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Milwaukee, WI

[Internet] Upgrading To Ultimate Questions

I've had to label this as "Internet" but it's really concerned with *all* three of the services that I get.

I've noticed that my current package is now considerably more expensive than other available packages that include stuff like faster broadband, more channels, free national calling, etc, etc.

However, to avoid the installation fee (and because I like owning the hardware, to be honest) I'm looking at buying a modem rather than renting it.

However however, all of the recommended modems are "basic" modems - since I get phone service, it looks as though I need to muck around with splitters and a TWC provided eMTA to get that hooked up. I see that there *are* such things as eMTA modems that combine the cable modem and eMTA functionality, presumably eliminating the need for yet another splitter, but none are on the approved list. Is this because the eMTA needs to be configured specifically by TWC?

On a related note, I see that the only modem/router option available is the wireless gateway from Motorola (umm, SBG6580, I think). Are any of the non-wireless gateways approved? As a former ISP sysadmin, I've got security freak tendencies, and while my network's been living quite happily behind a Time Capsule for a while, I like to be able to review firewall logs, etc, etc.

Penultimately - assuming I have to go with TWC's eMTA, since I've already got one splitter in place (for the connections to my current cable modem and the DVR) does it make more sense to replace this with a three-way splitter than to take the existing connection to the modem and add a second splitter. Apologies if this is a dumb question - I've no real idea of the extent to which these things can add noise to the signal.

Oh, and ultimately - and this is one that I should be able to get from customer service but that I'll ask here, since I figure somebody will know - the package we're moving to includes DVR units for the "watch stuff anywhere in your home" feature. Nice, but we've only got one TV, and I loathe the idea of having to pay rental for something that'll be sitting on a shelf a) taking up limited shelf space and b) gathering dust. Is "can we leave out the second box because we don't have anything to connect it to?" a strong enough case to get the second unit (and its rental fee) left out?

Thanks in advance for any help that people can provide.


Jacksonville, NC
Yes, you will have to use the eMTA (TWC does not allow customer-owned eMTAs); but you do not have to use the wireless modem / router from Motorola. The 6121 or 6141 will work perfectly fine, but I'd recommend the 6141 in order to be more future proof.

Pertaining to your second box; it sounds you have either a package with Whole-Home DVR or SignatureHome (either of which automatically comes with two boxes). If its SignatureHome then your second box will double your recording time and amount of shows you can record at the same time. The rental fee of the boxes are also included in SignatureHome (plus free installation if that helps).

But you have options so explore them.


Milwaukee, WI
Thanks, this answers a lot of my questions - hadn't occurred to me that I could use the two DVRs together (although I suspect I'm going to run into a problem with a lack of HDMI inputs on the receiver). Thanks also for the confirmation of no-customer-owned eMTAs - looks like it'll be the 6141 and possibly a dedicated router (Newegg currently has a great price on the 6141 and a free router deal until 8/22, so I may look at that, despite "vaguely specified router" probably meaning "really cheap and nasty router").

I think i've figured out the splitter stuff for myself - assuming I have to go with a 3-way split (or a 4-way split with the two DVR setup) it looks like as long as I can keep things so that the cable modem only gets a single -3.5Db signal drop it should be OK. It'll mean the other connection have either a -7Db drop or a -10.5Db drop (I think) unless I go with a 4-way which'd just give everything a -7Db drop.

Personally, I don't really care about any of it except the internet and the phone, but my spouse insists we keep the TV