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Bridged IPTV over a single cable using Unifi

Ever since I started to use T-Mobile Thuis as my Internet & IPTV solution I faced the challenge of having to run 2 physical connections instead of 1 to one of my rooms because T-Mobile uses a Bridged IPTV solution. Internet & IPTV are separated in contrast to Routed IPTV which uses the same connection to serve both services.

I’ve been a client with T-Mobile already since the move from Vodafone Thuis. Back then they provided the Draytek 2132Fvn modem where LAN ports 1 & 2 serve the Internet connection and LAN ports 3 & 4 are configured to serve IPTV.

I have lived with an additional ethernet over power solution for a while, but that is consuming unnecessary standby power. So I took up the challenge to get both services over a single UTP cable.

I’ve been using Unifi Access Points for my Wifi already for years, but did not invest in other Unifi hardware yet until I started reading into the problem. There are various solutions available on the Internet describing how you can setup T-Mobile Thuis while even completely replacing the default provided modem. I did not wanted to go that way, but my solution also relies on investing in additional managed switches. I went for the Unifi Switch 8 POE – 60W and the new Unifi Switch Flex Mini, because I already had the Access Points.

I do know my tech, but I’m not a network expert. So it took me a while to understand how IPTV works in relation to multicasting. When browsing the internet you’re using a unicast strategy to get data from point to point. For streaming this would congest the network, hence a signal is send to every possible receiver that could listen for the packets that come in. This meant that in my initial setup I was flooding my network with the IPTV signal to all my devices, bring the reliability of the network down in just a couple of minutes.

So here’s the working setup on my Unifi Switch 8 POE – 60W.

  • Port 1 is connected to the Internet uplink
  • Port 3 is connected to the IPTV uplink
  • Port 5 is connected to the Unifi Switch Flex mini downlink

The only thing you have to do is create 1 VLAN Only network with any unique number you like, and 1 additional switch port profile to allow both Internet & IPTV traffic coming in from the Unifi Switch Flex mini.

As we are using Bridged IPTV and not Routed IPTV, there is no need for enabling IGMP snooping. We just have to take care that the multicast traffic is not going on other ports than necessary. Neither do we have to take the VLAN id’s into account that T-Mobile uses for Internet (300) and IPTV (640) on the Draytek.

You can now setup the ports, on port 3 the IPTV uplink, allow only the IPTV VLAN:

On port 5, the Unifi Switch Flex mini, allow both Internet & IPTV traffic.

On all other ports you should explicitly change from ‘All’ to the default LAN profile. If you keep a port on All, you would allow multicast traffic flowing on that port, possibly creating congestion problems on your network.

That’s it! You can now select the correct port profiles on your Unifi Switch Flex mini as well, but leave the uplink port on ‘All’. You don’t have any other option because the Unifi Switch Flex mini doesn’t support custom switch port port profiles (yet?).

When you’ve configured everything properly your statistics on multicast traffic should look similar like this. You only see multicast traffic coming from the downlink towards the uplink on the Unifi Switch 8 POE – 60W. All other interfaces are not bothered with the traffic!

You should now be able to both browse the Internet and watch IPTV over 1 cable, while your modem is splitting this into a Bridged IPTV solution!

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