Where are the bits going???

Reception, channel detection, network issues, CableCARD setup, etc.
vttom
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 7:58 am

Where are the bits going???

Postby vttom » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:18 am

So, this is a question to the SD experts about how the bits that encode the content I watch physically get from their origin to their destination.

For instance, when I watch something live OTA, it's pretty straight forward. The bits must go:
  • Antenna -> HDHR Connect -> [ethernet] Router [wireless] -> HDHR Viewer app

But when I watch DVR content, do the bits travel
  • NAS -> [ethernet] Router [ethernet] -> HDHR Connect -> [ethernet] Router [wireless] -> HDHR Viewer app
Or is it smart enough to cut out middle man and do this?:
  • NAS -> [ethernet] Router [wireless] -> HDHR Viewer app

Same goes for streaming Premium content. Does it go:
  • Internet -> [ethernet] Router [ethernet] -> HDHR Connect -> [ethernet] Router [wireless] -> HDHR Viewer app
or:
  • Internet-> [ethernet] Router [wireless] -> HDHR Viewer app
Come to think of it, if I combine Premium content with the DVR, does it do this? (I sure hope not):
  • Internet -> [ethernet] Router [ethernet] -> HDHR Connect -> [ethernet] Router [wireless] -> NAS -> [ethernet] Router [ethernet] -> HDHR Connect -> [ethernet] Router [wireless] -> HDHR View app

The reason I ask is that there are implications in how I structure my LAN, router, intermediate Ethernet switches, etc. to get the best throughput between the source of the bits and the viewer.

signcarver
Expert
Posts: 7872
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 1:04 am
Device ID: 131B34B7 13231F92 1070A18E 1073ED6F

Re: Where are the bits going???

Postby signcarver » Tue Jan 08, 2019 8:02 am

Just think about it... everything (other than broadcast discovery) is http so the path through the network is fairly clear but with SD's apps and DVR, the DVR is the "source" of all client streams (unless a legacy tuner or DRM - as the DVR does not support legacy devices (probably never will) or DRM (currently, expected there will be support))

First though you seem sure about
For instance, when I watch something live OTA, it's pretty straight forward. The bits must go:
Antenna -> HDHR Connect -> [ethernet] Router [wireless] -> HDHR Viewer app
If you have the DVR and are using SD's apps, that is wrong as the DVR is used for live to be the buffer so it actually goes Antenna -> Tuner -> DVR Engine -> client how it gets from the tuner to the engine and the engine to the client depends on equipment between (i.e. back to router if router is your wireless access point and the clients are wireless)

For your second example the recording is on the DVR so a http request is sent to the DVR engine which responds through the network... the tuner isn't involved as it isn't the source of the content.

For your 3rd (PTV) situation, the source of the content is online so from the cloud it comes to your network through your router to the tuner as a tuner on the device serves the content as if it were coming through the antenna. Again, if you have SD's DVR, the playback is through the DVR to act as the buffer and the client essentially connects to the DVR engine.

If you have the dvr, I recommend the tuner and the DVR be on the same switch (as well as any wired clients- you can have switches in between if you like... generally people should limit to 3 switches between the path, but some feel that is an antiquated rule) and that no wired device connect to the router other than the switch. I suggest your router be in the path only for internet traffic, however for most the router is also the WAP so most likely wireless clients connect to it but personally I recommend a separate WAP and leave the router to function as a router which is used to interconnect networks (i.e. "gateway" to the internet).

nickk
Silicondust
Posts: 15280
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2004 9:39 am

Re: Where are the bits going???

Postby nickk » Tue Jan 08, 2019 9:48 am

For instance, when I watch something live OTA, it's pretty straight forward. The bits must go:
  • Antenna -> HDHR Connect -> [ethernet] Router [wireless] -> HDHR Viewer app
Confirming.
But when I watch DVR content, do the bits travel [...]
Or is it smart enough to cut out middle man and do this?:
  • NAS -> [ethernet] Router [wireless] -> HDHR Viewer app
Confirming, the app pulls from the NAS directly.
Same goes for streaming Premium content. Does it go:
  • Internet -> [ethernet] Router [ethernet] -> HDHR Connect -> [ethernet] Router [wireless] -> HDHR Viewer app
Confirming, HDHomeRun Premium TV content goes via the HDHomeRun. The quoted path is correct for viewing live content without a DVR present.
Come to think of it, if I combine Premium content with the DVR, does it do this? (I sure hope not):
When watching HDHomeRun Premium TV and when there is a DVR present the path is:
  • Internet -> [ethernet] Router [ethernet] -> HDHR Connect -> [ethernet] Switch [ethernet] -> NAS -> [ethernet] Router [wireless] -> HDHR Viewer app
Nick

vttom
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 7:58 am

Re: Where are the bits going???

Postby vttom » Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:43 am

Ah. I get it. So it sounds like I have it mostly right. The content goes from source (either Internet or Antenna), to HDHR Connect, to DVR, to client. If it's previously-recorded content stored on the DVR, then the first 2 stages go away.

My Connect Quatro and Linux machine running the DVR software are plugged directly into the same switch. The switch then connects to a LAN port on my WiFi router. (Linux machine, switch, and router are all gigabit Ethernet). Sounds like I already have the optimal setup. (I was considering whether I should move the Linux server and the Connect Quatro to LAN ports directly on the Router)


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