Skip to content

What is a HomePlug Network

HomePlug networking technologies (sometimes referred to as Powerline networks or Ethernet over Powerline) is a technology that enables high-speed networking over domestic powerlines. It allows home owners to set up a home-network without the need of rewiring the whole house with Ethernet Cat5 cables.

HomePlug is not really a new technology, in fact the first initial release of the HomePlug 1.0 standard was released in 2001 by the HomePlug Alliance. The first standard enabled communication at 14Mbps at the physical layer. However, the standard has evolved and there have been subsequent releases, HomePlug AV (200Mbps) and HomePlug AV2 (500Mbps).

HomePlug 1200Mbps is the latest powerline networking technology designed specifically to meet the needs of heavy content and bandwidth digital multimedia networks in the home. This is more than enough to handle the most demanding HDTV, VOIP telephony, Gaming (XBOX & Playstation and High Speed internet. Connected to a household electrical socket, it instantly transforms the household electrical wiring into a fast network for high data throughput. It does all of this with optimal transmission and maximum data security.

The exceptional range of 200 meters gives you plenty of flexibility. Modems, routers, set-top boxes and PCs all of these devices can be connected to the HomePlug 500Mbps adapters using the existing Ethernet interface. In theory you can have as many as 128 devices on the one HomePlug network, but you have to remember that in practice you will experience latency the more devices you add.

If I take my home as an example of an average multimedia home, We have 4 laptops, 1 game console, 1 Desktop, 2 tablets , 1 Server and 2 TV's connected to a 500Mbps and experience virtually nill latency issues, even when all devices are consuming some sort of internet related media

What are the advantages of HomePlug ?

Easy plug and play networking of various devices through the electrical wiring in your home. If you are able to insert a plug into a plug socket, you'll be able to network your home. It is literally that easy! No mess no fuss. The HomePlug AV2 standard provides a high quality of service and low latency capabilities which are well suited for use with Rich Internet applications.

HomePlug AV2 technology enables gigabit class speeds to every electrical outlet in the home, making it ideal for Internet video, multiroom IPTV, online gaming, HD audio and other high demand home networking uses, particularly when using multiple HD devices simultaneously.

What are the key differentiating features in HomePlug AV2 ?

There are a number of characteristics that differentiate HomePlug AV2 and provide for its higher bandwidth and coverage capabilities. For a detailed discussion and comparison of the HomePlug AV2 standard check out Differences between HomePlug 1.0, HomePlug AV and HomePlug AV2

Additional Frequency Spectrum

HomePlug AV2 makes use of additional frequency spectrum (30 to 86 MHz) which is beyond the frequency used for HomePlug AV, which significantly increases HomePlug AV2 throughput for applications such as multiple HD streams.

The additional spectrum enables improved peak data rates and performance which is essential for achieving high performance over powerline.

Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) capabilities with Beamforming

MIMO offers improved coverage throughout the home. This provides the benefit of improved coverage for previously hard to reach outlets i.e. Garden Office, Conservatory or Garage. MIMO enables HomePlug AV2 devices to transmit on any two wire pairs within three wire configurations. HomePlug AV always transmits on the Line-Neutral pair, HomePlug AV2 can transmit on any two pairs formed by the Line, Neutral or Ground Wires. This allows for significantly improved data rates and performance. MIMO uses two independent transmittes and up to four receivers, with Beam forming required to maximize performance on the independent streams.

Power Save Modes

Improved energy efficiency when the device is in standby. HomePlug AV2 enables "sleep mode" for various intervals that are multiples of the beacon period in order to reduce power consumption.

Summary : Increased performance, coverage and whole home integration

The explosion in demand for robust home networking is driving the need for standards based solutions that can deliver high speed throughput with sustained performance for multi stream video and the ability to connect anywhere throughout the home. Thes solutions need to be easy to install and capable or coexisting with other devices in the whole home networking environment.

With the capability to deliver gigbit-class bandwith over existing powerline wiring, HomePlug AV2 is the solution for taking whole-home networking to the next level of multimedia capabilites, while simultaneously providing interoperability with existing networks.

Gary Woodfine
Latest posts by Gary Woodfine (see all)