- Brand Name: Western Digital
- Model Number: WDBABY0000NBK-NESN
- Connectivity Technology: Wired
- Network Data Transfer Rate: 200 Megabits Per Second
- Width: 5.50 inches
WD Livewire Powerline AV Network Kit 200Mbps - extend Internet to your HDTV
- Enter your model number to make sure this fits.
- Expand your home network instantly
- Smoothly stream HD video to your TV
- Connect up to 8 network devices
- Encrypted for security
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From the Manufacturer
Extend the Internet to your HDTV.
Instantly create high-speed, wired network connections to seamlessly stream your high-definition media to your connected home theater and gain fast, reliable access to the Internet.
Simply plug the adapters into your electrical outlets to create a high-speed network connection anywhere in your home. No tools needed. No holes in your walls.
Media-optimized HomePlug AV technology offers up to 200 Mbps* performance for smooth HD video streaming over your network.
A total of 8 ports means you can connect up to 7 devices and your router, all protected with 128-bit encryption.
WD Livewire Powerline AV Network Kit extends the Internet to any room using your home's electrical outlets. Stream the highest quality HD video, play games, and transfer files within the home or over the Internet using secure and reliable high-speed connections. Get the performance of a wired network without running wires.
Expand your home network instantly without running wires - Create high-speed Internet connections anywhere in your home without running wires between rooms. Just use your home's electrical wiring to create a network.
Set-up is as easy as plugging in a lamp - Plug one adapter into your router and an electrical outlet. Plug the other adapter into an electrical outlet in any room where you want a high-speed connection.
Faster and more reliable than wireless - With speed up to 200 megabits per second*, the WD Livewire Powerline AV network kit is fast enough for every computer in your home to share your broadband Internet connection and still have the velocity you need to smoothly stream 1080p full-HD video to your TV.
*200 Mb/s is the ideal physical data rate. Network traffic, interference, building materials, and other conditions lower actual data throughput rate.
More ports for more devices - The WD Livewire adapter kit offers 4 ports on both devices in the pair. This allows you to plug in your router and up to 7 Internet-connected devices such as computers, TVs, game consoles, media players, and network storage drives.
Encrypted for security - The data transfer between the WD Livewire adapters is protected with the same 128-bit encryption that you trust for your online banking and shopping. And because the encryption is automatic, there's no need to remember a password.
- Extending the Internet to any room in your home
- Smooth HD video streaming over your network
- Creating secure, reliable, high-speed wired connections for network devices without running wires between rooms
- HDTVs, network media players, game consoles, computers, and network storage drives
What's in the box
Two 4-port HomePlug AV adapters, two Ethernet cables, two power cables, Quick Install Guide, CD with utility software, warranty and support guide.
HomePlug AV certified
IEEE 802.3, IEEE 802.3u compliant
Top Customer Reviews
The problem becomes adding additional units (which is the beauty of purchasing this system.) There are no decent instructions. Not on the WD website, not included in paper form, and not set out in any clear fashion the pdf "User Guide" on the included CD. If you want to add addtional units around your house, then you will have to install the utiliy on the CD. Next -- AND THIS IS CRITICAL -- your computer will have to be attached by an ethernet cable to your "HOME" Live Wire device. The setup won't work otherwise.
You will then:
1) Have to use the "ADD" button on the utility to add new devices.
2) You will have to locate the password for the additonal units, which is marked P/W on the bottom of the device.
3) You will have to enter the passcode and name the additional device.
4) Then hit the "add device" button on the computerized utility.
5) Once you've done this, all the devices should reboot, and the within 60 seconds, the utility should scan and locate all the devices on your system.
6) If the utility does not locate all the devices within 60 seconds, it means that the devices did not properly reboot. (This is what happened to me.) You will then have to unplug ALL the devices, and then replug them into the wall, and then close and reopen the utility. It should now work.
Whatever you do: Don't bother calling customer service. You'll get someone too dumb to work at a McDonalds who won't have the slightest clue what your problem is or why the devices don't work. You will spend 15 to 30 minutes on hold before they confess that they don't know anything about the product.
I almost gave up and returned these devices four or five times before I finally got them working. It's a shame Western Digital can't be bothered to provide instructions for one of the most basic functions associated with creating a powerline network. I guess they are selling to many of these units and don't want the supply to dry up because customers are adding third, fourth, and fifth boxes to their homes.
p.s. Thanks to all the many fine reviewers on Amazon who have taken the time to explain the ins and outs of setting up various electronics products.
