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Looking for experience with powerline adapters

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Connected Home' started by jaytbird, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. jaytbird

    jaytbird Mentor

    Sep 26, 2006
    I have an HR34 Genie in the main living room with no decent way (without major construction) to get a wired ethernet connection to the dvr.
    I have been researching wireless extenders (Airport Express) as a possible alternative, but the location doesn't seem to get more than about 2Mbs signal. This is fine for iOS devices and laptops, but I don't think it is enough for VOD. I recently talked to a couple of buddies who have utilized some of the newer powerline adapters and have had some pretty good success. I'm looking for some real world experience from folks who use this setup in conjunction with the DVR.
    Here is my current configuration:

    1. Genie HR34 in living room, currently using a 50' Cat 5 cable strung on the floor from the router to provide ethernet to HR34. Everything works in this fashion (iPad connectivity, VOD, etc) but this is only temporary.
    2. 3 genie clients in various rooms throughout the house, using the SWM network, but my house is not wired for ethernet. These clients communicate just fine with the Genie server via the SWM connection.

    I would like to utilize powerline adapters to bring the ethernet connection to the HR34, thereby eliminating the cable on the floor. Assuming the powerline adapters work as advertised and can bring enough bandwidth to the HR34, is there anything else that I need to know about?

  2. The Merg

    The Merg 1*

    Jun 24, 2007
    Northern VA
    Do you have an Ethernet connection anywhere near a coax run? If so, you can just connect a Cinema Connection Kit there. That will bridge the coax network to your home network. If you can't use that, there is also a wireless Cinema Connection Kit. While the wireless signal at the HR34 might not be that strong, you could place it near a C31 where it gets a stronger signal.

    I would avoid using Powerline Adapters.

    - Merg

    Posted via IP.Board
  3. litzdog911

    litzdog911 DIRECTV A-Team DBSTalk Club

    Jun 23, 2004
    Mill Creek, WA
    I agree with Merg. Powerline Adapters are too flaky for reliable video streaming. Avoid if at all possible.
  4. dualsub2006

    dualsub2006 Icon

    Aug 28, 2007
    Not to be contradictory, but I use these to get a wired connection out into my yard for an Airport Express repeater.


    I'm not running D* receivers on them, but I do stream video out there all the time without issue, even D* streaming on my tablet.

    I wouldn't call it flaky at all, though my first attempt with Belkin hardware was a total bust.

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using DBSTalk mobile app
  5. dennisj00

    dennisj00 Hall Of Fame

    Sep 27, 2007
    Lake Norman, NC
    Unfortunately, what works today may quit tomorrow (or in the next few minutes) as the characteristics on the powerline change.

    While they are better than a few years ago, just like we use to hear that 9600 baud was the limit for twisted pair the powerline is a pretty lousy media.

    As Merg mentioned above, you'd be better off (and probably cheaper) with a piece of coax and two powered CCK adapters.totally separate from your DECA cloud if you can't pull a network cable.

    Streaming Netflix or video to your iPad isn't as demanding of bandwidth as MRV.
  6. bobnielsen

    bobnielsen Éminence grise DBSTalk Club

    Jun 29, 2006
    You should be able to use a single CCK and get very acceptable performance, sharing the DECA connection. That setup works for me. I tried the power line adapters which DirecTV used to sell and they worked fine but only lasted about four months and failed.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I577 using DBSTalk mobile app
  7. dualsub2006

    dualsub2006 Icon

    Aug 28, 2007
    Unfortunately, what works today may quit tomorrow (or in the next few minutes) as the characteristics on the powerline change.

    While they are better than a few years ago, just like we use to hear that 9600 baud was the limit for twisted pair the powerline is a pretty lousy media.

    Well, see, here's the thing: I'm using it every single day, and it does work. At least that one that I linked to does.

    Again, no, I've never used it for MRV, but I would if I had to. I've had zero streaming issues with it, and though Vudu HDX isn't quite the quality of D* MRV, it is just as susceptible to network issues. I don't have any. Ever.

