facebook rss twitter

HEXUS.TalkingShop: the year of powerline networking?

by Scott Bicheno on 4 February 2011, 15:07

Tags: devolo

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qa4fp

Add to My Vault: x

Down the line

While mobile devices hog most of the headlines these days, an equally seismic shift is occurring around the other screen yet to be conquered by the Internet - the TV. Even giants like Apple, Google and Microsoft are struggling to define how best to integrate the TV and the Internet, but this could be a breakthrough year.

It might be stating the obvious somewhat, but in order to have Internet TV you have to connect the TV to the Internet. While most new TVs have all the requisite components, ports, etc, a lot of houses don't have their incoming broadband connection near to where they keep their TV. There are many solutions to this problem, but it's quite possible the best of all is powerline networking.

In our latest HEXUS.TalkingShop I spoke to Peter Huddleston, UK head of powerline networking specialist Devolo, who took us through the applications of this technology. While it's been around for a while, powerline networking looks like it's starting to appeal to mainstream consumers and the rise of Internet TV is bound to further accelerate that trend.

At the end of the Interview I cheekily offer to try out powerline networking in my house, where I currently struggle to get a Wi-Fi connection in my living room. Huddleston took me up on my offer and I can confirm that, by the simple act of connecting one plug to my router and plugging the other into an extension socket in my living room, I now have a full strength Wi-Fi connection there.



HEXUS Forums :: 8 Comments

Login with Forum Account

Don't have an account? Register today!
Its a great idea as long as you don't have two separate circuits in your house. My house was two flats for a while and each floor therefore has its own consumer unit and therefore these won't work. Got round the problem by using good old plain ethernet cable! Worth borrowing a set to test before buying!
Saved me having to buy a proprietary wireless dongle for the tv in my bedroom and an expensive wireless adapter for my xbox :)
Just had house rebuilt, and cat6 built in. Therefore have 3 network plugs up for sale shortly. Should help pay for a switch :)
shooty, pm me about those plugs, already interested
I like this gear - got six of the fancy “AVsmart+” boxes in the house and they're a real fire-and-forget solution to wireless problems. I actually migrated from equivalent boxes from Solwise because those ones weren't - ahem - the most reliable. The Devolo's on the other hand, are rock solid, and run very cool to boot. The pass-through socket is great for the AV gear - TV and BluRay are plugged into a unit each both for power and network.

Interesting about the new “500Mb/s” units - especially as the Devolo websites don't seem to carry any details, (I just checked). Shame that the one shown doesn't have a pass-through socket - that's a “fail” in my book because I can't afford to lose a socket or two (these can be quite large). That said, if those nice folks at Devolo (hint, hint, hint, …) ;) were to offer a limited time trade-in deal for the 200Mb/s units then I'd probably sign up.

While I'm thinking of “stuff that would be nice to see” a decent router with this built in would be nice. Yes, I know there are such units available from other manufacturers, but they seem to be mostly the older (slower!) standards.

Nice article Scott! :hexlub: One comment though - there's no point you “borrowing” a single plug to try it out - you need a minimum of two! :p

I can't see the radio “hams” being happy about the prospect of more PLE kit being bought - last time I heard there were screams from that community about intolerable wavelength pollution from just the limited amount of gear out there at the moment. The technical argument for/against this goes right over my head. :undecided