It's a little ironic, don't you think, that with all the push for wireless this and wireless that, we're suddenly awash in PowerLine Ethernet adapters? One of Linksys' announcements at CES yesterday was for the HomePlug AV-compliant PowerLine AV Ethernet Kit (PLK200), which includes two Linksys PowerLine AV Ethernet Adapters (PLE200).
Setting up a PowerLine Ethernet network is one of the simplest ways to create a network capable of throughput fast enough to transfer high-definition data--such as video--smoothly. Simply plug in your first adapter to your router via an Ethernet cable and then plug it into an electrical outlet. The second adapter plugs into a different power outlet, and you can connect a PC or any other networkable device to the second adapter, also via Ethernet. The two adapters communicate and send data via the electrical network in your house. As with other PowerLine Ethernet adapters we've checked out (such as those from Netgear and Zyxel), the Linksys PowerLine Ethernet network can support up to 16 devices.
We've really liked the ones we've seen, and with the 802.11n spec still not finalized, we think PowerLine networks are the quickest and easiest way for consumers to get a high-def-friendly network up and running. Linksys' PowerLine AV Ethernet offerings are available immediately. The two-adapter kit costs $180, and each additional adapter costs $120.