    You not liking poweline doesn't make it bad.
  8. peds48

    peds48 DIRECTV A-Team DBSTalk Club

    Jan 10, 2008
    But you are missing the big point. not all house are wired equally. what works for you may not work for the next person. and this is the weak point of PL. wired works the same every where
  9. RAD


    Aug 5, 2002
    Heck, when I was playing around with power line adapters back in the day I could use it for WHDVR in one outlet in a bedroom, change it to a different outlet in the same room and it was a no go, that's how picky they are.
  10. dennisj00

    dennisj00 Hall Of Fame

    Sep 27, 2007
    Lake Norman, NC
    It's not that I don't like it. . . I also use it -- I have it on a 'gateway' from my Solar Panels - which by the way talk to the gateway via Powerline from a sub-panel in my basement.

    Just to give you an example of how 'flakey' it can be. . . The gateway use to be in my garage on a circuit from my main panel. My garage door opener failed and I replaced it. No big deal, until I realized two days later that the PLC (PowerLine Carrier) quit talking because of the new opener.

    It quit 24x7, not just when the opener was working!

    I moved the Gateway and PLC to the sub-panel.
  11. mdavej

    mdavej Hall Of Fame

    Jan 30, 2007
    My personal experience with powerline is that they work ok most of the time. But mine will stop working about once a month, requiring that I unplug them all and plug them back in, which is rather inconvenient. If you have coax, which I assume you do since your HR34 is connected to it, then I highly recommend just getting a few extra DECAs instead. Mine has been rock solid for months, far better than powerline and far cheaper.
  12. jaytbird

    jaytbird Mentor

    Sep 26, 2006
    Wow, thanks for all the great information everyone! I think for today, I'm going to try the powerline adapters, becauseI've never used them and I'm interested to see what happens. If it doesn't work or if it is flaky, I'll take them back and go with the CCK.

    Happy Friday!
  13. DB Stalker

    DB Stalker New Member

    Aug 21, 2013
    Tooele, UT
    If its possible to get an Ethernet cable to one of your minis then swapping that one with your genie would be another option that wouldn't require any additional hardware.
  14. carl6

    carl6 Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    If you have the choice/option, go with the cck and wired. Powerline adapters rely to a very high degree on the quality of your AC power coming into your house. There are a huge amount of things that can interfere with reliable power line adapters, including utilities using automatic usage reporting equipment from meters (which send a signal over the powerline), to various types of home automation signalling (in any of your neighbors houses), to someone nearby also using a powerline adapter, etc. In other words, stuff entirely outside of your control, and it may work great today and not tomorrow. There are certainly reports here from users like dualsub2006 who use it on a consistent and reliable basis, but there are also many many posts from users who have recurring problems with it. It's all about your local environment.
  15. mdavej

    mdavej Hall Of Fame

    Jan 30, 2007
    Really? The cheapest set of powerlines is probably $40 and may not even work, yet a DECA is maybe $10 on ebay and will definitely work 100% of the time. I don't understand your logic.
  16. dennisj00

    dennisj00 Hall Of Fame

    Sep 27, 2007
    Lake Norman, NC
    Remember a DECA needs a power supply (Power Inserter - PI) unless you get the Broadband CCK that has the wall transformer.
  17. Supramom2000

    Supramom2000 In Loving Memory of Onyx-2/23/09

    Jun 20, 2007
    Colbert, WA
    I also used Poweline adapters for whole home back when it was being tested and was unsupported. It worked great in my home.
  18. mdavej

    mdavej Hall Of Fame

    Jan 30, 2007
  19. ssandhoops

    ssandhoops AllStar

    Dec 2, 2007
    I've got an HR21 connected via powerline adapters and also still have unsupported MRV. I have no problem streaming MRV video or on demand.

    Sent from my iPad using DBSTalk
  20. HoTat2

    HoTat2 Hall Of Fame

    Nov 16, 2005
    Formally used PowerLine adapters for VOD prior to '10 when I got my WH upgrade.

    Panny BL-PA100A HD-PLCs, which were convenient as they were not a wall wart type design.

    They worked acceptably for VOD downloads, but MRV was a total wipe-out.

    Now I just have two of them serving to connect a Network printer to the home network where they work just fine since it only needs a low data speed connection.

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