Anyone have their entire house networked with Powerline? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 36 Old 02-17-2012, 07:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Just thinking ahead to the time when I may move and my house won't necessarily have CAT5 in every room like it does now. How will I network all of my HTPCs and server?

Powerline is an obvious answer. Does anyone have their entire house --- or multiple HTPCs --- linked together with Powerline adapters? I have a desktop using a Logitech powerline adapter and have been very impressed.

Here's a little more about Powerline for those who aren't as familiar:

Quote:
The NETGEAR Powerline Nano500 Set extends your Internet access to any electrical outlet for the most demanding applications. It offers easy, plug-and-play setup and faster speeds, all in a convenient small design. Perfect for connecting smart TVs, HD set-top boxes, 3D HD videos, Blu-rayTM players, DVRs, PCs and gaming consoles to your home network and the Internet.

Extend your network - Extend Internet access throughout your home to any electrical outlet for desktop PCs, smart TVs, gaming consoles and set-top boxes
HDTV & 3D HD - Speeds up to 500 Mbps enable applications such as HDTV, multiple HD and 3D HD video streams, streaming multimedia, and multiplayer gaming
Compact Design - Convenient nano-design blends in nicely with any surrounding
Plug-and-play - Sets up in minutes, no need to configure or install software
Push-and-Secure - Secures the network connection with the touch of a button, no need to remember passwords
Pick-a-Plug - Automatically tests the connection at any electrical outlet to ensure the highest possible performance
Energy-saving features - Automatically powers down when not connected or not in use, disable LEDs, less than 0.5 Watt in stand-by, packaging manufactured with at least 80% recyclable material
Expand your existing Powerline network - Backwards compatible with Homeplug AV including NETGEAR Powerline AV products

And a link to one of the better and faster adapters:
http://www.amazon.com/Netgear-XAVB50...9534891&sr=1-1

This is the one that I have after getting a great deal on a "dented box" and have been happy with so far (not as fast):
http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Power.../dp/B004F9P2KU
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post #2 of 36 Old 02-17-2012, 08:41 PM
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Use Moca not powerline.
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post #3 of 36 Old 02-17-2012, 08:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by almostinsane View Post

Use Moca not powerline.

Interesting. Got any product links? I don't know much at all about Moca but looks great.
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post #4 of 36 Old 02-17-2012, 09:04 PM
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WiFi speeds of Gig will be common place before you know it...
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post #5 of 36 Old 02-17-2012, 09:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momoceio View Post

WiFi speeds of Gig will be common place before you know it...

The problem with WiFi isn't the speed but the quality of the signal. Even the fastest networks have packet drops that kill its use with HTPC. This is especially a problem in metro areas where there is a lot of interference and other networks.

Wired is the only way, imo.
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post #6 of 36 Old 02-17-2012, 11:46 PM
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No experience with multiple units, but I use it with some success on 60 year old wiring and over considerable distance. My modem and router are in my office in the house (with it's original wiring circa 1950) and I have a PC in my kids "clubhouse" that connects through a powerline adapter that's a couple of generations older than the ones you linked to. The power to the clubhouse comes from the panel in our barn that is in turn fed from the main panel in the house - about 150 feet total. I can stream DVD rips from my main HTPC to the clubhouse PC just fine, but high def videos (h.264 web content) stutters/stalls if I don't let it buffer first.
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post #7 of 36 Old 02-18-2012, 12:00 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

The problem with WiFi isn't the speed but the quality of the signal. Even the fastest networks have packet drops that kill its use with HTPC. This is especially a problem in metro areas where there is a lot of interference and other networks.

Wired is the only way, imo.

This is why Wireless-N came about. I have over 11 Wireless-G a/p's around me, and I have no problem with wireless-G and streaming, so really your statement is opinionated.
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post #8 of 36 Old 02-18-2012, 03:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post

This is why Wireless-N came about. I have over 11 Wireless-G a/p's around me, and I have no problem with wireless-G and streaming, so really your statement is opinionated.

Well I guess most statements are opinionated.

