Tag Archives: install

ADSL2 but not ADSL2 speeds

12 months after signing up for ADSL2, I have finally got ADSL2!  Yep it’s taken that long!  No, not iiNet’s fault – but it seems that my local exchange actually didn’t have enough physical space to add more lines – so I was basically waiting for someone to leave or Telstra to renovate the exchange.

But when it was all switched over, my speed increased from about 1Mbps to just below 2Mbps.  What was going on?

I knew I had phone line issues.  Whenever people call us on the land line, it would cut out the internet.  That definitely points to a filter problem.  But I thought we had a central splitter installed.

After some reading on Whirlpool, I got a professional communications installer in and we found that there was an internal wiring problem – my ADSL modem line and phone line were both filtered!

So he fixed that and suddenly I’m getting 5.5Mbps. Much better than before, but still less than the theoretical maximum of 24Mbps – but enough to stream videos and use the PlayStation Network with less delays.  And no more cutouts when someone calls us!

The proposed optical fibre network should help in the future, right?

Note to self – in the future, don’t let the installer go until you check you have a good data speed and it doesn’t cut out when people call in!

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Tivo goodness

Well, I finally succumbed.  The day before the Olympics, we took a drive to Harvey Norman and bought a Tivo.   I couldn’t decide for a while whether it was worth it as there are other PVRs like the Topfield now at an affordable price, but it was the difference in the approach to recording TV that I have been spoilt with previously (with MythTV) that I wanted.
After putting the kids to sleep, I finally got to unpack it.   Here’s the red “friendly” box and the Tivo USB wireless adapter so that I can connect it to my wireless home network.
Tivo box and wireless adaptor
Tivo box and wireless adapter

It comes with a standard set of cables.  But it’s disappointing that a system designed for Digital TV has no optical cable and no HDMI cable included.   Harvey Norman tried to sell me extremely expensive Monster cables, but I had said no – I had spares at home.   Alternately, I could’ve bought extras off eBay for much less.

What's in the box
What's in the box

I had a peek at the back of the Tivo.   Nothing unusual here – but there is no coax digital audio connection. There is a fan on the back for cooling.

Component, HDMI, Optical, Ethernet, USB Connectors on the Tivo
Component, HDMI, Optical, Ethernet, USB Connectors on the Tivo

It was good to see an eSATA connector for future expansion, but I believe it is disabled in the current firmware for the Australia box.   Tivo and Seven – PLEASE don’t make us pay for firmware upgrades in the future!!!

Also, there is only a single antenna in socket and no RF out.  No big deal – you just have to place it on the end of your antenna chain.

eSATA connector on the Tivo
eSATA connector on the Tivo

The Tivo is surprisingly “big”.  Here it is next to the PS3, which already is quite big.

The Tivo next to the PS3
The Tivo next to the PS3

So what next?  I connected it all up using the easy to follow instructions, turned it on and followed the configuration wizard and 24 minutes later..  it all worked out of the box!!!

Tivo setup all done!
Tivo setup all done!

I was SO HAPPY!  No wireless drivers to install, no ifconfig or iwconfig to run, no worries about Nvidia or ATI drivers, no need to think about what file system type to use, no need to determine what Graphics card chipset and CPU combination required to record and playback high definition video, no need to install IR drivers or set up perl scripts to download the latest TV guide – IT JUST WORKS!

And just in time for us to watch, pause and replay the Olympic opening ceremony last night.  And tape Star Wars – A Phantom Menace in high def at the same time.

And this morning, the kids were up early and worked out how to watch the opening ceremony again.

Only problem – I’ve scheduled so many things to tape that I need to upgrade the hard drive 😦