IEEE powerline networking group selects HomePlug AV
Will choice be confirmed at second ballot?
The IEEE has moved a step closer to establishing the HomePlug AV brand of powerline Ethernet networking as the basis for a future mains networking standard. But its adoption is not yet a certainty.
The latest round of balloting on the IEEE P1901 specification took place last month. Two options were put to the vote: a proposal jointly fielded by the HomePlug Alliance (HPA), HiSilicon and Panasonic, and a second by the Universal Powerline Association (UPA).
The first proposal won, 28 votes to 13.
That's a blow for Spanish chip maker DS2. It's version of 200Mbps powerline Ethernet came to market before the same-speed HomePlug AV technology and the two have remained in opposition ever since. DS2's system is promoted by the UPA which, the HPA, is keen to establish itself as the standard for in-house mains-based networking, an approach widely seen as the ideal foundation for streaming HD content around the home.
Hence Panasonic's interest. Its pitch is called HD-PLC (HD Power Line Communications), and it's likewise backed by a trade organisation, this time the Consumer Electronics Powerline Communication Alliance (CEPCA), a body backed by most of the major Japanese consumer electronics companies.
Panasonic and the HPA merged their proposals into one based on a single MAC (Media Access Control) specification aligned each of the two bodies' two PHY physical layers. Should their proposed specification become the standard, existing HomePlug AV and HD-PLC kit would be compatible with it.
But standardisation is not yet certain. The IEEE P1901 working group meets again on 11 December in San Diego. At that meeting, participants will vote on whether to confirm the majority choice expressed in the October vote. If the Panasonic-HPA proposal fails to win 75 per cent of the vote, it will have to go through the process again.
The voting process has held up putative standards before, such as the early proposals for 802.11n high-speed wireless networking. And it positively ground development of an ultrawideband standard to a halt when rival parties could not come to an accord.
IEEE P1901 covers not only low-voltage, in-home powerline networking, but also the delivery of broadband services over high-voltage lines into the home.
not that impressed..
First off i have no personal experience.
But they ran a test with different brand adapters in a consumer format on TV here very recently (a few weeks ago). They tried to stream DVD content over it in different houses and to different location within one house. Of course the whole thing was not very detailed, but the test setup was probably not too broken.
Their conclusions were mostly that
a) different adapters had vastly different performance.
b) house installations also made quite difference - for one quality of lines, then whether the sender and receiver were on the same fuse or not and finally also devices interfering as mentioned in other comments.
Since they only tried DVD they did not test peak rates, everything that was constantly over ~10mbit/s was equally rated as "ok".
However some adapters already started out with maybe 5mbit/s floor under the best conditions they tested, others were capable of staing above 10mbit/s floor for most installations and distances and only fell clearly below it under "extreme" circumstances (this were perfectly normal houses tho, not in an industrial environment or such).
Either way, depending on what you want to do with it it may work out for you.
But personally i get annoyed by my current 100mbit/s ethernet (maybe 20-30mbit/s effective).
If it's a *new* *wired* application it should at the very base compare itself with 1GB ethernet and not 10mbit/s ethernet that was available "decades" ago. Just IMO though.
It does work. I used HomePlug kit out of desperation in the end beause wireless networking will not cover my house, and I'm not willing to drill/knock holes in walls to put in CAT5. You plug homeplug in, and it just works. No configuring, it's the best example of plug and play I've ever found. No discernable interferance, it runs faster than my broadband connection which is all I ask of it, nothing in the house objects to it running or has any interferance problems caused by it or to it. It runs alongside the wireless network perfectly and if you really want security, then all of the adaptors (The HPA ones at least) supporrt encryption.
Works for me
I've been using a Netgear Powerline HD to link my PC to my living room-based router and media extender for several months now, and it works a treat. Much higher bandwidth than wireless and (probably because of that) lower latency for remote control.
Of course it's not perfect for everyone - no solution is - but a waste of time? Spare us the hysterical capitals, DramaTom