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It's Coming Throughthe Walls

It's Coming Through the Walls!!
by Gary Woods

One of the things the Home Theatre crowd has been struggling with is how to bring pictures from their computers over there in the den to the living room some 30 feet away. W-Fi has proven to be not quite up to the task so what else is out there? Well currently it seems to be a technology that has been around for quite a while but has relatively recently gotten a big boost. That technology is using your home power outlets for your network.

The specification is called HomePlug 1.0 and is brought to us by the HomePlug Powerline Alliance. There are 3 companies producing devices which have a theoretical top speed of 190 to 200 mbps which would be just fine for bringing Hi-Def video from your computer to your TV without having to run Cat 5 Ethernet cable. Those companies are Netgear with their Powerline HD adapters, Panasonic with their HD-PLC adapters and Zyxel with their HomePlug AV PowerLine & Coaxial adapters.

To set one of these networks up you plug an adapter into an Ethernet port on your router and plug it into a power outlet. You can then add up to 16 devices by plugging an adapter into each device's Ethernet port and a nearby outlet.

The only problems seem to be when you've got noisy electric devices running while trying to watch TV. So don't dry your hair and watch movies.

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors and a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments Inc. You can hear Gary on the Radio at AM 1290 Monday at 9-10AM

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910