Connectivity in the Home: Wired, Powerline, and Wireless

Connectivity in the home is growing.  And if you’re not connected, your home may not be technologically up to date.  Devices that have typically functioned independently are now being made with added benefits that can appreciated only when connected to other technology in your home using a broadband connection.  Our clients are networking the electronics in their home and offices, sharing information among their products, increasing the products offerings and functionality.

Games, movies, music, and photos can be stored on a PC anywhere in your home, and can be accessed by any number of other devices (on the other side of the house), as long as the infrastructure, or wiring backbone is in place.  Our clients can control their home theater, security, and lighting from a smart phone or iPad.  They can even adjust their home thermostat from their office, so that the temperature is comfortable when they arrive home.

Direct-connected or hard-wired networks offer the greatest reliability and speed.  Running data along a wire (as opposed to wirelessly) will ensure the fastest speeds, with the least amount of interference.  Installation runs more than a wireless system, because more labor is required for a wired network system.  But the end product is very secure.

Powerline control (PLC) is another form of wired connectivity that uses existing electrical runs to communicate broadband.  While it runs more slowly that Ethernet, powerline control is still much faster than using a wireless system.  The devices that are used on either end of the powerline control system (plugs and switches) are the most expensive part of installation, but do save time and labor costs.  This alternative is very convenient and is secure.

A wireless network is the most convenient way to get connected.  Much of the equipment manufactured now comes with access points that make the units ready for Wi-Fi.  What you lose with a wireless system are speed, capacity, and security.  But, it makes each device, like a smart phone or iPad, very mobile in the home.

We’ll be happy to talk about which option would work best for you.

Why Use Top-Quality (and more expensive) Cables and Connectors?

Cables don’t garner the same respect that other products like flat-panel TVs and awesome-sounding speakers get.  To many clients, cables are no more important than staples and wire ties.   However!  That couldn’t be further from the truth!  Read on!

  1. Cable basics:  The reason UltraMedia uses better cables is because high-quality cables permit less noise and distortion to enter the system.  That’s why a system with better cables performs better, hands down.
  2. All cables in the system are important, just like all tires on the car are important.  Further, that means interconnects as well as in-wall video and speaker cables must be of the highest quality, to ensure that all of the information passes through the media system unhindered.
  3. All of UltraMedia’s systems are built on a strong foundation of high-quality cables. Just as you’d never build a great home on a cinder block foundation, it would be unreasonable to think we can build a great home theater or AV distribution system on cheap cables.
  4. Short cables are like dating. If you change your mind and want to upgrade from an inferior cable to a high-quality one, it’s easy to make a change. Long cables in the wall are more like marriage—changes are difficult, painful and expensive. You want to get the wiring done right the first time!
  5. We are often asked, “What is the secret to better performance in the AV industry?”  Our answer:  “In photography, it’s lenses. In cars, it’s tires.  In the AV world you get the greatest performance bang for your buck with better cables!”  

The fact that we insist on using only the best in wiring infrastructure differentiates UltraMedia from our competition.  Our clients win with better, more reliable cables and better performance. We reduce labor expenses when we install cables that are more reliable and easier to pull and terminate.

To learn more, visit Audioquest.