|In our experience the easiest way to connect your television equipment to the internet is to use HomePlug technology. A HomePlug connection uses your existing mains electrical cabling and therefore requires no additional wiring.|
|A HomePlug connection would require one master HomePlug adaptor that would be plugged into an electrical socket near your router and another slave adaptor that would be plugged into an electrical socket near your television equipment.|
|The HomePlug master adaptor would in turn be connected to your router using a standard RJ45 ethernet patch lead. Similarly the slave adaptor would be connected to your television equipment also using a standard RJ45 ethernet patch lead.|
Our recommended HomePlug starter-kit is the Devolo dLan 500 shown above left. It comprises 1 x master adaptor and 1 x slave adaptor and can be purchased directly from Amazon by clicking on the image above.
We recommend the Devolo dLan 500 starter-kit primarily because the slave adaptor includes 3 x wired network sockets for connection of (say) a television, a Sky HD box and an Apple TV box. It also incorporates a wireless access point to improve WiFi coverage in the room where the television equipment is located.
The Devolo dLan 500 adaptors in the starter-kit also benefit from having pass-through mains sockets. This is very convenient if there is a shortage of mains sockets near your television and internet equipment.
Devolo is a German company that specialise in HomePlug technology. Our experience is that their equipment is very reliable and easy to configure.
Contact Premitel for more information of Devolo equipment and HomePlug technology.
The paragraphs below discuss in more detail all your options for connecting television equipment to the internet including a more detailed description of the HomePlug solution.
Recently Sky’s video-on-demand service was enhanced to include third party services such as the BBC iPlayer.
Television set manufacturers such as Samsung, Panasonic & LG also offer their own proprietary on-demand internet based services as well as third-party services such as YouTube, Facebook, Picasa & Netflix.
The move from Sky was just part of growing trend for on-demand services to be offered over the internet for viewing on standard television equipment either directly or indirectly via add-on devices such as:
- Sky HD Plus box;
- Apple TV box;
- Microsoft Xbox 360; and
- Sony Playstation.
In order to connect televisions and add-on devices to the internet it is necessary that they have some means of connecting to the broadband router that provides general internet access for the home or business premises.
Most new televisions and add-on devices have this capability and are equipped with an ethernet network socket. Some also have integrated wifi wireless capability.
Despite this, it is not straightforward connecting televisions and associated equipment to the internet. The problem is that in most homes the broadband router is not usually adjacent to, or even in the same room as the television equipment.
In the paragraphs below we consider the various connection options in terms of cost and practicality. The connection options considered are:
- direct cable;
- direct wireless;
- wireless bridge; and
- wireless repeater.
In our experience the HomePlug solution described below offers the best compromise between easy installation and performance for typical domestic situations.
Direct Cable Connection
RJ45 patch leads (see link above) can then be used to connect the network sockets to the television equipment and the internet router.
A single cable connection can serve multiple devices by using a network switch (sometimes referred to as a hub). This means that a single cable connection can be used to connect a television, a set-top box and a games console to the internet.
Contact Premitel to discuss the cost and feasibility of installing a direct cable connection between your router and your television equipment in your home or office.
Direct Wireless Connection
It should also be noted that, even if there is a good wireless signal, a WiFi connection may not be the best technology to use for streaming a video signal. In addition to the usual sources of interference that affect wireless signals, television equipment would generate radio “noise” that would exacerbate the situation.
You should obviously consider using a wireless connection if your television has integrated wireless capability. Similarly, you should consider using a wireless connection if your television supports the connection of a wireless dongle.
As a general rule you should only purchase a dongle that your television manufacturer receommends, otherwise there is a risk that it will not work. It may be possible to use a cheaper third-party wireless dongle, but you should do this only if you know what you are doing.
We feature below wireless dongles from Panasonic, Sony, LG, Samsung & Philips. These are available from Amazon by clicking on the appropriate product link.
Other wireless dongles are available from Amazon for television equipment supplied by other manufacturers.
In order to create a HomePlug connection between the internet router and the television equipment it is necessary to have one master adaptor plugged into an electrical socket near the router and another slave adaptor plugged into an electrical socket near the television equipment.
The HomePlug adaptor near the internet router would be connected to the router using a standard RJ45 patch lead. Similarly, the HomePlug adaptor near the television equipment would also be connected using an RJ45 patch lead to the network socket of the television equipment.
The diagram below illustrates a typical HomePlug connection from an internet router to television equipment:
Another benefit of using a HomePlug connection is that it is easy to connect additional television and/or computer equipment in different rooms simply by plugging in additional HomePlug slave adaptors. It is possible to have up to 16 HomePlug adaptors connected on the same network, all sharing the same internet connection.
We feature below 4 x HomePlug 500 starter kits that can be purchased from Amazon. These comprise 1 x master and 1 x slave adaptor plus the required RJ45 network cables.
Just click on the product image for more information and the opportunity to buy. As with all Amazon products you can buy with confidence and in the knowledge that you are unlikely to find lower prices.
Please note that all of the products shown below are fitted with a UK mains plug even though some of their images show mains plug connections for other countries.
Our personal recommendation is the starter kit from Devolo mainly because their HomePlug wireless adaptor can support up to 3 x wired ethernet network connections. This could be useful for connecting (say) a television, a Sky box or a games console to the internet.
Otherwise, you would need to purchase a small network switch to enable multiple devices to share the same HomePlug connection.
|For additional flexibility it is possible to have a HomePlug adaptor that incorporates a wireless access point. This could be useful if there is a poor wireless signal in the room where the television equipment is located.|
|Devolo offer a wireless version of our recommended HomePlug starter kit. It has 3 x wired ethernet network sockets in addition to a powerful wireless capability. It also has a mains pass through socket.|
|In our view the Devolo dLan 500 wireless is the ultimate HomePlug starter kit. It can be purchased directly from Amazon by clicking on the image to the left.|
Wireless Bridge Connection
The wireless bridge device would create the connection to the broadband wireless router and would be connected to the network socket of the television equipment using a patch lead.
Another advantage of a wireless bridge over a direct wireless connection is that the wireless bridge device would typically have multiple network sockets. This makes it possible to connect several devices such as a television, a set-top box, a media player and a games console using the same wireless bridge.
The diagram below shows a wireless bridge device (in room 2) serving 4 x wired devices via a wireless connection to the main router.
We feature below 4 x wireless bridge devices, each of which can serve 4 x wired ethernet devices. These can be purchased from Amazon. Just click on the product image for more information and the opportunity to buy. As with all Amazon products you can buy with confidence and in the knowledge that you are unlikely to find lower prices.
Our recommendation is the Buffalo wireless bridge, mainly because we have used this on our premises for over 18 months without any problems.
Wireless Repeater Connection
It is also possible to use the ethernet network socket of a wireless repeater to create a wireless bridge. Repeaters have the additional benefit that they can also be used to boost wireless coverage in the room in which the television equipment is located.
The disadvantage of a repeater is that they usually have only 1 x wired network socket which means that a small network switch would be required in order to serve additional wired devices.
Please contact us if you would like more specific advice on how to connect your television equipment to the internet.