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I've currently got a Homeplug AV (Powerline AV200) network around my house that I've been using to stream films. However, I've recently ripped a few Blu-Rays at full bit rate and realised I've not quite got the bandwidth to stream them smoothly.

Doing a bit of testing, in real life the powerline network gets 23 MBit throughput between floors, and about 30 MBit between the media centre and server downstairs. Agonisingly short of what's needed. The Wireless-N network falls flat because the phone line comes in 'upstairs' so the signals are bounced up and down the stairs, and that can only manage 18 MBit.

NB for comparison I get about 80 MBit throughput on Wifi between rooms on the same floor. That's between a laptop using Wifi, and a desktop plugged in to the router directly via ethernet - so that Wifi speed may actually be limited by the 100 MBit ethernet link.

Does anyone have real life experience upgrading from AV200 to AV500 networks with fairly old wiring circuits? I've seen a few reviews suggesting the main gains are on the short runs / good signal quality rather than when pushing it.

Similarly has anyone seen significant gains going to 802.11ac? I'm very wary of Wifi speeds since I saw only about 10% speed boost going from 802.11g to 802.11n. I bought a whole set of matched equipment before settling on powerline stuff - that was returned to the store due to poor performance. I've since moved over to n anyway due to new broadband provider and new laptop and again, barely any speed boost from g.

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Not an option to get ethernet put into the house ? – Lawrence Nov 20 '13 at 1:01
Well it is certainly the hardest option! To do it properly would involve a lot of work and probably cost a few thousand in redecoration. – asc99c Nov 20 '13 at 10:22
I'd like to know the exact makes/models of your 802.11n gear. 802.11n comes in a lot of flavors, with maximum physical signaling rates of 65 mbps to 450 mbps. Then again, those max rates are only when you have fairly strong signal and low noise, so if you get far enough away from your AP, you may end up just using 802.11g rates. With high-quality 802.11n or 802.11ac gear, it shouldn't be hard to get 36mbps+ throughput throughout your house. Also consider transcoding to 8mbps H.264 (MPEG-4 part 10 AVC), which may be plenty for your needs, and takes a lot less disk space and bandwidth. – Spiff Nov 21 '13 at 0:19
It's a BT Homehub v4 router, so is dual band N+ 300MBit. The server is a Lenovo Q190, device manager reports it's a RTL8188E so that is 2.4GHz only, 150MBit. Testing Wifi performance to the living room I am using a new Dell XPS13 with Centrino 6235 which is also dual band 300Mbit. – asc99c Nov 21 '13 at 8:46
While looking that up, I've just spotted a v5 BT router (with ac support) for new infinity customers, so I may try and blag one of those! – asc99c Nov 21 '13 at 8:49

I'm not sure if this is the answer you want, but my experience may help you a bit. I have 8 AV500 devices and I usually get from 50 to 100 MB throughput considering the distance of the my devices. I know this isn't called for but I'm really disappointed in powerline devices, not to say it's not impressive, it is, but I spent a lot of money on these gadgets thinking it would make installation very easy, it ended up with a headache for days. These devices are very sensitive to interference. If your electrical circuit isn't too loaded, it might work, and it might not. I was really surprised I got disconnections when I plugged in 2 additional routers to the same circuit. I plugged em in, I got disconnected, I plugged em out, I got connected back, and there weren't even other devices connected to the circuit. Anywayz, speed is good, but not that good considering how the ads describe em to be that impressive, but I honestly think giving a little sacrifice to wiring is definitely the way to go, hope I helped :)

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That is helpful - similar to my own experience as well. I'm also disappointed by performance of the AV200 units, just less disappointed than I am with Wifi performance! – asc99c Dec 3 '13 at 11:49

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