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WiFi booster

Discussion in 'Audio Visual' started by PrenticeBoyofDerry, 18 Nov 2018.

  1. PrenticeBoyofDerry

    PrenticeBoyofDerry

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    Hi all, I have a TV that can only be used by WIFI. Have had something issues with buffering, disconnection and picture/sound synchronisation. I think this could be down to the WiFI speed. Was looking for something to improve this. The speed at router is 105Mbps download and upload 5.75Mbps, location of TV WiFi is 10Mbps download and 2Mbps upload. Any advise of a simple way to improve this and possibly product to use,?
     
  2. Lucid

    Lucid

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    I take it those 105/5.75 speeds what you're getting when a computer is connected via an Ethernet cable direct to the router?

    10Mbps is fast enough to stream HD video but not UHD 4K unless it's very heavily compressed. However, you need a consistent connection, and I think that's where your issue lies. It's not so much the speed as maintaining a solid lock on the signal. The TV won't have the capability to store much data in a reservoir,. so when there's a break in service then the reservoir quickly runs dry and that's when you get the buffering and sync issues.

    How fast your internet service is, and how fast your wireless is, aren't the same thing. Your internet service is governed by the speed of the package you pay for, and how close fibre gets to your home, and how many other people are using the same connection when you are on. These are all external factors that you can't directly control.

    Your Wi-Fi speed is governed by the gear your using, the Wi-Fi bands(b/g/n/ac), the distances involved, what's in the way, how many devices are actively being used, and how much interference there is. One of the best things you can do for general Wi-Fi performance is to buy a better wireless router. This is especially the case if you're using a router supplied by an ISP. There are wireless routers such as the Netgear Nighthawk 7000 which are able to keep 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz wireless separate, and that can 'beam' stronger wireless signals in the directions they're needed.

    Next, gather some intel. Have a look at the wireless capabilities of the TV and make sure its firmware is updated. If the best you're going to get from it is 5.0GHz wireless n then it's pointless spending lots of money on some kind of booster designed for wireless ac that the telly can't tap in to. Ditto if the the TV is working on 2.4GHz wireless n.

    After that, do a wireless survey to test just how many other wireless signals are getting to your TV's location. Where a TV is having to fight against your neighbours Wi-Fi spilling in to your home, then it may be that you can move the band it's receiving on to a less congested channel. If possible, go for a fixed IP address on the TV too.

    Once you know all that, then you'll be in a better position to make some choices rather than buying on blind recommendation. You see, what works well for one person in their home isn't necessarily going to do the same for you.

    Let us know what you find and then we'll go from there.

    Were you're just looking to blindly throw some money at it in the hope it'll make things better, and presuming you'd rather not run network cable from the router to near the TV, then you could look at Powerline adapters with a wireless access point (WAP). You'd need to check that the router location and the TV location are running on the same ring main circuit to guarantee a connection with this.

    Alternatively, Wi-Fi repeaters will act as a stepping stone to bridge the distance between the router and the TV. The catch is that these run at half the speed of the Wi-Fi signal they're receiving because of the unpacking/repacking overheads of dealing with wireless.


    If this or any other reply was helpful to you, on each one please press the THANKS button which appears when you hover the mouse pointer near the Quote Multi-quote buttons.
     
    Last edited: 18 Nov 2018
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  3. Diyisfun

    Diyisfun

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    Can you not try a cable direct to TV, if that works then it is a WIFI issue.
     
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  4. PrenticeBoyofDerry

    PrenticeBoyofDerry

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    It is something I am considering, I recall when the original set up was installed a splitter was fitted for Digital TV (virgin media) and a hard wired to a router. Virgin media then removed this as the router was struggling to get a signal to my PC and the also upgraded the router.
     
  5. PrenticeBoyofDerry

    PrenticeBoyofDerry

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    All interesting stuff and very much appreciated
    but TBH I would not know how to determine the measurements/readings you are discussing.

    Yes the Higher Mbps are at a hardwired to internet PC, the location/distance as the crow flys between the TV in question and the router is about 20 foot. The router is on FF and TV on GF, one solid wall and timber floor to deal with.
    I am using the router supplied by VM HUB 3.0.
     
  6. Lucid

    Lucid

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    Thanks for the info.

    You're non-techie so I'll cut to the chase. Sorry to say it, but for wireless, the Virgin Hub 3.0 sucks. It's not the worst of the free-with-internet-service routers; but it's definitely at the back of the pack. Google will give you lots of hits if you search on VM hub wireless speed. There are tonnes of threads on the VM support forum. Here's just one link: https://community.virginmedia.com/t5/Speed/Virgin-Hub-3-WiFi-range/td-p/3562624

    If we were to rank wireless router performance in to 1st- 2nd- and 3rd division performance, then the VM hub would be in div 2 with all the other free wireless routers, but it would be in the relegation zone at the bottom. The only thing stopping it slipping in to division 3 is that some people are still using old wireless b/g routers from 10+ years ago that should have been ditched.

    What this means is that anything you buy or do that takes the VM router's existing Wi-Fi signal and tries to extend its range is going to be a bit of a lost cause. The VM router's Wi-Fi is a shaky foundation, so anything you build on top of it is going to struggle. Don't waste your money on Wi-Fi extenders.

