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As close to a wired connection as wireless can get. Netgear WNHDB3004

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
To AVS Members

I wrote the following review of Netgear's 3DHD WIRELESS HOME THEATER NETWORKING KIT model WNHDB3004 from my own independent user experience. While I do consult with Netgear the experience I had with this product is my own and is not influenced by anything other than that experience. I am posting it here because it this product solved 2 issues I had no other way to solve short of running cat 5 cable which was not practical. I thought my comments would be useful to those with in a similar situation.

Bob Silver
Netgear AV Consultant



My Review of the Netgear's WNHDB3004

I am writing this review of my experience with the new Netgear 3DHD WIRELESS HOME THEATER NETWORKING KIT model WNHDB3004. What prompted my need for this product was that I had 2 particular situations that standard 802.11N Wi-Fi solutions were not adequate and was concerned that the only solution I was going to find to make this work was a wired connection. I am happy to report the WNHDB3004 worked where every other wireless solution I tried did not.

First let me explain my situations. There were 2. The 1st was I acquired a new Netgear Neo550 HD Media Streamer. One of the great aspects of the Neo550 is that it is able to stream Blu-ray disc content from a server. To adequately stream this content you must have 40-50mbs of available and consistent bandwidth. You might think that well 802.11 N has a maximum of 300mbs wouldnt that work? Well in reality the actual throughput is much lower. More like 10-20mbs consistently. Well below what the Neo needed. I connected the WNHDB3004 and in minutes was streaming Blu-ray content flawlessly. No stuttering, no negative artifacts. Just like a wire was connected.

My second need was to connect a wireless surveillance camera. This camera was a Wi-Fi camera placed outside my garage looking at my driveway. Unfortunately I have a firewall between my house and my garage and could not connect to my camera's radio. I tried range extenders which did not work there either. I also tried power line but my house is an older house and powerline just doesn't work well here. So again I thought that wire was my only answer. As a last hope I tried the WNHDB3004. And much to my surprise the units locked in and I had a solid high speed connection that has worked perfectly since I plugged it in.

The3DHD WNHDB3004 comes in 2 parts. The 2 parts are actually identical pieces that act as both transmitter and receiver. Setup couldn't be easier. You just plug them in, connect an Ethernet cable to the device that needs the connection and connect the other unit somewhere else to your wired network. I connected mine to a port on my wireless router which just so happened to be the closest location to the units I was trying to connect . The units find themselves and connect automatically. No setup at all is required. It couldn't be easier. The units have a performance indicator lights that let you know what is going on. There are 2 lights. Power and Connection status. The connection status is obviously the one you need to monitor to see that all is good. Green is good, Orange is marginal and red is no connection.

In my use cases two things became apparently clear. The WNHDB3004 excels in 2 areas. The 1st is bandwidth. It is the only wireless solution able to meet the grueling needs of HD Blu-ray streaming. There just isn't anything else that can do what the WNHDB3004 can do. The other fact is the tremendous ability of the radios to connect where others will not. While I can't speak to distance (the farthest my units are apart is about 50 feet) I can speak to the quality, consistency and reliability.
post #2 of 5
Does it do 450mbs on 5ghz at 290ft? Cause that's what the e4200 is touting. Just like to explore reviews that use the words "always", "never", and "nothing else".

I still have time to return my e4200 if the the netgear turns out to be the top dog.

Thanks.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
The 4200 is a router. The 3004 is a bridge that is designed to connect 2 or more points together with consistent bandwidth sustainability that is needed for high bandwidth applications like streaming Bluray. Standard wifi be it n300 or n450 can't do this.

Also the "450" is a theoretical top performance spec. Generally you get about 5% of actually throughput to the spec consistently And frankly in today's market you are better off with the standard 300 mbs products like the Netgear 3700. You know how well they work since you have many users who can attest to it. The 450 chips are new and just coming to market. Don't get caught up buying specs. Buy what works.
post #4 of 5
Great response.

My mistake on the hardware confusion on my part. I misunderstood a previous post by you that going back and reading cleared up for me. Totally on me, that one.

I know there to be only 2 cards on the market currently that can/could handle 450mb/s and that the claim is simply, as you said, a theoretical output performance number. That is a very importan distinction to understand when buying any tech, as you said.

No one needs to justify their purchases by my thinking was at a similar price point (not to mention local availability at the moment) I wanted to go with the newer tech.

You could and most likely are dead on accurate about going with current, tested, proven 300mb/s tech over this new hardware.

I'm so far very pleased with the performance of my e4200 and don't plan on making a change at this moment however, I'm open to the idea I might have made a mistake in buying bleeding edge tech. If I see the 3700 go sub 90$ I will most likely buy one and compare.

Thanks again for the response and well done.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mizuno21 View Post

Great response.

My mistake on the hardware confusion on my part. I misunderstood a previous post by you that going back and reading cleared up for me. Totally on me, that one.

I know there to be only 2 cards on the market currently that can/could handle 450mb/s and that the claim is simply, as you said, a theoretical output performance number. That is a very importan distinction to understand when buying any tech, as you said.

No one needs to justify their purchases by my thinking was at a similar price point (not to mention local availability at the moment) I wanted to go with the newer tech.

You could and most likely are dead on accurate about going with current, tested, proven 300mb/s tech over this new hardware.

I'm so far very pleased with the performance of my e4200 and don't plan on making a change at this moment however, I'm open to the idea I might have made a mistake in buying bleeding edge tech. If I see the 3700 go sub 90$ I will most likely buy one and compare.

Thanks again for the response and well done.

Appreciate the comment. If the 4200 is working for and you are happy great. In my discussions with the Netgear engineers their testing on the 450 chips has not been as positive as they would have hoped. As a result they have opted to wait to deliver a product although they feel they may be forced into delivering one sooner then they want due to the specs game that gets played. But in any case that's the world of new tech. Once the 3800 series routers begin shipping you will see a drop in price in the 3700 to where you would want. Probably wont be for another 4-6 months though.
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