Troubleshooting communication errors

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Are you are receiving a “Communication error” message in the HDHomeRun app? This indicates a network bandwidth issue somewhere on your network. This page will help troubleshoot and correct common networking issues that can cause such communication errors.

Most customers will want to open a support ticket with one of Silicondust's technical support specialists. We can help troubleshoot your specific set up and find solutions to fix the communication errors, and/or any other issues you might be having involving the HDHomeRun.

Let's get some important diagnostic data that will help our technicians troubleshoot the issue:

  1. Open the HDHomeRun app
  2. Go into the app settings: the gear icon in the top right corner of the “Live/Recorded/Discover/Tasks” page
  3. Enable the option to “Send diagnostic information”
  4. Watch a problem channel for at least 10 minutes or until you receive the error message
  5. In your trouble ticket provide us the device ID of your HDHomeRun and we will check the logs. You can find the device ID on a label on the bottom of the HDHomeRun itself or on the http://hdhomerun.local page.

The optional HDHomeRun DVR record engine for PC/Mac requires that the PC/Mac be connected to your home network with enough network bandwidth available to handle many high-bitrate video streams. It is recommended that the PC/Mac be connected to the network via Ethernet and not WiFi when configured to be a HDHomeRun DVR record engine.

To check if the HDHomeRun DVR record engine has been enabled on any PC/Mac computers launch the HDHomeRun app and go into Settings, Devices. Check for “HDHomeRun RECORD” entries to identify all HDHomeRun DVR record engines on your network. To disable the HDHomeRun record engine on a Windows PC run HDHomeRun Setup (if not present the Windows PC is not running the HDHomeRun DVR record engine). Go to the DVR tab and untick “Use this PC for recordings”.

Power line network adapters can be a great way to connect your HDHomeRun unit to your router in another room, while not having to run actual Ethernet wire. However if the power line network adapters are struggling with interference or under-performing it can cause a reduction in network bandwidth resulting in a communication error. Temporarily connecting the HDHomeRun and player device without using the power line path can rule out a power line adapter issue.

While the HDHomeRun hardware will connect to your home network/router using an ethernet connection, all WiFi connections to playback devices will happen over your router's WiFi radio. Even if a WiFi connection had previously been “good enough”, additional WiFi traffic (neighbor's WiFi, additional WiFi devices, etc) can impact the connection's performance. On paper an 802.11n (aka Wireless-N or WiFi 4) should be good enough for most HD-broadcasts, but if you have issues you should think about upgrading to at least 802.11ac (WiFi 5) or 802.11ax (WiFi 6).

802.11n/ac (WiFi 4/5) routers should be configured in “n only” or “performance” mode for the 2.4GHz network, and “ac only”, “n/ac only”, or “performance” mode for the 5GHz network. Backwards compatibility with a/b/g networks significantly degrades performance. All wireless devices connected to the network must support 11n or 11ac in order for this to work.

If the router has an option to set channel bandwidth, use the largest setting, typically 40MHz for 2.4GHz networks and 80 or 160MHz for 5GHz networks.

If the router supports operation in both the 2.4Ghz and 5GHz bands, try both. 5GHz is less congested and offers better performance in most circumstances, but does not go through walls and floors as well as 2.4GHz does. Bluetooth devices, many cordless phones, and other unlicensed wireless devices that operate on the 2.4GHz band can interfere with wireless networks, so avoid using them if at all possible. For cordless phones, use models that operate in the 900MHz or 1.9GHz band, not 2.4GHz.

If the router permits limiting the network speed to something below its theoretical max, try utilizing that. For example, eather than the typical 108Mb/s max for 802.11n, try limiting it to 72 or 54Mb/s operation. While in theory this will limit the maximum performance of the network, in practice the network will operate more reliably at the lower speed, minimizing speed fluctuations that can cause packet loss.

If your playback device is connected to a TV set directly, such as an HDMI-stick-like device (Fire TV stick, Roku, etc), you may need to use a short HDMI extension cable. TV sets have a lot of electronics inside, and they also have a big metal shield inside of them, that can mess with the stability of the WiFi connection. Even getting just 3 or 6 inches away from the TV can often make a significant difference in getting around that.

Windows, Mac, and Linux users can use the hdhomerun_config tool to check for packet loss. See: network packet loss

  • Last modified: 2023/11/14 15:39