Originally Posted by AVTechMan
How well do the Power adapters work, especially for streaming HD content?
Appreciate the suggestions others have offered so far. If I decide to go wired I will have to route them accordingly. The ceiling tiles are large so they are easily removable for me to route them along the ceiling.
We have four TP-LINK TL-PA4010 powerline adapters set up in our home. I have only tested them in relation to the cable modem throughput and not for streaming between pcs in the house, but here is what I can say:
1. Cable modem with integrated wifi (surprisingly good wifi in that little unit) ----> TP-LINK TL-PA4010 powerline adapter #1.
2. TP-LINK TL-PA4010 #2 ---> HTPC (1 room over from cable modem)
3. TP-LINK TL-PA4010 #3 ---> Xbox (1 room over from cable modem)
4. TP-LINK TL-PA4010 #4 ---> Office computer (upstairs and one room over from cable modem)
I also walked one of the units around the house with my laptop and tested it in a number of outlets in different rooms. 2400 sq. foot home, built 1965, most of the house is old 2-prong ungrounded outlets and wiring. Breaker box and some downstairs wiring (kitchen) has been updated.
Setup: Good but a tiny bit fussy. Synching the plugs together when using four of them took more than one try and a little finesse, but once I had them all synched together they stayed in synch even when moved around the house, etc.
Stability: Rock solid for me. Not a drop in connection anywhere so long as the ethernet cable is plugged in well. Cheap crappy ethernet cables may tend to slip a bit in the ethernet socket, but that's as much true on the pc end as on the adapter end. Watching Hulu and Netflix streaming for many many hours never once has the system dropped the ethernet connection.
Speed comparison. I used a simple test with Speedtest.net: chose one specific server, and used that server for all comparisons. I used a mobile workstation (i7 8gb ssd etc etc), wifi hard switch set to off, walking it from connector to connector, plug to plug, on battery power the whole time, to compare. I ran each connection three or four speed tests.
Direct Ethernet to Cable Modem: 33-35ping; 43-49mbps down; 4-5mbps up. This is what I am throttled at by Time Warner and the results are pretty stable.
Now, it did not seem to matter where I plugged in the TP-LINK TL-PA4010, I got the same results from essentially every plug in the house: 34-39ms ping; 22-33 mbps down; 3.5-4.5 mbps up. There is definitely some overhead on the adapters, which is likely due to encryption they are using, etc. The ping results were great, in my opinion, and the throughput perfectly fine for streaming from the cable modem, and even at 22mbps streaming audio or compressed hd from htpc to another system in the house should be fine. However, I highly doubt the ability of these adapters to handle your 1080p uncompressed bluray stream.
Just as a note of comparison, the wifi on my mobile workstation is faster than the powerline but with a hair higher ping (36-42). Unlike the powerline the wifi connection will break 42mbps. HOWEVER, the wifi is a little less stable and more prone to speed bumps/dips than the powerline.
Short version: Right now it appears the TP-LINK TL-PA4010 powerline adapter is perfect if a 22mbps minimum throughput (and normal speeds closer to 30mbps) is enough for what you are doing and you are looking for high stability in the connection, which means essentially any kind of video streaming over internet will be fine. It also should work find for compressed hd (mp2, mp4 etc) file streaming. However, for raw speed wireless will be better at the expense of stability. And, of course, neother touches ethernet for speed and stability.
I will try to do a file transfer test later this week and see if I get better results moving data within the local powerline network.