I have wireless g/n and I can stream everything but uncompressed mkv. Those stutter for me on my network.
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post #9 of 36 Old 02-18-2012, 05:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by almostinsane View Post

Use Moca not powerline.

Huh, going to have to check into this one. Thanks for the info.

http://www.amazon.com/Actiontec-Ethe...9570414&sr=8-3

looks like it gets good user reviews

Just noticed powerline is up to 500 Mbps so whats the big advantage?
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post #10 of 36 Old 02-18-2012, 05:23 AM
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I just have one leg wired with a Netgear pair. Rest is gigabit. Obviously slower but has never hiccuped in over a year of service.
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post #11 of 36 Old 02-18-2012, 06:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terryj47 View Post

I just have one leg wired with a Netgear pair. Rest is gigabit. Obviously slower but has never hiccuped in over a year of service.

Yup, I have an old pair from a company that's out of business, sucks can't add more units to my house. They might not even be 85Mpbs but the reliability has been spot on, you never get the pauses that you get with wireless. I haven't tried streaming HD video over them but was using them for online gaming where low latency is king and they were a huge improvement over wireless. Speaking of Mpbs how much bandwidth do you need to stream HD video recorded by WMC?
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post #12 of 36 Old 02-18-2012, 07:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post

This is why Wireless-N came about. I have over 11 Wireless-G a/p's around me, and I have no problem with wireless-G and streaming, so really your statement is opinionated.

As is yours, because you are lucky to not have interference.

Wireless-N, G, whatever, are not 100% reliable for HD streaming. If you don't believe me, ask erickotz (Ceton QA mgr) here why the upcoming Q DVR will not have wifi built-in, but instead will have MoCA support.
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post #13 of 36 Old 02-18-2012, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

The problem with WiFi isn't the speed but the quality of the signal. Even the fastest networks have packet drops that kill its use with HTPC. This is especially a problem in metro areas where there is a lot of interference and other networks.

Wired is the only way, imo.



AGREE

but more normal people will just go wired before they try anything like your suggesting because they are not "geek" enough like we are.

-

"Too much is almost enough. Anything in life worth doing is worth overdoing. Moderation is for cowards."
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post #14 of 36 Old 02-18-2012, 08:46 AM
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I have 3 of the Trendnet 500 mb Powerline Units, and everything works great. 20 year old house. Main unit is in the office, where media server is stored. Satellite units serve living room home theater and master bedroom's Sage extender. I'm planning to add another unit in the guest room. Most of my media is in 720P MKV files, but even the few 1080P files play smooth as silk.

I've read about MOCA, and it would be interesting to try... but the house still has to be wired with coax, right? So what's the advantage over wiring with ethernet? I like the flexibility of the Powerline method. I moved the system from a temporary leased house to this purchased one and it was all just simple plug and play. No wiring needed. But I'm particular enough that if it didn't work as well as it does, I'd have it hard wired by now.
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post #15 of 36 Old 02-18-2012, 08:47 AM
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It was my understanding from that both Powerline Adapters and the newer MoCA stuff works but there were bandwidth limitations.

I also recall that the really NEW MoCA stuff is supposed to be faster and more reliable but wasn't cheap.

This was from Patrick Norton at TekZilla from the Rev3 Crew...a confirmed geek and tweaker. You may have sources you trust more. Pat, Robert and Veronica have always done right by me so I usually consider their opinions to be solid unless proven incorrect.

Regards,
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post #16 of 36 Old 02-18-2012, 08:51 AM
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Do what I did: cut holes, fish wires, crawl in attic, install rack and switch and patch panel in garage, drink beer, and high-five all 'round.
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post #17 of 36 Old 02-18-2012, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kegobeer View Post

Do what I did: cut holes, fish wires, crawl in attic, install rack and switch and patch panel in garage, drink beer, and high-five all 'round.

No doubt cat 6 is best but can be a real hassel especially in a two story house
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post #18 of 36 Old 02-18-2012, 10:46 AM
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I have the same issue. I have powerline adapters, had issues with Moca. The powerline works pretty good depending on what outlets you use. I have the 200MB Netgear adapters and get around 140mbps connection speed. One of the HTPCs works better than the other (I have 4 adapters, 3 being used). To be frank, I have had better luck with a Linksys WET610N wireless gaming adapter. It connects easily to my Linksys router and does not drop signals. Could be that the powerline is experiencing too much interference?

