How To Connect Your Unifi Set-Top Box Wirelessly

It's a jungle out there

It's a jungle out there

One of the gadgets (and services) that comes with TM’s Unifi fibre-optic broadband is the video/TV streaming application. This is done via a set-top box, similar in concept to the Astro satellite decoder. The technology inside and the delivery path is of course fundamentally different.

The terrestrial channels are TV1, TV2, TV3, NTV7, 8TV and TV9. Additional free cable channels include Bernama TV, Hikmah, Channel NewsAsia, Luxe.TV HD, Euronews, DW-TV Asia, Australia Network, Bloomberg TV and The Travel Channel.

HyppTV is available to residential users but not for Unifi Biz installation at commercial or business premises. I’m guessing it is due to licensing restrictions imposed by content providers. HyppTV is naturally happy to gloat about the fact that its reception is not susceptible to rain and other atmospheric conditions.

What’s interesting about IPTV is that it incorporates ‘time-shift’ viewing. Most of the programs can be moved back by two hours with variable speed rewind/forward and pause function. Users can also purchase titles via VOD (Video-On-Demand) and subscribe to premium channels with a few clicks on the remote control.

The current Unifi set-up involves routing the fibre-optic cable from the pole to a Broadband Termination Unit (Huawei Echolife HG 850) inside the house. A LAN cable connects it to the supplied VLAN-capable wireless router (D-Link DIR 615). The 3rd piece of equipment, the set-top box (Huawei EC2108E) streams video content to a television set or monitor.

Unifi Residential Set-up Connection Schematic/Diagram

Unifi Residential Set-up Connection Schematic/Diagram

Contrary to some reports, the wireless N router performed sufficiently well with regard to Internet access. I am able to receive the signals on different floors with download speeds very close to a direct cable connection. If you are getting weak signals at certain spots, a wi-fi extender may help.

The present promo package also comes with a free Motorola DECT cordless phone which I won’t be using. I already have a Siemens pair in operation and so it was just a matter of plugging out the old copper wire and plugging it into the voice port of the Huawei. Fax is not supported, though.

Positioning the set-top box can be tricky as it needs to be near the television. Connection is via the supplied HDMI cable. If you have an older TV, there are analogue RCA, S-Video and component outputs too. Problem is the STB is tethered to the router by a network cable.

As such, the Unifi installer will usually recommend placing the set-top box, along with the BTU (Broadband Termination Unit a.k.a. Optical Network Terminal) and PG (Premise Gateway a.k.a. Router), next to the TV. This is not always practical or desirable. I wanted the channels to be streamed to a TV upstairs and didn’t want to run a long RJ 45 cable. So how?

TP-Link's AV200 Mini Powerline Twin Kit

Enter TP-Link’s AV200 Mini Powerline Twin Kit or TL-PA211KIT (RM 150 street price). It is a pair of powerline adapters or ‘homeplugs’ that use existing electrical wires to transfer data. Setting it up is not as simple as the skimpy manual suggests, though.

First you need to pair the adapters. Before that, make sure both AC outlets are on the same phase if you have 3-phase electricity wiring. Since you have only 2 minutes after triggering the first unit, it is best to test everything out within the same room or same floor first.

I was having difficulty connecting at first, only to find out that the homeplugs will not work properly when the AC is ‘filtered’ by my UPS’s AVR circuitry. I suppose the filtering removes the embedded data. Plug it directly into a wall point to bypass.

Unlike Bluetooth pairing, you do not hold down the pairing button until it blinks. Hold it for about 5 seconds and then press the button on the other unit, also for around 5 seconds. The LED lights will start blinking as both units communicate. After about 45 seconds you are good to go.

Plug the LAN cable from the sender unit into one of the wireless router’s LAN port and then test the Unifi internet connection with your laptop plugged in at the other end. If all works, swap the input cable back to the VLAN port (coloured red). Move the decoder and accompanying homeplug to the room where your TV is located.

The video streaming via the homeplugs appears excellent with no drop-frames and compression artifacts. Of course, don’t expect the HD quality to be on par with that of Blue-Ray, even when connected directly. There you have it; a cheap and practical solution to deliver high quality streaming content to any point in your house.

Placing the Set-Top Box where it belongs. Below the TV set

Placing the Set-Top Box where it belongs. Below the TV set

While we are at it, I like to remind new users to change two important settings. Connect to the Unifi wireless router via a network cable and log on to http://192.168.0.1./ Change your SSID as it is stupidly set to broadcast your user name, example ‘ah_lian@unifi’.

Also, set your router password and turn on WEP or WPA encryption for some form of security. Your wireless connection will now be disconnected and you will need to enter the key on your computer to re-establish connection.

