D-Link introduces new PowerLine HD kit for network-capable home theater devices

More and more home theater devices are being introduced that offer "connected features," but many of them require an Ethernet connection, which isn't a common feature in most living rooms. One workaround gaining some traction is using powerline networking—plugging an adapter into an electrical outlet on one end and connecting to an Ethernet port on the other end.

More and more home theater devices are being introduced that offer "connected features," but many of them require an Ethernet connection, which isn't a common feature in most living rooms. One workaround gaining some traction is using powerline networking—plugging an adapter into an electrical outlet on one end and connecting to an Ethernet port on the other end. While its first iterations were disappointing, powerline networking, based around HomePlug technology, now can hold its own against wireless networking products, even if it still can't compete against 802.11n networks.

Networking companies are giving powerline products a new push, including D-Link, which has just launched the PowerLine HD Ethernet Adapter Starter Kit (DHP-303). It comes with two adapters, which lets you bring Internet access to a Blu-ray player with BD Live (Profile 2.0) capabilities, streaming video device, or a video game console. (With the other adapter connecting to your router.) While the stated maximum throughput of 200Mbps is probably a bit of wishful thinking, it should be fast enough to handle online movie services like Netflix's.

For data security, the DHP-303 uses the Triple Data Encryption Standard (3DES) and provides a energy-efficient mode that can detect when an adapter is not in use and power the unit down. The kit is priced at $139.99 and is available now to compete against the likes of Netgear's Powerline HD Plus Ethernet Adapter Kit.