouldn't be able to see the benefit under my current package. To be honest, I wanted to get the sb6141 but it wasn't available directly from any major retailers at the time i bought my sb6141.

In your case, you have a 20/4, if you stay with this package, probably the sb6120 you have now is fine, unless there is something wrong with it. but if you plan to upgrade to a higher 50/10 tier, then after upgrading, do afew speed tests at peak times to see if you can see 50mbps or close to it.

also, from your browser, you can log into your modem and see if you have a good signal. it should be something like: "192.168.100.1". I had a problem where I had a weak signal. ended up being a problem with a crappy splitter.

here is a guideline to signal levels:

http://www.speedguide.net/articles/c...al-levels-1197

list of approved Comcast modems:

http://mydeviceinfo.comcast.net/

Just a thought...sounds like everything can be hardwired...try that first to see if that fixes your problem.

Last edited by D.Pham4GLTE (>60GB); 03-31-13 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 03-31-13, 02:43 PM
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Re: Router recommendation for heavy streaming

Thanks for the links.

I actually checked the values that were in the speedguide site, and yeah, I'm barely in. So I'm fine in that aspect. I think I still need to do a hard reboot, since speeds were upgraded a couple of weeks ago, so that may help too.
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