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All posts tagged "homeplug"


Monday, March 7, 2011

A Viable Alternative To WiFi

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 10:00 AM

http://gigaom.com/2011/03/04/is-201...ine-networking/

"But while Wi-Fi continues to be required on any connected entertainment device, that doesn’t mean the experience of Wi-Fi is always optimal. Anyone whose streamed Netflix over a significant range or a few walls knows the quality of the stream falls off pretty quickly, and sometimes will not work at all."

WiFi seems like the darling of the network industry. It is fairly easy to use and requires minimal set up for most homes. While handy, WiFi does not fit all situations. In homes that are large, have many walls (especially concrete apartments!) or are densely populated, WiFi can be an experiment in patience and colourful phrases. Running your own cable network is an option for some, but that option can also be expensive, messy, or problematic.

Powerline options use the existing wiring in your home and seems like a good compromise, however I have found that it also has its own challenges. While the theory is sound, and it can work great, it may not be a solution for all homes. Situations like how your hosue is wired, the quality of the wiring, or what is connected can greatly affect the transfer speed you see. Then there is the cost compared to WiFi other traditional Ethernet solutions. Powerline-type adapters are not cheap.

I have yet to personally see anyone successfuly use Powerline, but that is purely annecdotal evidence. Has anyone used Powerline equipment? What was your experience with it? A saviour or frustration?


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Netgear Saves You From Laying Cable

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 06:30 AM

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news...en-standard.ars

Even as the IEEE P1901 working group was set to meet this week to recommend its draft standard for broadband over powerline networks for official status, Netgear announced its line of Powerline AV 500 adapters that incorporate the HomePlug-compatible flavor of the standard. The new devices theoretically promise up to gigabit Ethernet speeds over home electrical wiring, and are the first to incorporate the newest standard.

Wireless networking is great. It offers freedom and is fairly easy to use. Unfortunately, WiFi often offers less than ideal bandwidth for large file transfers for video playback. Cable? Sure, if you have money to pay someone or are willing to drill holes and feed Cat 6 wires everywhere. Enter HomePlug. While not a perfect solution, HomePlug has been an option for those who want more reliable speeds without having to run cable everywhere. The speeds were not great at first, but with its latest iteration, streaming HD video can be a reality. While setting up a home network may get complicated with all these options, I think it is great that we have these options to fit each of our different needs and environments.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Cringely Looking For Wireless Audio Standard

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 09:00 PM

http://www.cringely.com/2008/12/the-missing-link/

"What’s missing here is a de facto wireless audio standard for televisions. Look on the back of any of these new TVs and you’ll find a forest of connections but none of the audio is wireless. There are RCA jacks, minijacks and optical, but no wireless. How much could it cost to add one more audio option? Not much – generally less than $10 in manufacturers’ cost."

Robert Cringely is lameting the fact that there isn't a standard for wireless audio. While there are various ways to transmit audio wirelessly, there is no standard like there is for video cables and audio cables for inside the house. Having dealt with finding a way to stream music and audiobooks to my bedroom wirelessly, I can sympathize. While I settled for the "low-tech" solution that is an FM transmitter, that technology does not provide the fidelity or capability of what a home theater deserves. He does concede to comments that HomePlug may be a feasible solution, but dismisses it owing to cost. However, earlier in the article, he notes that even sophisticated audio solutions are high in cost, owing to economies of scale. If HomePlug were to be fully embraced, I'm quite sure it would drop in cost. There are possibilities like Shoutcast and other streaming that could use an existing wireless network as well. Has anyone found a cost effective solution to provide 5.1 or 7.1 audio for a home theater?


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