Next go to the nearest TMpoint and terminate your Streamyx and old land line account :) Happy Surfing!

79 thoughts on “How To Connect Your Unifi Set-Top Box Wirelessly

  1. TV Smith,

    What about using TP Link transmitter for Astro iPTV, does it support the same way it does for UNIFI?

    Not much of details on Astro IPTV performance is seen any where, probably due to its still new in the market. Only difference is the 10MB for RM149 Astro IPTV and UNIFI with 5MBP RM149. In a difficult situation to decide which ISP to subscribe to?

    Thank you.

  2. Hi TV Smith;

    I need your advice, how to get digital sound (such like Dolby digital 5.1) from Hypptv HD Channel? What should i do?

    Really appreciate your advice and comments.

    TQ.

  3. Tm will have a riot on their hands these Huawei STB are cheap and nasty, seem to be failing after warranty… there will be more and more cases as time goes on as Unifi matures…the storm is coming !! There should be an alternative quality STB , now we know we have to pay for replacement

  4. I was advice to be careful about buying router booster or router extender since there are many brands that are not compatible with Unifi router. This is due to the weak signal that I receive in my other rooms. Can you advice on which booster or extender to buy please? I don’t want to be spending money that is not going to help my situation. You take on this is most appreciated.

  5. hi tv smith,

    i have a set of hypp tv set top box, but i m using the streamyx, can i connect it with LAN cable from my router? or any idea how to make this set top box working without upgrade to unifi.

    thanks.

  6. 1 month ago, i juz turn on hypptv can watch, but now want Login…
    The unit asking for HyppTV Login – with USER and PIN – how to enter and how to get those info?

  7. Mate, there’s a USB port on the right side of the Hypp TV box. what does it do? Can i connect my Pendrive and watch movie from the TV by hosting the Hypp TV?

  8. Hi TV Smith. I just got my unifi service installed. I was wondering, currently I have an Apple’s Time Capsule and an Apple’s Airport Express with me, can I use these 2 devices to replace the Dlink WIFI router and the LAN cable for the iptv?

  9. HI Tv smith,

    I just setup 5mb unifi. have the wireless modem n hyppTV set.
    my problem is the modem location and my TV is far away but same floor.
    Can home plug be used to sold the problem? home plug on modem, another near the TV connect to hyppTv set?
    Thx for the help ^_^

  10. help. my hypptv remote control is not working. i just installed few hours back and it was fine when i tried. when i switched off the tv and switch on later, the remote control totally cannot be use, no response no matter what button i press. somore, when i press channel 108, the number showed at the tv box, but no response from the tv. what should i do?? internet is fine, just the remote control and tv box

  11. Dear TV Smith

    I need your advice on the STB.
    My STB just KO’ed and Telekom wants RM400 to replace as it is just out of warranty.

    I think it’s crap.

    can i get HYPP TV without the set up box?

    thanks

  12. Hi TV Smith,

    Last time when the Unifi guys came for installation, my mum just agreed to everything they said. Since the TV is going to be installed in my sister’s room, so they suggested to put everything i.e. router, telephone & STB in that room. This setup resulted in poor WIFI signals to other rooms, and the cordless phone can only be charged in her room. This is quite troublesome for us to use the telephone and even got us pissed when the wireless signal keeps disappearing.

    Few days ago I found a brochure about homeplugs and it seems like a good solution for us to separate the triple play services. So today I purchased a pair of homeplugs only to find out that it is useless to the STB, because I just found out that the STB can only be connected to the router.

    My initial plan is to move the router and Fiber Terminal Block into the living room and leaves the STB in my sister’s room. However, this seems impossible because of the STB, and the fiber length is limited.

    Can you help me solve this problem? Thanks.

    • Ideally, u need to get the installer to move entire set up to the room you want (charges apply). They will extend the fibre optic cable. The homeplugs are to remotely site your STB, for eg next to your living room TV. Another option, is to extend/strengthen wifi signals with wifi extenders. The cordless phone need not be on base all the time except for charging.

      • Hi, thanks for the reply.

        To move the entire set is costly, so I have decided to return the homeplugs and switch to wireless repeater. It works quite well.

        Thanks again! :)

  13. My STB displays some INIT thing on the led section. Tested the Homeplug, works fine with my laptop, but just does not seem to function with the decoder?

  14. Hi, we were recently advised that our STB is faulty and hence cannot connect to IPTV. As we already had unifi for >1yr, it is no longer under warranty and we were asked to replace the STB at a cost of RM 400. We are looking for other cheaper and hopefully more reliable options. Can we used the homeplug in lieu of the STB? If yes, how do we connect our TV to the homeplug and also select the channels. Alternatively, are there similar device similar to TM STB which we can buy in the market? Thanks ahead for your advise.

