Wireless vs Powerline network and Roku.

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Wireless vs Powerline network and Roku.

Postby Edward Mizell » Sat Oct 17, 2009 4:04 pm

I have been having trouble getting sufficient to watch a movie in HD lately, so I decided to try Powerline networking. I installed a Belkin HD powerline adapter and hooked the Roku up. I tested the wireless connection and the powerline connection within a few minutes using the Netflix speed test. The two smallest files, 135k and 270k, transferred faster over the wireless network. Most of the larger files transferred more than twice as fast over the powerline network. It seems like this should help stop the rebuffering, but I don't know why the smaller files are slower on the powerline.
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Postby -LD » Sat Oct 17, 2009 4:36 pm

Because powerline sucks. That's the basic problem. You paid likely a lot of money for it when investing the same in decent wireless equipment would have been much better.

Unless you have a severe home network problem the bottleneck won't be that for HD, it will be your ISP speed.
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Postby Mark12547 » Sat Oct 17, 2009 4:51 pm

Another possibility: the two power-line adapters may be on different legs of the feed to the building. The feed to the house is generally two hots and a common (center tap on the final step-down transformer). In the typical circuit breaker box, the positions for the circuit breakers alternate which hot they are connected to. (That is so, for example, an electric oven or an electric water heater can be serviced by two adjacent breaker positions--that gives 240V across the two hot lines.)

The best case (if you must use the power lines) is to use the same circuit (off of the same circuit breaker). Next best is to make sure you are using the same hot hot side from the feed to your home.

I have been spoiled--I have the Roku Netflix Box (when that is what it was called) connected by an Ethernet cable directly to my router, which seems to be the simplest and most reliable way of connecting the box to the Internet.
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Postby jinj » Sun Oct 18, 2009 12:14 am

Powerline networks have high latencies and even worse variable latencies.

I have looked into installing one, but decided against it.
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Postby Edward Mizell » Sun Oct 18, 2009 6:05 am

Thanks for the replies. I will try another outlet and see if that helps. I am not sure how to get them on the same circuit breaker, other than flipping switches. If it doesn't I can take it back.

LD, I have Linksys wrt54g. Which wireless router would you suggest?
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Postby -LD » Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:23 am

That's certainly a fine router. I've had one in the past and it worked fine. Does it matter if you are hardwired or wireless? Does it rebuffer either way? If it does, it's your ISP. If not, then perhaps you are too far from the wireless access point or have a lot of interference.
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Postby Edward Mizell » Sun Oct 18, 2009 12:41 pm

I cannot connect the Roku to the router via ethernet. I use Vonage, and wired Vonage for whole house access, which means the Vonage adapter must plug into a telephone outlet. There is no telephone outlet near the Roku, so I can't place the router next to the Roku box. have to use wireless.

I have Comcast cable, and I think the signal fluctuates a good bit.
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Postby Crow550 » Sun Oct 18, 2009 2:51 pm

Edward Mizell wrote:Thanks for the replies. I will try another outlet and see if that helps. I am not sure how to get them on the same circuit breaker, other than flipping switches. If it doesn't I can take it back.

LD, I have Linksys wrt54g. Which wireless router would you suggest?



Flash it with Tomato firmware and do what this guide explains: http://lifehacker.com/344765/turn-your- ... ith-tomato

You can even try making a WindSurfer extender: http://lifehacker.com/296367/boost-your ... i-extender

Get that here: http://www.freeantennas.com/projects/te ... index.html

Your wireless streaming will be so much better.

Once you get the Tomato firmware, you might want to consider setting up QoS as well.
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Postby Edward Mizell » Sun Oct 18, 2009 7:44 pm

Thanks Crow, but I have version 6, unfortunately, Tomato won't work past version 4. I may look for a new router. So, far though, even with the fluctuations, I have not had any rebuffers with the powerline network.
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Postby calicommando » Sun Oct 18, 2009 7:50 pm

Edward Mizell wrote:Thanks Crow, but I have version 6, unfortunately, Tomato won't work past version 4. I may look for a new router. So, far though, even with the fluctuations, I have not had any rebuffers with the powerline network.


try dd-wrt
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Postby jeffrok » Sun Oct 18, 2009 8:02 pm

I have ther Netgear Rangemax wireless AP and I can say that after having two Linksys wireless routers before this one as well as a Trendnet, that this Rangemax AP has had the best range and trouble-free operation since I've gotten it..
Yeah, I got some Rokus.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=koy2eg1ioZ8&list=HL1380998604&feature=mh_lolz
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Postby shelleyp » Mon Oct 19, 2009 10:08 am

We don't have wireless in our house because of some interference problems. We have hard wired ethernet upstairs and used powerline between floors. We rent, don't own, so no, we're dropping a line.

We have had absolutely no trouble using Roku with the Powerline connectivity. None whatsoever.

Checking to make sure both of the adapters are on the same circuit is important. Also, I've heard battery chargers can create interference in the line, and cause some degradation.
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Powerline is effective

Postby millerca2 » Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:18 pm

Wireless depends greatly on where in your house your internet connection is and how many walls you are going through. I got my box 3 weeks ago and tried it first with wireless and was getting mostly 3 dots.

I was also skeptical but I purchased the Cisco powerline with 4 port hub and now get full 4 dots on everything. I have my dish DVR, Roku and apple tv connected to it. Now my house is only 10 years old and I did replace the outlets at both ends with locking tamper resistant outlets so I could ensure a good connection but I am very happy now with the results.

Again, it all depends on your house but to me it worked great.
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Postby OnlineLC » Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:55 pm

I use Powerline to link my Slingbox HD which is downstairs to the wireless router which is upstairs. I can stream the Slingbox 8 Mb/s signal with no problem whatsoever.

When I bought the Roku it was installed in the same place as the Slingbox so it seemed logical to connect it to the Powerline via a Linksys Switch. I always get 4 dots which is not surprising since the Roku needs a lot less bandwidth than my Slingbox HD.

I did try the Roku via wireless but found the Powerline connection was more consistent.
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Postby Thanny » Fri Oct 23, 2009 12:00 am

Edward Mizell wrote:There is no telephone outlet near the Roku, so I can't place the router next to the Roku box. have to use wireless.

The thing about wires, though, is that they come in different lengths.
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