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My Bluesound Node needs a better signal.


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WiFi signal is -62dBm so I need to either get a new wireless router with better range or try powerline ethernet. I am looking at the ZyXEL PLA5405 that uses a 1200 Mbps (theoretical) chip, but I can't find any information about it's suitability for playing hi-res music files. Since I have no way of knowing if the new router will give me adequate signal strength, the powerline adapter route looks attractive. I know that there are some concerns about noise on the power line & I am prepared to address this, but still don't know if the technology is appropriate for high quality music reproduction. Any insight is appreciated. BTW I am using a 802.11n router & the Node is an n device. I will even consider a WiFi range extender & using it's ethernet connection to the Node.

 

Thanks,

kev

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My preference with anything network related is to go wired if possible- in your case, powerline Ethernet. If you haven't already looked there, SmallNetBuilder is a great router and powerline Ethernet reviewing website.

 

WiFi range extenders are hit or miss in my experience- I've installed and/or used 4 different models, and depending on the antenna configuration, you'll sometimes see a 50% reduction in bandwidth because the cheaper models use 1 antenna for transmit and receive.

 

Powerline (and your existing wireless setup) has more than enough capability to transmit high-res audio in terms of bandwidth, it's a question of the implementation. Powerline performance can be inhibited depending on your home's wiring, while WiFi range extenders can be impacted by similar environmental factors like other devices already transmitting in that frequency.

 

If you did purchase a powerline option, later down the line you could still expand your network to enhance wireless signal coverage. With the powerline adapter in place and connected to your existing router, you could possibly buy another wireless access point (AP) and connect it to the powerline adapter in the remote area of the house. Set up a wireless network with the same SSID/network name but on a different channel, and you have enhanced wifi coverage with a strong backbone connection to the main router without use of repeaters.

 

Just some food for thought...

Office: iPod classic/iPad -> Shure SE425 IEM Home: Oppo BDP-83/Synology DS211j -> Integra DTR-7.8 -> Revel speakers

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My preference with anything network related is to go wired if possible- in your case, powerline Ethernet. If you haven't already looked there, SmallNetBuilder is a great router and powerline Ethernet reviewing website.....................................................

Just some food for thought...

Let me add another suggestion. Powerline Ethernet performance is dependent on the wiring in your house/apartment and it worked OK in my house but, because of the use of long extensions/branching and multiple circuits, was not successful in my apartment. The solution, for me, was MOCA (Multimedia Over CoAx) which uses the cableTV or satelliteTV coaxial wiring in place. All you need is a pair of small transceivers (although multiples are supported), one at the router and one wherever you need ethernet.

Kal Rubinson

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

 

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Let me add another suggestion. Powerline Ethernet performance is dependent on the wiring in your house/apartment and it worked OK in my house but, because of the use of long extensions/branching and multiple circuits, was not successful in my apartment. The solution, for me, was MOCA (Multimedia Over CoAx) which uses the cableTV or satelliteTV coaxial wiring in place. All you need is a pair of small transceivers (although multiples are supported), one at the router and one wherever you need ethernet.

 

Thanks for the responses. I read about MOCA , but was wondering about my cable signal routing setup. Currently My cable signal is split 2-way with one low loss leg going to the cable modem & the other to another splitter for the other TVs. No distribution amp. With MOCA, would I be further attenuating the signal to the cable modem?

 

Thanks,

kev

Link to comment
My preference with anything network related is to go wired if possible- in your case, powerline Ethernet. If you haven't already looked there, SmallNetBuilder is a great router and powerline Ethernet reviewing website.

 

WiFi range extenders are hit or miss in my experience- I've installed and/or used 4 different models, and depending on the antenna configuration, you'll sometimes see a 50% reduction in bandwidth because the cheaper models use 1 antenna for transmit and receive.

 

Powerline (and your existing wireless setup) has more than enough capability to transmit high-res audio in terms of bandwidth, it's a question of the implementation. Powerline performance can be inhibited depending on your home's wiring, while WiFi range extenders can be impacted by similar environmental factors like other devices already transmitting in that frequency.

 

If you did purchase a powerline option, later down the line you could still expand your network to enhance wireless signal coverage. With the powerline adapter in place and connected to your existing router, you could possibly buy another wireless access point (AP) and connect it to the powerline adapter in the remote area of the house. Set up a wireless network with the same SSID/network name but on a different channel, and you have enhanced wifi coverage with a strong backbone connection to the main router without use of repeaters.

 

Just some food for thought...

Thanks thrand1, I have visited SmallNetBuilder & like them very much. Didn't see much about the Powerline adapter I am considering, ZyXEL PLA5405. Will look again.

Thanks,

kev

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I have ordered the ZyXEL PLA5405. Despite one Amazon reviewer saying that every 1 - 2 weeks the adapters must be unplugged & plugged back in to restore functionality. The reviewer said that ZyXEL cust support knows of the issue & don't have a resolution, nor do they anticipate a firmware update to fix the issue. No one else is reporting this problem & the reviewer did not say if they had replaced the units. Fingers crossed.

kev

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Thanks for the responses. I read about MOCA , but was wondering about my cable signal routing setup. Currently My cable signal is split 2-way with one low loss leg going to the cable modem & the other to another splitter for the other TVs. No distribution amp. With MOCA, would I be further attenuating the signal to the cable modem?

 

Thanks,

kev

It is an active device which should have no impact on the main cable signal.

Kal Rubinson

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

 

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I received the ZyXEL PLA5405, but I won't be able to try it for a few days. I just wanted to mention something about what was supplied with the adapters. Ethernet cables. It was a nice gesture, but......... For a product that is supposed to be plugged into the wall & connected to a WiFi router they include a 3' ethernet cable? Now I don't know where you have your WiFi router, but mine is not within 3' of the AC outlet! As I said, nice gesture, but why bother?

Thanks,

kev

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It is an active device which should have no impact on the main cable signal.

 

I think you meant it is not an active device, i.e. passive.

Rig 1: CM9s2, CM8s2, CMC, VTF-15H, Emotiva XMC-1, XPA-5, Aries Deluxe via S/PDIF

Rig 2: Sennheiser HD650, Woo WA-2, PS Audio Power Plant Premier, Sony HAP-Z1ES

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It is an active device but you might need a separate splitter depending on the specific model and where in line you wish to insert it. Passive splitters are lossy.

 

Misread the post - I thought you were talking about a splitter mentioned earlier. Sorry.

Rig 1: CM9s2, CM8s2, CMC, VTF-15H, Emotiva XMC-1, XPA-5, Aries Deluxe via S/PDIF

Rig 2: Sennheiser HD650, Woo WA-2, PS Audio Power Plant Premier, Sony HAP-Z1ES

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