"If a car rated at 30 MPG got less than 3 MPG...?"1.0 starson by choochoo22
Pros: Nice concept.
Cons: Measured 10 Mbps vs 200 rating.
Wi-fi speed couldn't even keep up with 10 Mbps powerline speed.
Setup a bit more cumbersome than expected.
Summary: Real world experience with a Cisco E3000, E4200, and Netgear XAVNB2001:
The objective was to provide wi-fi coverage for an iPad & iPod throughout our home and take the opportunity to connect the TV in our living room to the router in the office for media streaming and internet access. I purchased a Linksys/Cisco E3000 and Samsung TV wi-fi adapter for this purpose. The E3000 worked fine for the iPods since our DSL is so slow anyway but the signal to the TV was weak and too slow to stream media at a distance of about 50' through wooden walls and a floor.
I was concerned and somewhat confused about CNET's conclusion that the E3000 lacked the "Power" to stream HD from the attached USB storage. I wanted to be sure the problem wasn't the USB drive. Transferring files from a nearby computer through a gigabit wire, the Resource Manager measured 55 Mbps writing and 45 Mbps reading. While far from a gigabit, it successfully handled two HD, or one HD and two SD streams simultaneously so I am still confused about what CNET found lacking.
To confirm the bottleneck was wi-fi range, I moved the E3000 with disk to the living room and played files from the attached disk. Having no means to measure the bitrate, HD played perfectly both with a wired connection and wi-fi so the hardware was up to the task at close range. More wi-fi range was needed.
Relying on CNET's review showing greater range and speed, I purchased an E4200. This was very disappointing. The E4200 signal strength was consistently 1 "bar" lower than the E3000 under the same conditions even after moving it around. The 5 GHz band was so weak it intermittently disappeared. Apparently a wired connection was needed to get the signal to the living room.
I purchased a Netgear XAVNB2001 powerline kit with a wi-fi port at the far end. With a cable connecting the TV to the XAVN2001 and streaming through the powerline from the computer, the Resource Monitor measured 10 Mbps, not quite enough for the 12 Gbps file and far short of the 56.2 Mbps measured by CNET. Connecting the TV to the XAVN2001 through the wi-fi link was substantially slower even at a 3' range which suggests that the wi-fi capability of the XAVN2001 is inadequate for HD regardless of the powerline bitrate. The XAVN2001 w/wi-fi connection did not seem any faster than the weak E3000 signal 47' further away.
At this point I gave up throwing money and time at this project. Everything but the E3000 for the iPad is being returned and a media connection for the TV will have to wait for better working products.
As a personal observation; it is ludicrous that real world and even lab tests of networking products fall VASTLY short of specs and everyone just accepts that. What happened to truth in advertising? If the XAVNB2001 for example, had performed at just 10 % of its rated 200 Mbps it would have worked fine. Suppose you bought a car rated at 30 MPG and it got less than 3 MPG? Would you accept that? The box advertising on all of these products said they were designed to do exactly what they all failed to do.