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Adjusting the WiFi channel

Why manually adjust the WiFi channel

If you are experiencing a situation where Provision HD streamer receiver is repeatedly losing a video connection to the transmitter its quite possible the issue is caused by WiFi interference from another network. In this case manually setting the wireless channel used by the HD streamer and/or your home WiFi router will more than likely resolve the problem.

Note: If you are experiencing this issue please continue reading and follow the instructions to manually set the Wireless channel.

Background

The HD streamer uses a private WiFi network in the 5 GHz wireless band in order to stream video and audio content between the transmitter and receivers.

On start up the transmitter will scan the available wireless channels and select, as best it can, the channel that it thinks is most optimal. Once this selection is done the HD streamer will use this channel until the transmitter is turned off.

There are however some cases where this selection is not optimal. One example is if another WiFi device starts using the same or an adjacent channel through either not carrying out a scan during start up like the HD streamer transmitter or through being inactive while the HD streamer transmitter was carrying out its own scan.

The issue of devices using the same or adjacent channels can be further by exacerbated by a phenomenon called  the Near-far_problem which all wireless devices can suffer from. In this case the potentially small signals (depending upon positioning) between the transmitter and receiver can be blocked by the large signals of a close by device, the link above to wikipedia has a good a analogy of this phenomenon.

 

Prerequisites

Before adjusting the wireless channel of the HD streamer please make sure: 

1. The units are running the latest firmware

Please follow the instructions on our Upgrade support page for details on how to check the current firmware version and upgrade if necessary.

2. The current in use 5 GHz wireless channels are known

Before adjusting the wireless channel of the HD streamer we need to know what it is currently set to. 5 GHz  WiFi channels start at around 36 and go up 165 however not all channels can be used in all countries. A list of allowed channels can be found on the Wikipeida page List of 5GHz WLAN channels

Note: The Provision HD streamer can operate on channels 36, 40, 44 and 48 in the UK / Europe while in the USA it can additionally operate on 149, 153, 157 and 161 

We also need to know what channels any other WiFi networks are also using. Once we known this we can decide what channel to set the HD streamer to use.

Find the current wireless channel of: 

A. The Provision Wireless unit 

The current wireless channel is shown on the On Screen Display of the receiver marked by item 3 in the image below

osd.jpg

 

B. The Home WiFi router

A simple way to find the WiFi channel used by a home router (and all the devices connected to it) is to log into its web configuration page. Each router link to instructions of how to do this for some common WiFi routers are listed below.

Note: If instructions for your router are not shown below or you are not sure how to access its web configuration page please let us know and we will try to find some online instructions for you.

Note: we are only interested the in 5 GHz wireless channel as this the band where the HD streamer operates. 

C. Any other WiFi networks

It is possible that WiFi networks outside of your control, for example networks in neighbouring homes, to also cause interference.

There are many different ways to find out what channels are being used. One such way on a Windows 7 laptop is to do the following.

Note: if you run into difficulties during this stage then let us know and we can suggest some alternative methods.    

  • Use a laptop which supports 5 GHz WiFi channels.

Note: If you are unsure whether your laptop supports 5 GHz please continue following these steps with the HD streamer transmitter turned on. 

  • Open a Command prompt window by
    • Clicking the start button
    • Searching for cmd in the search bar
    • Right clicking the cmd program
    • Then Run as administrator 

OpenCmdPromt.jpg

  • Enter the command  netsh wlan show networks bssid

netshScan.jpg

  • Observe the results and note down the 5 GHz channels currently in use.

In the example above it can be seen that five WiFi networks were detected. Three were operating in the 2.4GHz band indicated by the Channel numbers being less than 36 (1, 1, and 6) and two devices operating in the 5 GHz band (GIP-Dev-02-5G and PROVTXRX0004062).

The device GIP-Dev-02-5G is a WiFi router while PROVTXRX0004062 can be identified as a HD streamer transmitter as the SSID of all HD streamers start with PROVTXRX.

If you were unsure whether your laptop supported WiFi in the 5 GHz band it is as this point you will be able to know. Provided the transmitter was turned on before doing the scan a device with the SSID PROVTXRX should be displayed in your scan results. If it doest appear then your laptop does not support 5 GHz and you will need to try an alternative method for finding the WiFi channels, please let us know if you have any difficulties doing this. 

3. Choose 5 GHz wireless channel

In the example above its quite possible (depending upon positioning of the wireless devices) that the WiFi router GIP-Dev-02-5G and the  PROVTXRX0004062 will interfere with each other as they are on adjacent channels. Therefore In the following section we will go through the steps required to adjust the channel used by the HD streamer. We will want the two devices to be separated as far as possible so in this example where the Home Router is on channel 36 we will move the HD streamer to channel 48.   

Procedure

There are two methods available for manually setting the wireless channel of the HD streamer

1. Using the HD streamer Web configuration page

The Wireless channel of the HD streamer can be changed by accessing the Web configuration page of the HD streamer. This is the most convenient method for setting the Wireless channel of the HD streamer. In order to access the Web interface the The HD Live upgrade kit is required. 

  • Loading the web configuration page using the HD Live upgrade kit is covered by the instructions on the Accessing the web interface support page
  • Once the web configuration page has been loaded go to Wireless Setup section. Here the wireless channel can be set by selecting the desired channel from the drop down box (48 in this example) and pressing the "Set Wireless channel" button. After a few seconds the Current channel should update to indicate the the channel update has been successful.

WirelessSetup.jpg 

  • Power up a receiver and check the current wireless channel as described earlier in this guide

2. Using the update config file method

This method updates the HD streamer config settings file located in the transmitter unit.

  • First obtain a USB flash stick. We recommend using an empty USB stick using the FAT file format. See the Upgrade support page for details on how to prepare the USB flash stick if required.  
  • Download and save the new-gipsettings.xml file. Following the instructions for your web browser below

A. Chrome and Firefox:

    • Right click on the new-gipsettings.xml link and then click Save link as... 
    • Wait for the Save As dialogue box to appear
    • Browse to the USB stick directory
    • Click save as

Note: Chrome and Firefox users please do not save the file by left clicking on the new-gipsettings.xml link and then selecting save as 

B. Internet Explorer:

    • Right click on the new-gipsettings.xml link and then click Save target as... 
    • Wait for the Save dialogue box to appear
    • Browse to the USB stick directory
    • Click save

Note:Internet Explorer users please do not save the file by left clicking on the new-gipsettings.xml link and then selecting save as 

  • Once the file is saved make sure the file is called new-gipsettings and has the file extension .xml.
  • Open the  new-gipsettings.xml with a text editor and check to make sure the first line of the file is 

<?xml>version = "1.0"</?xml> 

rather than 

<?xml version="1.0" ?>

Adjust the first line if necessary

  • To set the wireless channel modify the ap_channel = "48" option to select the desired channel. For example to use channel 40 ap_channel = "40"  Note: valid options are 36, 40, 44 and 48
  • Once edited save the file and close the text editor. 
  • With the HD streamer transmitter turned off insert the USB stick into the USB connector.
  • Power up the transmitter and wait for the blue light to start flashing
  • Power up a receiver and check the current wireless channel as described earlier in this guide. It should match what was set in the config file
  • Power off the transmitter unit and then remove the USB stick.
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Comments

  • Avatar
    Chris Penrice

    Sky now has a 5Ghz router for Sky Q, these instructions solved the problem thanks.

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