When I purchased my house in 2000, I had it wired for Ethernet. This was long before WiFi became as commonplace as it is today. Because of the structure of the house, the one room the installer wasn’t able to drop a lead to was the living room. This has constantly proven to be the inconvenience I thought it would be. I did an end-run by running a long Ethernet cable from one of the rooms to the living room. It’s a very long cable and only goes to one area there.

A few years ago, I purchased a TiVo Bolt on Amazon. This was after cutting the cord and installing a rooftop antenna. I wanted to be able to DVR TV shows during the regular season since often there are two or more shows in the same time period. Originally, I used a Powerline solution to connect the Bolt to my home network. Worked OK for a while but then it started buffering a lot. Replaced the Powerline with WiFi which worked fine until I added a TiVo Mini to one of the bedrooms. The Bolt worked fine, but frequently the Mini would lose its connection back to the Bolt. And, the Mini was hard-wired via Ethernet.

I thought if I could link the two via Multimedia for Coax Alliance (MoCA) the connection might be more stable. MoCA uses the internal coax wiring to extend the network. Similar to Powerline using the internal electrical wiring to extend a network. Bought a MoCA adapter and set it up at my router. The MoCA light on the device never came on. Returned it to Amazon and bought a TiVo Bridge instead. Same problem. No MoCA connection from where the coax comes into the house. Yes, I used a Point of Entry (POE) filter. It was just a no-go.

In the last week, I thought I’d try again to get MoCA working since the Mini was frequently losing its connection to the Bolt. Still a no-go after a few hours trying. Finally, thought, what if I used a better Powerline adapter to get Ethernet to the Bolt and then used the Bolt’s built-in ability to create a MoCA network. Son-of-a-gun! That worked! The Bolt was now doing Ethernet+MoCA! Now, it was a case of getting the Mini on MoCA as well. Disconnected the Ethernet cable from the Mini and connected the coax cable instead. Went into the settings, changed Network from Ethernet to MoCA. Here’s where the ‘fun’ started.

While the Bolt acted as a bridge, letting the router do all the DHCP, the Mini in fact DID get an IP address from the router. But, when I tried to bring up the Mini’s TiVo guide, I got an error that the Mini could not see the Bolt. Son-of-a-gun. What the heck?

Finally, broke down and called TiVo support.

And, here’s what finally brought it all together: I reset the Mini to factory settings. I disconnected the Bolt from power as well as disconnecting the Mini from power. Then, I rebooted the router. After the router came back up, I reconnected the Bolt to power. When it came up, I turned the MoCA on the Bolt off. Then turned it back on. When asked about the MoCA channel, I accepted the default of channel 15. Then, connected the Bolt to the TiVo service. Twice. After all looked good on the Bolt, again, I plugged the Mini back in. Ran through the guided setup. When it got to the MoCA setup, on the Mini, I again accepted channel 15 as the default. Now, the Mini finally was not only on the MoCA network, but it could also see the Bolt!!

I wasted many hours trying to create the MoCA network with external devices. My thought was splitters installed with the outside antenna were causing a problem. Turns out, they weren’t. I just had made a simple solution, letting the Bolt do the work, much more complex than it needed to be. Now, I can only hope the Mini and the Bolt play well together using MoCA. Time will tell.

Hopefully, this will shorten any time you need to spend troubleshooting.

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