HD video is a blessing and a curse. As sports fans, gamers, and movie buffs, the instant we gazed upon those eye-searing lines of vertical resolution there was just no turning back to standard definition. The trouble is, witnessing Kobe’s facial expressions in glorious 1080p while defending Courtney Lee comes at the expense of added file size and bandwidth strain.
For digital cable subscribers and those with wired internet connections in their living room, this detail is easily ignored. However, anyone looking to view internet-based HD content on their home theater without a connection in the room will run into trouble. The same story goes for gamers looking for heavy, fast-paced multiplayer action online. Short of calling up your internet provider to have new Ethernet or cable jacks installed (we’ll be at your house sometime between 12:00 & 5:00 p.m.), there is a solution.
Powerline Networking uses the electrical wiring in your home to create a data network capable of transfer speeds far better than wireless connections, with no need to go the Tim Taylor route of home destruction. Previously, the speeds across these networks still lacked performance to handle HD streaming smoothly and maxed out at around 200Mbps. Today, however, Belkin has released the Gigabit Powerline HD starter kit capable of max transfer speeds of 1000Mbps and setting it up in your home couldn’t get any easier.
Simply plug in the transmitting adapter of the system into an empty wall outlet in the room where your wired modem is installed and connect an Ethernet cord from your router to the adapter. Next, plug the receiving adapter into an empty wall outlet in the room lacking a hardwired connection, run another Ethernet cable from the adapter to the component you want online such as an Xbox 360 and voila! You should have hardwired-like internet speeds capable of streaming all the HD Hulu you can muster and ability to wage all manner of war online with no lag. Please excuse our gaming editors Patrick Tuttle and Dusty Overby while they cackle manically.
Though we haven’t had the chance to test it for full GP approval, we have had experience using similar Powerline Networking products in the past that worked as advertised. We’ve also found that Belkin rarely disappoints. Once we get our hands on a set though we’ll be sure to report back. Until then, those of you in desperate need of speed in rooms lacking internet connections should definitely check it out.