NETWORKING OVER POWERLINES has yet to become a huge hit and it suffers from the same theoretical maximum speeds as Wi-Fi, but that hasn’t stopped the HomePlug Powerline Alliance from moving forward with further improvements to HomePlug AV. The continuation of the standard is of course called HomePlug AV2 and we can’t quite figure out why it’s not called HomePlug HD or 3D, as everything these days seems to include one of those terms or it’s just not hip enough.
HomePlug AV2 is said to be expected to offer up to five times the performance over current HomePlug AV products, i.e. from 200Mbit to 1Gbit. Part of the reason why this is possible appears to by thanks to the implementation of MIMO support, although it’s not quite clear how this is meant to work in a wired network infrastructure. The press release mentions the possibility to stream multiple 1080p video streams simultaneously around the house, as well as 3D video and even 4K HD video.
Other improvements include support for repeaters and routing technology in HomePlug AV2 networks with three or more devices connected. This is currently not supported by HomePlug AV and can cause slowdowns and congestions if too much data is being pushed through the network. If all goes well we should be seeing products based on the HomePlug AV2 specification late next year, as the specification isn’t planned to be finalized until the first quarter of 2011. For those in need of fast, easy to install home networking that’s a pretty long wait, but there seem to be few better alternative, bar installing Ethernet cable in your home which isn’t nearly as convenient in most cases.S|A
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