  15. Hi, we were recently advised that our STB is faulty and hence cannot connect to IPTV. As we already had unifi for >1yr, it is no longer under warranty and we were asked to replace the STB at a cost of RM 400. We are looking for other cheaper and hopefully more reliable options. Can we used the homeplug in lieu of the STB? If yes, how do we connect our TV to the homeplug and also select the channels. Alternatively, are there similar device similar to TM STB which we can buy in the market? Thanks ahead for your advise.

    • Unfortunately you have no choice. Even if a third party STB is available, you may not be able to log in w/o TM’s approval/settings. If contract is expiring soon, wait and re-sign up?

  16. Smith, can I connect the wireless router to a 8 port switch(I have LAN connection in my house), then use one of the port to watch the Hypp TV ? The reason I use 8 port switch is because I need 6 LAN connection in my house.

  17. halo. I just installed the hypp tv and the homeplug. this afternoon it was going great, so clear and everything. But now it becomes superlag and doesnt even show images. now im wondering, is it the homeplug or the connection that are making this superlag happening. what does affect the hypptv smoothness in streaming the channels?

  18. I plan to buy 2 sets of Home Plugs (4 Units).
    One set is to transmit the IPTV signal (via Port 4) and another set is to transmit the internet data (via Port 1).

    Will the signal clashes (IPTV vs Internet signal) each other?
    Is there a way to set which signal to receive at the another end ?

  19. I too just recently got the UniFi set up at home. I think everyone faces the same issue on the distance between the internet connection with the TV Set. I am usning Homeplug but a Hybrid mix on the power line infrastructure. TPLink connection is on the IPTV and i have another set of Aztech Homeplug to give internet connection. It seems that both cannot be located at the same time or will give network collision. Am trying to see if it is viable to VLAN Tag it to seperate the network spectrum from each other. Any comments ?

  20. Hi TV Smith,

    Thanks for the knowledge sharing. Even I called Unifi about the wireless setup between RG and STB, they cannot give me an answer. If there any reason why you prefer homeplug over wireless AP? Is it not going work out for wireless AP? BTW, is there any secrurity protection between homeplug. For example, if my neighbour has homeplug, can he connects to my network?

    • Because the STB doesn’t have a wireless receiver nor handles a wireless dongle. During pairing of the homeplug, the protection is enabled. Even in the unlikely event your neighbour has a STB w/o a Unifi account, he won’t be able to steal anything.

  21. NEED HELP! my house is 3 storey townhouse, I have installed my unifi at ground floor study room which all the route and modem are same location too, my living hall is 1st floor so the ipptv are put at the living hall but is not connector to my TV yet due to i dont wan have any wiring at my living hall…i have get the advise from Unifi technician to install the homeplug, but im really dunno how’s can work it out for the home plug? any advise for me??? and secondary, i need the unifi signal for my 2nd floor room too for internet sufting, do i need install any booster or change my route at my ground floor room? need urget information as i need to buy the stuff soon ..

  22. nice.. I was looking for something like this and the price sounds reasonable…. May I know which shop selling this and how stable is the equipment? …. Thanks

  23. Great Job in explaining all this. I got a question. Unifi goes to my room upstairs and the TV is Downstairs. Both run on 2 different electrical phase ( Not Same Phase) . Is there a wireless device which can connect my wireless router (Upstairs) to the hyppotv (downstairs) and to my TV?

  24. Hi Smith,
    Since you’ve already use the powerline network for HyppTV only, is there a way to create another network for internet/LAN use? I want to connect my HD media player at ground floor to my PC upstairs. Any suggestions?
    Thx.
    Steve

  25. Smith, can i put the broadband termination unit in my study room and connect to a home plug and in my living room, i will connect another home plug to my wireless router and the set top box connect to the wireless router side by side. will it work?

      • i want to put the router in living area for better wireless coverage. i don’t want to put the BTU in living area as it involves heavy wiring work. my study room is just at the back of my house where the unifi wire can easily come in.

    • Great Job Yeow. So to clarify what u said. U have connected:-
      Optical Network Terminal (in Study Room) –> TPlink (Study Room) —> Tplink (Living Room) –> Wireless Router –> HyppoTV —> TVset.
      Is This correct? And hows the Speed of the internet?

  26. Dear Tvsmith,

    My house is running on 3 phase tier :-

    1) How to i know whether the both AC outlets are on the same phase?
    2) If both AC outlets are from different phase , the home plug can’t work ? and what other solution do you recommend?

