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    Homeplug starter kits

    Need something to get my Xbox (and soon 360/PS3) online; wireless is going to be quite costly considering I'll need 3 * £60 adapters and a new wireless router, and mum isn't keen at all on the idea of drilling holes into the wall, so I'm after one of those things that'll let you run ethernet over the mains.

    Any suggestions on a good starter kit? I want something that's at least 50mb~ since at some point I'll probably end up streaming videos etc over there at some point, cheers.

    29 Comments

    pair of 85mpbs can be picked up for £50ish if you dig internet. i've seen panasonic 200mpbs for £100ish (a pair) a while ago

    Panasonics are not Homeplug compatible, so if you go for these, then you need to stick with Pannys forever.

    Original Poster

    Many thanks for the replies guys, I think I'll try and get some Homeplug compatible ones if possible, best to keep it standard in case I want to add another, or one breaks and I can't get hold of the same model

    What are those Solwise ones like? I found some but they're out of stock, shame because £50~ for 2 would of been a bargain!

    What are those Solwise ones like?


    I have three of these and so far had no problems with. According to some rumours these are exactly the same (exterior aside) as Devolo, and both are simply rebadged reference design by Intellon.

    Original Poster

    Awesome, thanks! I'll probably get two of those asap then if I can find them in stock, they're a bit ugly but they'll probably be hidden anyway

    Just one thing before you rushing to order - do remember that actual speed will be nowhere near advertised one. The best I got was 6MBps, which is not bad compared to 802.11g.
    It is also worth remembering that connection can be easily affected by extension leads, surge protection and even state of your mains cables.

    Original Poster

    Oh jeez, that's not ideal since both will be on the sort of plug splitter thingys. Did you go for the 85mbps ones? I'd need a lot more than 6mbps to stream stuff properly I think

    The splitter is OK unless it is surge protection one.
    It is 6MBps (6 MegaBytes/sec, not MegaBits/sec), BTW, and it is perfectly fine for streaming video. In fact, I am using it to stream video from my NAS to Xbox (XBMC) and PS2 (SMS).
    AFAIR, the highest bitrate allowed by DVD standard is ~10Mbps (megabits/sec) = 1.25MBps . I haven't tried to stream HD (25 Mbps?) but SD and HD in x264 is perfectly fine. You may try to go for HomePlug AV (200Mbps) setup, which can coexist (but not interoperable) with HomePlug Turbo 85Mbps. According to tests, the real throughtput of HomePlug AV is about 10MBps (note the capital B). Just stay withing HomePlug spec, don't go for Netgear and Panasonic proprietary stuff.

    Original Poster

    Awesome, huge thanks for explaining all of this, really appreciate it!

    Just wanting to confirm you're only getting 6MBps from the 85mbps? I'm not mathmetician, but I'm pretty sure that's considerably lower than it should be, and around a twentieth the speed of a standard CAT5 cable?

    CAT5 is just a type of cable and is limited by two things:
    1. Your network is only as fast as slowest link in data path.
    2. Category 5 standard bandwidth (100 or 1000 Mbps).

    This is oversimplification of things of course, but as most domestic routers are using 100Mbps ports, 48Mbps is not 'a twentieth the speed' If your router is Gigabit and both of your PCs (or PC and Xbox or whatever you are using) are Gigabit too, then (in ideal world) your CAT5 connection will be about ~12 times faster (and cheaper too).
    For Homeplug AV numbers are different. It is two times faster (on paper) than standard 100Mbps cable connection and 5 times slower than 1000Mbps cable connection. In theory of course

    In short - if you want speed, go for cable and Gigabit devices. If you want convenience go for WiFi or Homeplug.

    Original Poster

    Once again a huge thanks (shame I can't rep you anymore right now, sorry!) for the brilliant explanation.

    As long as the 85mbps connection is fast enough to stream videos (can you stream games on there too using XBMC? I swear I read somewhere that you can?) then I guess it's not going to be a huge issue.

    I'd love to use wireless really, but I've heard it's not all that good for gaming, plus the Wireless adapters for the consoles can sometimes be a little expensive which is a shame!

    can you stream games on there too using XBMC?

    No you can't. I tried it and it doesn't work. But if you find some guide on how to do it, then I'd love to read it.

    I'd love to use wireless really, but I've heard it's not all that good … I'd love to use wireless really, but I've heard it's not all that good for gaming, plus the Wireless adapters for the consoles can sometimes be a little expensive which is a shame!

    My biggest problem with wireless is that it is prone to interference from things like microwave. I had wireless streamer made by ADS and picture went nuts when microwave oven was used.
    As to price, wireless bridges are not that expensive. For example, ]this one is only 32.68 inc VAT (ex delivery). Cheaper than buying 2 Homeplugs (you MUST have at least 2 of them to make connection). I have 3 of them - one plugged to router, 1 to Xbox and 1 to PS2.

    Oh, and thanks for rep

    Original Poster

    Ooh, I swear my friend does it! It's not a huge issue for myself since I prefer to run games from HDD anyway, but I just thought it'd be a good benchmark to see if the Homeplug thing is capable of streaming high bandwidth stuff, and I guess if it can do games it can do HD videos. I'll have a word with my friend anyway and ask him how he streams games, unless I've got it completely mixed up!

    I've got to admit I'm incredibly confused by the whole thing now. My games room is pretty much directly above where the router is, which means it's either going to be quite easy to drill a hole into the walls and run a cable through like I did into my bedroom (although my mum isn't very keen on this in the slightest!) or indeed I could use a Wi-Fi connection. Am I correct in thinking I could basically get a Wi-Fi router downstairs, plug that wireless bridge in upstairs and then run ethernet cables from the bridge into the consoles?

