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16 channels vs 24 or 32 channel Modems

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16 channels vs 24 or 32 channel Modems

There was a thread from last fall, which has now been marked "closed," that asked the precise question I have. (I copied the "subject" line above.)


There were a few helpful responses, but no real discussion, and I could not tell how well-grounded the answers were. (There were also unhelpful responses, such as "buy a Docis 3.1 modem for future-proofing).


I currently use a Motorola MB7220 16X4 Docis 3.0 cable modem with Comcast's "Extreme 150" plan (Michigan).  I consistently get 174 Mbs down/24 Mbs up.  I'm delighted with these *average* speeds.


But even so, I occasionally experience very brief--but annoying--lags in my streaming movie and t.v. services (e.g., HBO, Amazon Prime Video).  I have a 1080p flat-screen and am not viewing 4k content.


I'm paying $60/mo for Extreme 150 (internet only).  1 gig service is available in my area, for $120/mo.  I have absolute no interest in paying anything close to this amount for internet, and do not perceive a any real benefit to 1 gig service.  Nor do I want to spend $170-ish on a Docis 3.1 modem.  (From what I've read, I would much prefer to wait for "Full Duplex Docis 3.1" modems to come out in the next couple of years, anyway.)


I can, however, upgrade to a 24x or even 32x Docis 3.0 modem for under $100.  Question:  Would I achieve any benefit from doing so?  


Based on DSL reports from my area, Comcast/Xfinity has enabled 32 channel bonding (downloads) here.


Short form of question:  Would 24x or 32x Docis 3.0 modem--as opposed to 16x--lead to less video buffering (1080p, or 1080i, or 720p) in the evening when all the other cord cutters and watching HBO Now or Netflix or Xfinity cable tv?  Please provide some type of basis for your response, if that's not asking too much.  I have not been able to find authoritative or semi-authoritative information on the web on this topic.


Second question: Has anyone actually moved from 16x to either 24x or 32x Docis 3.0 modem on the same tier of service and seen an actual improvement?  Thanks!


Re: 16 channels vs 24 or 32 channel Modems

Hi @DrewMcG,

Although more channels are indeed technically better - you probably won't notice much difference in real-world performance with a new modem. I'd suggest:


  • You make sure your modem's signal levels are optimal (see the troubleshooting guide.)
  • Use the best high-performance router that works with your budget.
  • Use a wired connection for streaming video.
  • Optimize your WiFi network. 

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Re: 16 channels vs 24 or 32 channel Modems

I'm also trying to figure out this with info form the internet - did not reach too far.


So the best strategy is - go by the best modem and test it yourself for your situation.


For the record - in my case it made zero perceivable difference.

8x4 -> 32x8 on 75mbs plan, 32 hannels down in my area