Top positive review
9 of 9 people found this helpful
Offered smooth Netflix playback where wifi couldn't
on January 14, 2011
I installed the WD Livewire PowerlineAV Network Kit in my condo so I could stream Netflix movies from a Sony Playstation 3 to my plasma tv, via a high speed broadband internet connection I had in another room. Initially I relied on a wifi n router but could not get sustained throughput. The PS3 estimated a download speed of 5Mbps over wifi but I suspect that it was not steady and found that after 2 min to 60 min of Standard Definition movie viewing, playback would start to stutter or pause temporarily to cache and then continue. Playback would resume for a minute or two then pause again until I stopped the movie or it ended. High Definition movies would takes up to 4 min to start playing and would continue playing for less than a minute before pausing again for several minutes. - That was Wifi but the WD Livewire Powerline kit was far better!!
The WD Livewire PowerlineAV Network Kit took about 5 minutes to install and involved just plugging it all together. I was surprised at how simple it was and expected to be fiddling with settings but there were none to adjust. - no configuration needed and really just as simple as plugging in a lamp as the WD marketing claims.
I have a Mac and Windows 7 computers along with the router (connected to the internet service) on one WD adapter in one room and in my living room I have my PS3 and Xbox plugged into the other WD adapter. The PS3 estimated internet download speed at 14.1Mbps on the WD Livewire Powerline, which is very close to my maximum download speed for my internet service (16Mbps) and 3x the estimate for wifi. Upload speed was estimated by the PS3 at 1.3Mbps which is also at the maximum for my internet service (1.5Mbps upstream). Also streaming of Netflix movies through the WD Livewire Powerline adapter had no interruptions (either SD or HD) and movies started quickly (within seconds vs minutes on wifi) after selection.
The utility included with the WD Livewire Powerline runs only on a Windows computer but it is not required if you don't plan to do firmware upgrades on the adapters (as of the date of this review there are no firmware updates to install) and there is nothing to configure. It does provide stats on the speed of the connection between the devices. Here is what I noted in a 1000sqft condo:
- 171Mbps connection between adaptors plugged directly into the wall sockets in two different rooms. I was surprised it was so close to the rated maximum of 200Mbps and I assume this will vary based on the design of the electrical wiring in your dwelling.
- 84 Mbps connection between adapters where one adapter was plugged into a powerbar and the other connected directly to a wall socket in another room.
- in my condo there was no variation in connection speed from one socket to another (no difference in the speed whether the adapters were connected to sockets in the same room or in separate rooms). The estimated speed of course will vary with your electrical wiring.
- the documentation recommends not using power bars or surge suppressors and I found that for simple powerbars, the adapters can still create a connection although the speed is reduced as noted above.
The only downside I could note is that the explanations about security in the manual were vague and although the product forms a 128bit encrypted connection between adapters if you push a button on the side (button is very stiff) of each device within a 2 min period, I wish the utility would show encryption status more clearly. Not a big deal for anyone in a house but would be more useful for those in apt buildings.
A great product, that requires no technical expertise to setup and so far it just works.