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· AllStar
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74 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Trying to figure out what's the better way to network my HR20-700. I can't hardwire it, so I have to go either the powerline or wireless adapter. Pro's or con's of each? Cost/Performance/Reliability?

Heard a little better with wireless, but like to hear the general consensus. I might also look to hook up my H20-100 as well, if it has the capability.

As a side note, I'm assuming it's possible to connect my laptop (XP Home) to it and use the laptop as a bridge?

Thanks!
 

· The Shadow Knows!
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36,634 Posts
I wouldn't advise trying to use a laptop as a bridge. If it works at all, it will be flaky.

I have powerline in the living room and wireless in the bedroom. I'll give you my opinions.

Powerline: This was incredibly easy to set up and has been quite reliable. I did have a powerline adapter go down but it was a simple hardware swap to put the new one in. The powerline adapter is faster than the wireless one (about 80Mbit where wireless is about 50). However, some people report issues with fluorescent lights giving interference. I don't have that problem even with my 40-year-old home.

Wireless: This took some setting up but has made it possible for me to move the DVR around a lot and has been super reliable as well. Also it was cheaper than buying two powerline adaptors, by quite a large margin at the time (although the powerline ones are getting cheaper.)

H20s do not have networking.

Finally, I've moving this to the HD DVR forum as it really isn't a CE issue.
 

· Lifetime Achiever
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28,927 Posts
I'd agree that setup is your hardest part .. If the costs are comparable I'd say powerline because it'd be easier setup.

As for a wireless bridge with a Laptop .. :nono2: .. yeah, you might be able to set that up and if you can, great .. If it's a learning experience, even better .. however, if it were me .. a wireless bridge device will consume less power, be easier to set up and will provide more reliability all at a cooler temperature.

Remember, it's not all about the up-front .. If you've got to "deal with the computer" more than once or twice in a year, you are behind the curve IMHO. Once you set up wireless or powerline .. odds are you won't have to touch it again.
 

· Legend
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264 Posts
I've been very happy with my powerline adapters from Netgear. Installed a XE103 single port by my router and installed a XE104 four port powerline switch by the HR20. Doing that gave me 3 more ports in the entertainment center for my PS3 and media extender (with a spare). Very stable and I get between 58-68mbps, which is plenty for everything I need to do.
 

· Éminence grise
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8,457 Posts
I use the Directv powerline adapters on my HR21 and have had ZERO problems with this.

I initially tried wireless, but my house is L-shaped and the signal path went through some exterior walls which have foil-backed insulation which really wrecked the signal. I moved the adapter around and finally got it to work with On Demand and Media Share music and pictures, but it wouldn't handle the higher bit rate for video.

At the price which Directv is currently asking for the powerline adapters ($25) it should be cheaper than a wireless bridge.
 

· Impossible Dreamer
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5,525 Posts
whereami said:
Thanks. Looking at their website, it shows $25 each for the powerline adapters. Wireless WGA600N is about $80. Any "gotchas" with the powerline?
No real gotchas, but in some houses there are issue with wiring that can impact performance. Also, you need to make sure not to plug the adapters into a UPS or surge protector.

I have both wireless (G) and powerline running here -- the powerline works just fine, and it's also a much simpler setup than wireless.
 

· CE'er & Retired Engineer
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2,316 Posts
Something that kept me from going the PowerLine route is that I have a bunch of X-10 equipment that is pretty sensitive to any power glitches. I just thought it was a good idea to not introduce any more problems.
This of course only would apply to someone with X-10 equipment.
 

· Hall Of Fame
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1,333 Posts
Unless you have some very specific circumstances, powerline adapters are by far a better choice than wireless. Ethernet cabling is still the best option.

Wireless has a number of drawbacks when used in an HR2x setup:
  • Much more susceptible to interference (from your cordless phone, other wireless networks, etc.)
  • Quality is not static (items moving nearer your equipment can impact it intermittently without you knowing)
  • More difficult setup (plugin is hard to beat for easy installation, especially compared to WPA keys changing periodically)
 

· The Shadow Knows!
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36,634 Posts
There is pretty much zero chance of anyone outside your home getting into your network, the signals wouldn't survive the transformation up from household voltage to the high voltage coming into your home.
 

· Godfather
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319 Posts
I had a wireless setup for a while and it was OK, but with multiple networked AV components it wasn't the best even though I wasn't far from the router and had bought the best high power wireless devices I could.

A few weeks ago I got serious about running hardwire and managed to do it. I encourage you to think harder about how you could get a wire through the walls. You might be surprised if you consider closets, moldings, etc where you could make an incision that you could cover up after you are done. Actually walk around the perimeter of the room and think about what is adjacent to what, you may be surprised.

-steve
 

· Cool Member
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20 Posts
I was strongly considering Powerline networking when I learned about what that RJ45 can do behind my HR20-700. That was after I stumbled upon this great forum. I am very lucky our house was using CAT-5 cables for the phone lines, and so it wasn't so hard to do 100mbps networking with the rest of the unused wires.

I am hoping I can go 802.11n when the standard is final. I guess that would give bandwidths greater or at par with a wired 100mbps LAN. So wireless is still an option IMO, but that would be with 802.11n for near flawless performance with HD streaming.
 

· Cool Member
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20 Posts
I first tried a wireless N setup using the WGA600N. While I was eventually able to get it to work, the signal strength wasn't as good as I would have liked and I was having a few flaky connectivity problems. I then went with the DirecTV powerline adapters and haven't had any issues.

The price for the powerline adapters, less than 1/2 that of an N router and bridge, was nice too.
 

· RIP
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6,203 Posts
Stuart Sweet said:
There is pretty much zero chance of anyone outside your home getting into your network, the signals wouldn't survive the transformation up from household voltage to the high voltage coming into your home.
Yes, but the story may be different in an apartment/condo.
Although...of the two the security of wireless is the weakest. Anyone with a wireless card running linux can have your WEP/WPA password within a very short time.
 
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