I am working on getting the house wired with ethernet...much better solution in my opinion.
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post #19 of 36 Old 02-18-2012, 11:46 AM
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I'm able to do ~45 Mb/sec through a pair of Linksys Powerline adapters. I use them to stream from an ATSC HDHR onto my network switch making it easier to locate the HDHR near the antenna so that I didn't have to run Cat5 up 2 floors or coax down through the house. When I got them I checked the pair throughout my house on different plugs from close to each other to far away. It was pretty clear they have two limitations:

distance
crossing sides of the circuit box

I got speeds as high as 65 Mb/sec when both plugs were in the same room and as little as 8-10 Mb/sec from end-to-end distance in the house when circuits were across the sides of the breaker box. Since the total bandwith for all powerline units is fixed, I think using multiple units simultaneously would be quite limiting if you needed simultaneous HD streams. For my use the 45 Mb/sec I get at the locations I settled on easily handles the 2 HD channels of TV being streamed from the HDHR simultaneously. That demands ~35 Mb/sec max. The good thing about them is that those speeds are rock-steady. I have never seen a drop in speed due to noise or interference and never a problem recording off the HDHR due to network speed. Whatever speed you can get with them, you will likely always get. I wouldn't depend on them for a whole house solution though just for point-to-point applications where you need a guaranteed minimum speed.
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post #20 of 36 Old 02-18-2012, 01:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tizi View Post

I have the same issue. I have powerline adapters, had issues with Moca. The powerline works pretty good depending on what outlets you use. I have the 200MB Netgear adapters and get around 140mbps connection speed. One of the HTPCs works better than the other (I have 4 adapters, 3 being used). To be frank, I have had better luck with a Linksys WET610N wireless gaming adapter. It connects easily to my Linksys router and does not drop signals. Could be that the powerline is experiencing too much interference?

I am working on getting the house wired with ethernet...much better solution in my opinion.

Like you said performance is suppose to depend on the wiring in your house.
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post #21 of 36 Old 02-18-2012, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffkro View Post

Yup, I have an old pair from a company that's out of business, sucks can't add more units to my house. They might not even be 85Mpbs but the reliability has been spot on, you never get the pauses that you get with wireless. I haven't tried streaming HD video over them but was using them for online gaming where low latency is king and they were a huge improvement over wireless. Speaking of Mpbs how much bandwidth do you need to stream HD video recorded by WMC?

I can stream the HD WMC videos "wirelessly" to out 2 HP Notebooks at 54 mbps. You need about 17 mbps sustained. One at a time but not both. I could never get this to work with USB "WiFi dongles" on a desktop PC. Playing back the recordings from main WMC HTPC in our living room PC on the bedroom PC over PL Ethernet works great.
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post #22 of 36 Old 02-18-2012, 03:28 PM
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Had the Western Digital powerline kit and sold it. It does work but speeds varied, anywhere from 70-140mbps. I would say connection was more consistent than wireless N. Could do some blu-ray streaming but if attempted to do 1080p+hi-def audio, it could not keep up. Finally wired for Cat6 and glad I did.
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post #23 of 36 Old 02-19-2012, 02:10 AM
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I used to run two drops with powerline, my AV center and a laptop. Now, only the laptop uses it.

I get between 10-20 mbs using Netgear powerline components in my 20 year old house. Adequate for the laptop, but not for my AV needs. It generally worked OK for streaming Netflix content, as well as Mp3s from my home server. Netflix would stop and buffer about every three movies; sometimes multiple times during the same movie. It also choked on the home video and DVD movies stored on my server.

I recently moved the cable modem and router to my AV center and then ran 75' of CAT 6A from there to my home office. No problems now.

