HPA Supercharges Powerline Networking Data Rate

by Aeyne Schriber on February 15, 2012 in Broadband Over Power Lines

Recently during January of 2012 at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas the HomePlug Powerline Alliance unveiled an upgrade for the HomePlug AV which has been used in Powerline AV500 products for powerline networking in the home environment.  The HomePlug AV2 boasts more capability than its predecessor and is designed for compatible use with HomePlug AV products.

The HomePlug AV2 offers up to 500Mbps (megabytes per second) of speed which is an improvement over the HomePlug AV at 200Mbps.  The new HomePlug AV2 will be included in powerline networking products such as the D-Link DHP-501AV and DHP-540 and the Netgear XAV5001.  The release of the HomePlug AV2 is a response to the increased demand for improved home networking solutions for digital home entertainment systems and more.

How HomePlug AV2 Works

HomePlug AV and AV2 utilizes the electrical wires in your home to transmit high speed broadband Internet, high definition video, and smart energy applications using a simple device that plugs into any electrical outlet in your home.  The new HomePlug AV2 takes the performance of the HomePlug AV to the next level by providing improved performance and coverage in your home for powerline networking and the transmission of a broadband connection throughout the house.

The upgraded HomePlug AV2 can be fully integrated with all existing products which are HomePlugAV/EEE901 compliant.

HomePlug AV2 is capable of handling more than two times the current speed of HomePlug AV running at 500Mbps and is designed for use with a high speed broadband connection which is gigabit instead of megabit.  This represents a significant stride towards accommodating high demand networking applications such as Internet TV and video, online gaming applications, high definition audio programs, and operating multiple high definition devices in your home simultaneously.

According to HPA (HomePlug Powerline Alliance) the HomePlug AV2 offers the following key features:

  • Comprehensive coverage in your home with built-in repeater capability.
  • Interoperability with Green PHY HomePlug AV and HomePlug products.
  • A Physical Interface Rate which is Gigabit-class.
  • Enhanced capability for multiple input and output.
  • A power saving feature that you can adjust to active, idle, or standby mode.
  • Reliable support for HD video and audio.

HomePlug AV2 uses additional nodes in the network to deliver built-in repeaters for an 802.11n WiFi connection which extends your high speed broadband connection and signal throughout all locations in your home.  This setup is also a plus if you are setting up a new home entertainment system for the first time.

With HomePlug AV2 you can unpack your high definition television and it will establish a connection to the other components of your home entertainment center automatically including connectivity to the Internet.  Connecting your Wii, cable box, Blu-ray player and other components of your digital home theatre are all interconnected via a HomePlug AV2.

HomePlug Powerline Alliance is comprised of 65 different industry leaders that set the standards for global environments that cater to powerline communications.  The HPA unites researchers that create the technical specifications and market requirements and then test all new powerline technology.  Other members of the HPA take the specifications and produce the necessary chips that operate HomePlug AV and AV2 and then there are the manufacturers that design products using semiconductors that are HomePlug certified to ensure the products integrate well with one another.

The main objective of the HomePlug Powerline Alliance is to create standards for powerline communications that will open up doors for in-home applications that help you to install a high speed home network that is available at any electrical outlet.  The specifications will also help utility companies to offer a high speed broadband connection in areas where it is currently not an option.  Currently, HPA is the only industry standard that ensures operability and functionality as well as multi-vendor support.

Since the inception of the HomePlug AV for powerline networking other companies such as Motorola and others have come on board with HPA certified powerline products while supporting the initiatives set forth by the HomePlug Powerline Alliance. HPA has also made reference to the fact they plan to unveil the first Gigabit powerline adapter later in 2012 or the beginning of 2013 at the latest.

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