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Setup: my home network is long & skinny, and the FIOS-connected router is all the way at one of the apartment. At the other end, far away (and a floor higher) is my HD TV, which gets a cable-TV signal from a Verizon set-top box that is coax-connected back to the FIOS on-premises equipment. Wi-Fi won't work, the apartment is too stretched out, with old, thick walls and floors.

Goal: I think there are three ways to get ethernet back to where the HD TV is:

1) run a cable! this isn't crazy but isn't cheap either (my building won't let me do it, it involves hiring an electrician because the cable would run partly through the public hallway ceiling)

2) split the coax near the TV and put in... a MoCA device?

3) somehow tease the set-top box, which has an RJ-45 (ethernet) port on the back, to give me network access.

Question: any other choices? and, is one choice better than the others? #3 is by far the most desirable because it would involve the least wiring -- but I can't find any resources to help make it happen. #2 is a bit scary, I don't want to degrade service to the TV or anywhere else for that matter.

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There are some solutions to this at dsl reports in the Verizon FIOS forum –  jackmcgann May 16 '11 at 2:31

2 Answers 2

Whatever modem hardware is inside the set-top box (STB) is likely insufficient for data transfer and only designed to deal with HD content from Verizon. The RJ-45 on the STB is to give it access to a modem that can do data transfer, in order to expand its feature set to include internet resources. And even if it could access the internet through the coax port, the firmware is likely so locked down (and hacking it would breach your EULA) that it just wouldn't be possible.

Here are some alternatives:

  • You might try playing with directional amplified wi-fi antennas to link up two different access points at a distance.
  • You could always just run an ethernet cable along the molding and ceiling. This is fairly common where people are disinclined to drill through a wall, or unable to afford that kind of project.
  • Is your router the same (or in the same location) as the central FiOS box? Then you've already got a coax run from there to the TV—that might make it easier to lay an ethernet cable alongside.
  • There's always good old PowerLine, similar to MoCA you mentioned. Either allows you to use either your power grid or coax cables for data, but the adapters are expensive.

Personally I would gravitate towards just hiding an ethernet cable. Maybe I'd try the directional amplified wi-fi if I was feeling adventurous. Otherwise, I'd only use PowerLine or MoCA as a last resort if all of the other options were comparatively more expensive.

(Though with PowerLine, you open up the potential for, like, scripting your coffeemaker to turn on in the morning, or triggering the lights when your bluetooth phone comes in range of your desktop...)

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In my opinion/experience, option #2 is the easiest and most effective. I.e., take the coax that goes to the STB and split it. One goes into the STB and the other to a MoCA adapter of some kind. In my case, I happened to have an old router, so I didn't need any adapter. I just tied the second fork from the splitter to the coax on the router and voilà –– I can get internet from the router thru its wireless and Ethernet ports.

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