    Thanks & Regards
    Kong

  27. Not sure about the TPLink, i am using Dlink Home Plug with the same setup shown in above diagram and i think the Dlink home plug is not stable. Everything after power off, the Setup Box unable to initialize the HyppTV channel. Youtube, news, trailers are OK, but just cant watch the regular channel provided in HyppTV.

    Then I need to manually pair the home plug again many many times then only works.

    However when i use the Dlink home plug for normal data transfer not such problem even power off and on again.

  28. Hi, thanks very(2) much for this informative article. Still unclear about the following: I have Unifi already set up, with set-top box next to HD TV in upstairs room. Need to watch TV downstairs – can TP-LINK POWERLINE ETHERNET ADAPTOR be used on old CRT set? How to change channels? Not keen on wireless transmitter as I was told that the HDMI cables by Unifi require an expensive unit (>RM 1K). Many thanks for advice.

    • No. The TP Link Homeplugs are to replace the Ethernet cable between the router and the set-top box. If you need to view the HyppTV channels on another TV downstairs, you need to run coxial AV or HDMI cables or use wireless transmitters which come in two flavours. The cheaper SD (Standard Definition) type for your old CRT TV or the more expensive HD variety. Although IR relay (for the remote control) is usually built into a good AV transmitter, I’m not sure if TM Unifi will sell you an additional remote control for the Huawei box. Alternatively, you can clone it with one of those programmable universal remotes.

  29. Hello,
    TM agent confirmed at the time of registration that a TV is not required for Unifi installation. However I did call TM today twice and I received different answers to whether a TV is needed or not. I have a LED monitor Acer S231HL (HDMI from laptop to DVI) and wondering if Unifi installation is possible.

    Thanks for your kind advice.

    • Technically, you can install without trying out the HyppTV but if you get a TV later and things don’t work you may need to call them again. It saves the technician another trip I guess. Being private contractors, they prefer to get everything in the package working and move on. It is possible with a HDMI to DVI cable but you might not be able to test the audio unless your monitor has separate audio inputs. If so, additional RCA to phono cables might be needed.

  30. Hi
    Need some help, i have a HP display unit w1907 with DVI, and i was trying to setup it up with the Unify HyppTV via the HDMI to DVI, and i encountered “input signal out of range”. It works fine with RCA to my TV.

    Kindly advise.

    Thx

  31. Smith,
    Nice article on Unifi installation.
    Regarding this TP-Link Homeplug, can we plug it into extension point such as adaport? or it must be origanl wall plug?

      • Hi,

        I’ve tried following your steps on setting up hypptv using TP link. We had several problems on connecting both pairs. The problem is that one seems to be working fine (blinking) ever since we plugged it in. However, the other pair is having trouble blinking. It stops blinking even if i pressed the pair buttons on both units.

        There was one time that it worked. but when i off and on the power plug, the same problem occur again.

        Can you please advise? Plus, can we use Belkin’s surge protectors as extension cables?

        • An AV wireless transmitter set comes in a pair of receiver and transmitter in the 2.4 Ghz band (RM 250 to RM 400). Just connect the RCA inputs/outputs on both ends. They usually come with an additional “eye” for transmitting the infra red signals from the decoder’s remote control. That means you can change channels from the room upstairs. In the case of Astro, just get a spare remote.

          AV Transmitters that handle HD signals via HDMI are also available but are very much more expensive (RM 1000 & above). Most shops in Pasar Road or Low Yat Plaza carry the regular types.

  32. Dear TV Smith,
    1) where do I buy the homeplug TP Link in K.L. or P.J area?
    2) My unifi installer insists that I should get a 1,000 mbs minimum homeplug for unifi. Is his request valid?

    Thanks
    Dylan

    • I got mine at Sri Computer in Low Yat Plaza. I assume it is also readily available at Digital Mall in PJ. From a practical standpoint, the 200 Mbps data stream appears more than adequate.

      • What is the diferences between the 1000mbs and 200Mbps data stream and what brand of homeplugs is the best for unifi user

  33. Sir, I just had mine connected, but the HyppTV set top box is inconsistent. I have to restart quite a few times before I can switch channels.

  34. Smith, is there a digital optical output from the Hypp TV set top box? We know there is an HDMI output to the TV set directly but by using a digital co-axial or digital optical cable, then the Dolby Digital 5.1 audio can be enjoyed via and separate Audio Receiver Amp. Sickeningly, due to (I suspect) a legal case, Astro is blocked from beaming Dolby Digital 5.1. They now broadcast in stereo only. That is what my machine says.
    Regards

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