August 25, 2012

Wire Power!

  

I’d been noticing that streaming HD videos from my NAS to my DLNA certified BD player was having intermittent buffering issues. The video would play for a while, then hang for a long while, then play a little, then hang again and so on. After a little bit of experimenting I figured that the HD streams were too large for the wireless to pump to the BD player. We’re talking about 8 to 12GB files here. So here I was, after changing all my networking equiptment to ensure the house was on a full Gigabit setup, but I couldn’t get my videos streamed from my NAS to my BD player properly. The solution was of course to get a wire to my BD player. How to do that was the issue since I didn’t have any network ports near the BD player.

I had a couple of 200Mbps Prolink homeplugs however and I figured they would be the solution, but unfortunately the stuttering didn’t stop even when I used the home plugs. I actually thought there was something wrong with my BD player, but on a hunch I decided to do some speed test over the Prolink homeplugs and I was appalled to see that they weren’t pushing data over more than 40 to 60Mbps. I went into research mode, hit Google and found out that most of the homeplugs didn’t really give great speeds, definitely never hitting what was stated on their packaging. I figured maybe it was old tech and there should be something new out there now, since most everyone was on a Gigabit network now. I was partially right, they didn’t make Gigabit homeplugs but Aztech had put out their 500Mbps homeplugs. Reading the reviews gave me a pretty good impression of the device and I headed out to purchase a pair from Challenger at S$75 each (found out later that Sim Lim was selling it at S$65, bummer!)

I plugged the devices in and it was super easy to pair, unlike the Prolink ones. Just press one of the plug’s config button for 2 seconds, watch the ‘home network’ led start to blink, go to the next plug and press it’s config button for 2 seconds. After the blinking stops, they’re paired, simple as that. I did the speed tests again and very happily saw speeds of between 200 and 220Mbps. It wasn’t 500Mbps, but as I said, the speeds are never what they advertise, but this was good enough!

Plugged the BD into the home plug and no more stuttering!

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