Watching YouTube in the basement

My router is on the second floor (I have ATT fiber) but my exercise equipment is in the basement. I don’t watch much TV. Anyone have any ideas about how to watch YouTube in the basement?

Is the issue that your Wi-Fi is not reaching down to the basement? If that’s the issue, there are only three solutions I can think of:

  1. Buy a more powerful router.
  2. Buy a mesh router, like an Eero, that lets you spread base stations around to cover your entire house.
  3. Run an Ethernet cable down to your basement.

Option 2 is probably your best bet unless there’s something in the basement ceiling blocking the signal, in which case you’ll have to resort to option 3.

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An option 4 in Josh’s list would be to run an Ethernet cable with powerline devices rather than try to snake an Ethernet cable through the walls to the basement.

I use the Eero method myself.

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Another option is to use existing wiring in your home to extend the network.

I installed powerline network transceivers in my home. One plugged in near the main router (where the cable modem is) in my office. Another in the basement. I connected a Wi-Fi access point (a Linksys router in bridge mode) to the basement transceiver.

The powerline adapters use the AC wiring in the house to carry data, bridging the Ethernet ports on each adapter.

If you decide to do this, be sure to select a transceiver based on the latest “Homeplug AV2” spec, in order to get as much bandwidth as you can. You won’t ever realize the theoretical maximum speed (which can be gigabit and faster), but it should be enough to keep up with all but the fastest Internet connections.

If you use a mesh network, you should be able to connect each node to a powerline transceiver (via the nodes’ Ethernet ports). This will allow the nodes to use all of their Wi-Fi bandwidth for data instead of for maintaining the mesh. It may also allow wider separation between nodes, since they won’t need a strong Wi-Fi connection to each other.

As an alternative to powerline networking, you may be able to use your home’s cable TV wiring using MoCA transceivers.

MoCA is reliable and high bandwidth. The only catch is that different service providers use different frequencies on the coaxial cable, so you need to get MoCA transceivers that are compatible with whatever existing equipment you’ve got on the line otherwise they’ll mess up your TV signals.

Depending on who your ISP is, you might already have a MoCA network. For example, it is the usual way Verizon FiOS creates data connections between the ONT, the router they provide and the various set-top boxes. If this is the case in your home, and you have a TV jack in the basement, you may be able to simply buy a compatible MoCA transceiver (and Wi-Fi access point and/or Ethernet switch) to extend your network.

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When you subscribe to ATT, you use their modem/router. This works out pretty well, because I don’t have to do the fiddling I used to do, and I found that Wi-fi troubleshooting was among the most difficult. I wouldn’t expect the signal to reach the basement. At the moment I don’t have a computer in the basement. I’m not a big fan of Wi-fi. I do most of my computing here on my iMac plugged in to the router.

I have considered running an Ethernet cable to the basement. That wouldn’t be difficult, and I know a reliable electrician who is going to run a cable into an adjoining room tomorrow.

If you are willing to run an Ethernet cable, that will definitely give you the most bandwidth.

Ask how much extra it will cost to have “Cat 6A” cable installed instead of the more common “5e” or “6”. Cat 6A can support 10G speeds, if you require it or think you might require it in the future. Cat 6 can also support 10G, but over shorter distances.

Is there a way to watch YouTube through the TV? I did that before with my Samsung TV but I didn’t trust the Samsung browser, if that’s what they call it.

AirPlay, Apple TV

Nearly every smart TV, game console, Blu-Ray player and “streambox” (e.g. Apple TV, Roku, Chromecast) sold includes (or makes available for download) a YouTube app.

The experience can vary greatly, depending on how much bandwidth and CPU power is available, and who wrote the app.

I’ve had a very good experience with a 3rd generation Apple TV. My smart TV has a built-in Roku device - it works well but sometimes glitches.

My cheap Sony Blu-Ray player doesn’t really have the CPU power needed for streaming and tends to provide a very bad experience.

AppleTV sounds interesting. Anyone else have experience with it?

I use it all the time. It is comparatively expensive (if you want cheap, try Roku or Amazon Fire TV), but I like the interface and, unlike the others, it is getting the full suite of new streaming apps.

I actually like the interface and the tiny remote. Note that if the remote doesn’t suit you, there are apps for both the iPhone and iPad. (Apple Remote tip–to tell up from down, get the leash and pop it into the charging port. The device is now asymmetric.)

I’m using an old (3rd generation) Apple TV. Aside from not getting any updates to the apps (because it’s no longer supported), it works very well. Much better than the Roku device built-in to my smart TV.

Which isn’t surprising. Smart TVs and Blu-Ray players tend to have the absolute minimum amount of CPU and RAM necessary to operate the device’s core functions (stream a channel or play a disc), which means they quickly end up woefully underpowered when the streaming services add new features, pushing the app beyond the device’s capabilities.

Apple TV (especially the version currently shipping), on the other hand, was designed as an app platform, much like an iPhone. Since it needs enough horsepower for apps (especially games), there’s more than enough to handle all but the most bloated streaming services.

This is very similar to my experience streaming to a PlayStation or XBox game console. The fact that the hardware needs enough horsepower to play A-list games means there’s never a problem with streaming apps.

But you pay for that capability. An Apple TV or a game console will cost a lot more than a Roku streaming stick or a Chromecast dongle.

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I wrote a book about it :slight_smile:

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If I get one, I will buy your book. I’ve bought Take Control books in the past.

I’m using Ethernet over Coax with a set of Motorola adapters ($140 on Amazon) for this. Put one adapter on the second floor and one in the basement. You can then run an Ethernet cable into the TV. I get over 800 Mbps and 3 - 4 ms ping times on my installation.

Wow, that’s interesting. I didn’t know you could do that.

What kind of adapters are you using? The Wikipedia mentions a few possibilities, but I suspect your adapters are actually MoCA transceivers.

The other technologies on the Wikipedia page are normally used over other media (e.g. HomePlug AV is normally used over power lines and HomePNA is typically used over phone lines) or are far too slow (10BASE5 and 10BASE2 are very old technologies that only support 10Mbit/s operation).

Here is the link: MoCA Adapters for Ethernet over Coax - Motorola Network

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Thanks. MoCA is a great technology that provides high bandwidth (especially version 2.5 and/or bonded versions) over coaxial cable.

MoCA is actually used by many different service providers. I know that Verizon FiOS, Dish Network and Comcast/XFinity all use MoCA to deliver data over the same cable use to carry TV signals. There are almost certainly others.

The only downside is that different TV providers use different frequencies on the cable. MoCA transceivers must not use the same frequencies or it will mess up TV reception. So you need to make sure to buy transceivers that are compatible with your TV provider. If you want to go this route and you have TV service over the cables in your home, then you should ask your TV provider about which models are compatible.

So if you have tons of coax running though your house but nothing actually running on it, sounds like you should be fine. What about termination (lots of dangling cables in my crawl space)? Or is pretty much any coax setup likely to work?