    Your solutions are going to based around bypassing the VM router's Wi-Fi service. There are a few different ways of doing this.

    1) You can't just replace the the VM Hub with a 3rd party cable modem/Wi-Fi router. However, it is possible to disable the router and wireless features of the VM Hub and then connect a box that will do a better job of routing and Wi-Fi. This will increase range, increase speed, and do a better job of managing multiple device connections.

    The latest 'wonder-product' wireless routers with all the bells and whistles can be anything up to and over £300, but don't panic. It's very unlikely you'll need anything that high-end. Something far more reasonable such as the TP-Link Archer A5 at around £60 will do just fine and make a decent improvement for Wi-Fi all over the house, not just for the telly.


    2) Products that use the house ring main to carry data. These are called Powerline Adapters.

    In simple terms, they're an alternative to running a piece of Ethernet cable through the house. They use the house mains rings instead. They come in pairs. One plugs in to a wall socket near the router (VM Hub) and connects with an Ethernet cable. The second plugs in to a mains socket near the TV. If that second one has a wireless hotspot feature, then you get strong stable wireless in that room. If it doesn't, then you'd use another Ethernet cable to hook up the device in the room.

    Early generation Powerline adapters were flaky and prone to cause interference for other radio devices. The tech has improved, and though some say that these still cause interference to some devices, there's not a huge amount of recent (within five years) complaints about them. However, if you're a Ham radio enthusiast or listen to AM radio a lot then you might want do some more research before taking the plunge.

    Prices vary with specs and performance. Something reasonably fast with Wi-Fi that won't break the bank is the TrendNet Powerline 500AV2 kit with Wi-Fi Extender. It's available for under £50.

    The main caveat with Powerline adapters is that both devices really need to be connected to the same ring main for guaranteed performance. That's usually okay on say the first floor of a house. But as soon as you start

    3) If you do have the option to run Ethernet cable, then at the end of that cable you'll get speeds as fast as if you're sitting on the computer next to the VM Hub. Plugging the end of that cable in to something like a Netgear EX3700 would give you a Wi-Fi hotspot with dual bands so it could work on the 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz networks at the same time. The EX3700 is around £35-£40.


    None of the above three solutions piggyback on the VM wireless, so they won't be hobbled by it.


    If this or any other reply was helpful to you, on each one please press the THANKS button which appears when you hover the mouse pointer near the Quote Multi-quote buttons.
     
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  7. PrenticeBoyofDerry

    PrenticeBoyofDerry

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    That is great information Lucid, when you say ring main/ring final circuit, does that mean it does not work on radial circuit just a ring?
     
  8. Lucid

    Lucid

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    Yeah. It works on the ring.

    Manufacturers always say that these Powerline Adapters will only work if both are on the same ring. e.g. Upstairs Sockets on your consumer unit, and not if one is on Upstairs Sockets and the other on Kitchen. i.e. they say the signal won't pass through the consumer unit from one ring to another.

    However, some end users report that they've been able to do exactly this, while others confirm that the manufacturer is correct. Whether it'll allow you to go between different rings is purely trial and error.
     
  9. PrenticeBoyofDerry

    PrenticeBoyofDerry

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    That's a bugger My upstairs (where HUBB is) and front room (where TV is) are both radial circuits
     
  10. rsgaz

    rsgaz

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    No, they will work on a radial also.

    They won't work across different phases though.
     
  11. Iamchamps

    Iamchamps

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    They recommend not having the power line plugged into an extension lead also needs to connect to the wall socket
     
  12. winston1

    winston1

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    They are bad technology and should not be used. Mains cabling is not designed to carry data as it is not balanced, screened, or terminated. PLTs still cause interference to other services as the laws of physics have not changed. Read this BBC White Paper on it.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/rd/publications/whitepaper195
     
  13. ericmark

    ericmark

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    I have to agree the internet over power cables is causing many problems. I bought a unit from Lidi, it is hard wired to LAN and gives a second wireless signal next to TV it worked A1 when we had Sky broadband, however now we have Post Office broadband we have times when it struggles.

    I really did not realise how good Sky broadband was until I moved to Post Office, once 12 months is up we will move back to Sky.
     
  14. Lucid

    Lucid

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    You might want to check the wireless settings on the Powerline kit against the router. What you're experiencing could easily be an issue with a clash between the Wi-Fi channels on the two devices.
     
    Last edited: 22 Nov 2018
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  15. Lower

    Lower

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    Having tried and failed with a variety of wifi range extender options i'd suggest not going for the cheapest option. I tried a standalone wifi router to improve the signal range, a wifi repeater, and powerline units and none of them gave reliable wifi. The standalone wifi router still didn't have the range to get to the far reaches of the house and the wifi repeater and powerline units were unreliable and we kept having to restart them.

    In the end we went for the BT whole home mesh wifi system and it has just worked ever since i put it in. Cost more, but it was fit and forget and we now have brilliant wifi throughout the whole house and out to the far reaches of the garden and i've only had to restart it once in the 2 years we've had it and that was after a power cut.
     
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