Before making a 'buy' decision, it is important to understand that Livewire will NOT significantly improve 'Internet' performance unless your ISP provides you with a very large bandwidth. If your Wi-Fi router supports 802.11g, you will get an average throughput of 22 Mbit/s which is more than most ISP can provide for Internet bandwidth. In other words, your Wi-Fi router should usually handle whatever the Internet may throw at you with some room to spare and whether you get your ISP's 10 Mbit/s data stream over at 22 Mbit/s from Wi-Fi or at 200 Mbit/s from Livewire Powerline it's still... 10 Mbit/s or close. On the other hand, streaming form your media server at will make all the difference in the world when compared with your Wi-Fi throughput.
WHO NEEDS IT?
To summarize, you will BENEFIT from Liverwire Powerline when:
- You stream from YOUR media server
- Have some Internet-ready device that does not support Wi-Fi and your home is not 'wired' for Ethernet
- You have a big house or for whatever reason Wi-Fi can't reach some specific device or the reception is poor
- You have a VERY HIGH bandwidth Internet connection
You will NOT BENEFIT from Liverwire Powerline to connect to the Internet via a 'normal' broadband link and, of course, if your house is already wired for Ethernet.
To evaluate WD's Livewire Powerline I decided that I will first try it without reading the manual (a .pdf) or installing whatever software came on CD. To my surprise, I was able to set it all up and get it running in a few minutes. Still haven't looked at the CD.
In the box you find the 2 little (literally) identical Liverwire Powerline boxes, 2 power cords and 2 short (too short) Ethernet wires. And... yes a CD that should have some software that you COULD install and use if you had trouble setting things up. The boxes have 4 RJ-45 (not phone jacks) ports, an On/Off switch set to On by default (no need to ever set it to off) and some little lights that blink whenever there is data traffic.
My setup and installation proceeded as follows:
- I connected the power cords to the boxes
- On each of the 2 boxes I connected one end of the Ethernet wires to one port on the box
- I placed one of the boxes near my router in the basement and connected the other end of the Ethernet wire to one of the router's ports
- I plugged the power cord into a wall outlet - must NOT plug it into a power strip or surge protector, it MUST go directly into the wall outlet
- I attached the Ethernet wire of the other box to my PS3 upstairs
- I plugged this box's power cord into the wall outlet
Once the above was done, I turned on my PS3 and set it to use the 'wired' connection. It recognized it within seconds and I was pleased to see the Internet test indicating an 8.2 Mbit/s, better than the 5.6 Mbit/s I had over the Wi-Fi. But that was not all. The big improvement was when I played a video off the media server located in the basement: flawlessly playing our 720p home videos over the new connection vs. choppy before over Wi-Fi.
As expected, the PS3 benefited but only to a small degree when it came to the Internet stream - it did benefit because the Wi-Fi signal strength was only 63% - and it benefited tremendously when media streaming was between in-house devices.
With 4 RJ-45 ports available, I am considering now getting a dedicated Blu-ray player and will not have to specifically seek one that had Wi-Fi built-in.
As far as I am concerned (see my experience notes above) Livewire Powerline is in many ways the perfect gadget. It does its magic, it does it well and 'the rest of us' don't need to bother with manuals or spend hours on hold with tech support - WD does provide a tech support phone number and a Web site if you get yourself into trouble.
I do not expect not think about this device again until I get my Blu-ray player. Like my Linksys router, I expect it to sit there, largely forgotten and gathering dust behind the entertainment center and do its job without me worrying about it at all. Which makes it perfect. And the price is not that bad either.
NOTE: WD claims that this will allow you to stream HD on your home network. This is true but be aware that not all HDs are equal. You will NOT be able to stream Blu-ray quality 1080p with 7.1 uncompressed sound - you will need 'Gigabit Ethernet' for that. You should have no problem streaming 720p with 2 channel stereo sound, which is what you are likely to produce as a 'home' video.
NOTE 2: I only tested with 2 boxes but I know of at least one person (my boss actually) who has 4 such boxes (an older model) in his house and happens to be very happy with the setup.
NOTE 3: See a discussion on my statement that "you will NOT be able to stream Blu-ray quality 1080p with 7.1 uncompressed sound" in the 'comments' sections of this review.