Lars
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post #24 of 36 Old 02-19-2012, 03:36 AM
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The "main trunk" for our network is a CAT 6 "patch cable" running down the hall from the computer room to the living room. It crosses a doorway under one of those rubber guides. Pretty tacky.
Yesterday I got a bunch of Keystone jacks, plates, punch down tool, etc. at Fry's. I first made a 100 ft. test cable as I was a little concerned about terminating GbE. I used CAT 6 solid cable. Tested by pulling a WMC 14 GB file from the living room PC to the computer room PC. Averaged 102 MBYTES /sec. I guess it's terminated correctly! I did watch a clip on Youtube showing how to punch down the cable. Pulling two runs through the attic this morning. Second is for just in case.
Unfortunately, updating the bedroom to wired would require a trip under the house. I'll stick with PL Ethernet for that leg for now.
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post #25 of 36 Old 02-19-2012, 05:57 AM
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With Powerline nobody can say for sure how it will work (unless the current homeowner tried). Too many variables involved with the house's wiring. Just make sure that wherever you buy the Powerline kit they will let you return it. I returned mine since it was less reliable than WiFi in my house.

My initial solution was to move my modem and router to my TV cabinet instead of my office. This was for Xbox/PS3 streaming and laptop WiFI connections. Then I decided to build a HTPC...

Since then I did what was mentioned above. I ran two drops of CAT cables in four areas to a closet and created a network hub with a 16 port GigB switch, WiFi N router, modem, Obi110 VoIP, and server.

If you don't think you can run cables in the new house then have another look. I ended up with cables where I initially thought I wouldn't be able to do it. Look for other cables and see if you can piggyback them. Maybe your coax isn't stapled down and you could use it to start a pull. If nothing seems to work then maybe buy a different house. Basically any option is better than counting on Powerline.

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post #26 of 36 Old 02-19-2012, 06:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by almostinsane View Post

Use Moca not powerline.

If there is no splitters involved. They degrade the signal. You really have to run a separate coax cable dedicated to this connection to get the maximum performance (assuming you don't have the coax cable pre-installed already).
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post #27 of 36 Old 02-19-2012, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryansj View Post

With Powerline nobody can say for sure how it will work (unless the current homeowner tried). Too many variables involved with the house's wiring. Just make sure that wherever you buy the Powerline kit they will let you return it. I returned mine since it was less reliable than WiFi in my house. ...

Ditto this. My "leg" is on the same circuit. If you're on the other phase of the line or a different circuit all bets are off.
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post #28 of 36 Old 02-21-2012, 09:07 AM
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I set it up for people who aren't tech savvy....a lot of wifi routers seem to need periodic reboots or lose speed, connectivity, etc. Not all do, but some people (e.g., older folks, in-laws, etc.). It's just simpler to set up the powerline gear for them and is generally plug and play.
Also had a customer who I tried setting up a wifi router for...nice high end linksys...their laptops would lose connectivity once in a while and after the 10th call for "my wifi is down again" (which could have been their crappy Dell laptops because they were too cheap to get higher end ones), I gave up and just put in powerline adapters...not one call since.

The MoCa stuff doesn't make sense to me...the point of Powerline is you'll always be near a power outlet w/ any gear you have (except for tablets that are wireless), so it makes more sense to put them on the power circuit. If you're going to use coax, you might as run real cat6 and do full speed gigabit connections....
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post #29 of 36 Old 02-21-2012, 09:32 AM
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The point here is that most houses are already wired for coax, just like power, and for them MoCA is a superior alternative. No new wires needed, better throughput with less interference.
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post #30 of 36 Old 02-21-2012, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenyee View Post

I set it up for people who aren't tech savvy....a lot of wifi routers seem to need periodic reboots or lose speed, connectivity, etc. Not all do, but some people (e.g., older folks, in-laws, etc.). It's just simpler to set up the powerline gear for them and is generally plug and play.
Also had a customer who I tried setting up a wifi router for...nice high end linksys...their laptops would lose connectivity once in a while and after the 10th call for "my wifi is down again" (which could have been their crappy Dell laptops because they were too cheap to get higher end ones), I gave up and just put in powerline adapters...not one call since.

You've been lucky.

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