    Ooh, I swear my friend does it! It's not a huge issue for myself since I … Ooh, I swear my friend does it! It's not a huge issue for myself since I prefer to run games from HDD anyway, but I just thought it'd be a good benchmark to see if the Homeplug thing is capable of streaming high bandwidth stuff, and I guess if it can do games it can do HD videos. I'll have a word with my friend anyway and ask him how he streams games, unless I've got it completely mixed up!

    As I said - I'd love to know how is this possible. I've got a couple of games and prefer to put these on network rather than swap discs. I tried to make an image and put it on SMB drive but Xbox refused to run it.

    My games room is pretty much directly above where the router is, which … My games room is pretty much directly above where the router is, which means it's either going to be quite easy to drill a hole into the walls and run a cable through like I did into my bedroom

    If you can do this, then it is best (and cheapest unless you drill through some pipe :)) option

    Am I correct in thinking I could basically get a Wi-Fi router downstairs, … Am I correct in thinking I could basically get a Wi-Fi router downstairs, plug that wireless bridge in upstairs and then run ethernet cables from the bridge into the consoles?

    Not sure about consoles but it should be able to work with 1 console.
    If you want to connect multiple consoles, you'll need Ethernet switch. Or, instead, you can go for something like ]this.
    Don't be put off by "Print server" in description. This device is basically Wireless bridge (like one I posted earlier) with built-in 4-port switch and USB for printers. Printers aside, you can connect up to 4 consoles directly to this thing. Or 254 consoles via switch/hub.

    Original Poster

    That's excellent, thanks once again! I'd probably just go with the one you mentioned before, since I'll only need one console plugged in at a time anyway. Plus I think the PS3 and Nintendo Wii have inbuilt Wi-Fi anyway? So technically it's only going to be my Xbox (or 360 when I finally upgrade) plugged into it anyway. But regardless of that, for how often I use it, it's not a hassle just to switch around the cable.

    Now I just need to decide whether to use HomePlugs or wireless, heh. Price wise they're both pretty similar I guess; £80~ or so by the time I get all of the kit I need. Buh! I apologise for keep going on, I'm useless at making decisons, heh.

    Going to ask my mate later about streaming games too

    Original Poster

    Okay, bit of a misunderstanding regarding the game streaming thing, sorry!

    nick: hey man, was it you who said they streamed Xbox games from their PC … nick: hey man, was it you who said they streamed Xbox games from their PC to XBMC?Spectral says: that I did, and donick: oh cool, is there a guide anywhere online?Spectral says: you cant stream gamesnick: ??Spectral says: you can ftp them to the xbox hdd and then run them from there but you cant run them from the pc hdd


    Sorry!

    I know it is possible to FTP games if your HDD in Xbox is large enough. Same principle applies to PS2.

    As to PS3 and Nintendo, I am sorry as I haven't got a clue. I don't have either console as I am not in gaming at all. In fact, both my consoles (Xbox and PS2) are used as network media players, to watch movies and to play music. I play (VERY rarely) some games but that's not what I bought it for

    Regarding decision: I think you now got an idea of what is available on the market, so you just need to decide what is best suitable for you. Can't help here I am afraid But if you have questions, shoot, I'll try to answer it. Just once thing - I am now abroad (Portugal) so don't expect me to answer it immediately.

    Original Poster

    Ah yup, I do FTP stuff to my Xbox hard drive, never done it with my PS2 drive though! Will look into it further when I get my homeplugs ;-)

    np at all, I honestly did the same thing with my Xbox; bought it with the intention of using it purely as a media centre with no plans at all to play games on it, oh how wrong I was!

    fwiw I went for hte homeplug offer posted on here btw, worked out at just over £50 for 2x86mbps ones, so can't really go wrong with that!

    Original Poster

    Mine came today but won't fit on my adapter! Bah.

    Also, just read this and cried engadget.com/200…bo/

    Have you bough the Solwise version? I just bought cube-like power splitter in Homebase and use it with Homeplug.

    As to Engadget review... well, what can I say? Netgear Homeplug is known to be rubbish. Not sure about the rest. And my Solwise kit is performing great. Here is review

    Original Poster

    Ah excellent, thanks! And nope, I bought the eConnect ones on offer on here a few days ago, I need to get a cube adapter, I've got one at the moment but it's designed awkardly and I need one with sockets on either side; not one on top!

    /shakes fist angrily at big plugs :P

    Original Poster

    Apologies for the dumb question, but what is the correct term for those power splitter/adapter/cube things? I live over an hour round trip to anywhere like Homebase so if I can order one online it'd be great!

    Tough question. I think it is called 3-way power adaptor But Maplin got different opinion on this:

    3-Way Multiplug.

    Go figure...
    Remember - you need one without surge protection, so check before you buy.

    Original Poster

    Ah many thanks, just searching now; is it even possible to get a 4 way one anywhere? I've searched loads of places; Ebuyer, Play, Amazon, Maplins, Dabs, Dixons, Comet, Currys etc

    Original Poster

    Bump, sorry ;[

    Haven't seen any of 4-ways ones. Can't you just buy 3-way or 2-way, plug Homeplug straight to cube and use extension lead for the rest?

    Original Poster

    Hmm yup, I might have to get a power strip I think, the main reason I want a cube is that it's all set up in the hall way at the moment and it looks incredibly tidy since all of the cables and equipment are mounted on the wall under the shelf. Just means if I get a strip it won't look anywhere near as tidy, but not a problem I guess! Cheers

    Original Poster

    It's alright! We've come up with two very elegant solutions to the problem:

    1) Buy three new phones
    or
    2) Rip out the wall socket and change it from a single to a double

    So much for Homeplug being easy!
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