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on 22 June 2011
I've spent far too much money over the last few years on Wireless Routers & wi-fi cards up to and including Dual band Wireless-N.. each one promising far more than they actually deliver in real life, not one of them working reliably enough to perform the basic task of streaming a movie from a NAS in another room to a media center connected to the TV in the lounge. So when it came to looking at Powerline, i looked in detail at the reviews and experiences of other people, these were mixed ranging from good to awful, so i waited.

I saw that this is now 500mbps Powerline and i thought it might be worth taking the plunge and purchased the XAVB5004 along with a set of the XAVB5501 Powerline adapters...

After getting them home, i plugged in the XAVB5004 to the power supply in the lounge at the back of the TV and using ethernet cables, connected it to my TV, my Dreambox and my Windows media center. In another room, i plugged the homeplug adapter into the power supply and connected it by ethernet cable to my gigabit switch.

I then used one of the adapters from the XAVB5501 package and plugged it into the power supply in my bedroom and connected it by ethernet cable to my media center in my bedroom. I quickly skipped round the house pressing the security button on each adapter (within 2 minutes) and voila.... everything worked first time out of the box within the space of around 2 minutes!!!

I tested by streaming a movie from my Network Attached Storage Device to my windows media center in the lounge. I chose something very taxing: A Matroska (MKV) file containing uncompressed H.264 1080p and DTS HD video/audio streams taken from my Bluray "AVATAR directors special edition". The filesize was 32gb in size. The result was perfect streaming, no stutter, nothing you could shake a stick at. So i upped the ante... i decided to stream the same movie simultaneously to the media center in the lounge and the bedroom... again... the same result on both devices simultaneously. Last part of my test was to repeat my second test (two simultaneous streams of AVATAR) whilst BBC HD was being streamed on the TV... again everything worked without hitch.

I was elated by this, everything finally works without wires everywhere and now i can do what Netgear told me i could do with all the Wireless-N gear i had bought in the past (but never actually worked properly). I just wished these were available 3 years ago and i would have avoided spending hundreds of pounds on crummy Wireless-N.

Hats off to Netgear, these products actually do what they claim.

What is also surprising is that they work perfectly even when connected into powerstrips.. Netgear recommend that you don't do that, but i found it has absolutely no negative effect on performance whatsoever.

Both the XAVB5004 and the XAVB5501 get a 5 star rating from me and are highly recommended.
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on 8 May 2012
I spent some considerable time reading review after review of various products yuising the same or similar chipsets and finally settled on the Netgear.

Overall Im very happy with the performance of the product. Admittedly I am on the same ring main where both units are plugged in and so Im averaging a 300Mbps-215Mbps data rate which is good enough for streaming an uncompressed .mt2s movie directly ripped onto my computer with a file size of 50GB. Various itterations of the source m2ts in H264, MPEG4, MPEG2, MKV containers played flawlessly, as expected. In summary provided that you dnt need to connect the two devices across different ring mains, the streaming performance is adequate for 1080p movie streams.

I have my TV, PS3, 3D Bluray player (all Internet enabled) connected to the hub via ethernet cable and I have one space left free for an additional device, such as an AV Receiver, due sometime in the future.

Of course, no product is perfect, and so my summary of pro's and con's follows:

4-Port Hub to connect multiple devices in a home cinema system.
500Mbps Data-rate, adequate for everything I can throw at it.
Separate power adapter and standard plug, ensuring it doesn't take up two sockets unlike some Integrated units.
Easy to set up and monitor.

Would have been nice to see a 6-Port hub instead of four.
Supplied Software does not work very well in Win7 64-bit. Unable to setup encryption via software.
The Hub doesnt appear to go into sleep mode when not in use. Power consumption and efficiency are key these days.

Based on the aforementoned con's, primarily the software bugs, I have to issue a 4 star instead of 5. With that said, dont let that detract from what is a very good product in my experience and one that does what it says on the tin.
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on 16 January 2012
After some difficulty I manged to getting them working reasonably well. Something the manual doesn't seem to make you aware of is that these new XAV range of power adapters are NOT compatible with the previous HDX range. I have some HDX101 devices that worked very well (on average 110Mbps)but they will not work with the XAV range. Furthermore if you leave the HDX devices plugged in then the XAV devices will not operate properly and you will see speeds as low as 11Mbps.

After completely removing all my HDX devices I now have reasonable speeds between the. However I now need to buy another one.
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on 19 August 2012
Bought this to extend my home network into the back of the house where the wifi signal was poor. Worked in 30 seconds straight out of the box - brilliant.

Each end is on a different ring main and the signal strength is still fine - much quicker than my wifi is, so much so that I have got a second pair for my other devices.

I am now using a single port adapter to take the network from my router into the mains, a 4-port in the lounge for a ps3, sky+ box, smart tv and media pc, a 4-port in the back room for an office pc, network printer and nas drive (and occasionally a work laptop), and I have one more single port adapter spare.

Loses 1 star as when putting more than 2 devices in the network the built in security button doesn't work very well - they tend to form two groups of two. Thankfully the bundled software is excellent, and can be used to locate all devices at once and set a security password
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on 17 May 2012
After struggling with slowdowns streaming HD Video from my NAS
to a PS3 via a wireless connection I bought this kit and it
has worked well. The stuttering I was seeing has now vanished
and the throughput is consistently higher than achieved using
Class N wireless networking. Setup was a doddle too which is nice.

The one Caveat is that I live in a pretty new house with
good wiring and plenty of sockets so cant say how it function
with an older installation.
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on 31 December 2011
The "installation manual" does not really tell you how to install this unit, but then it barely needs to. Plug them into the mains (they say don't use extension leads), connect the single port adapter to your router, press the security buttons on both and after a few minutes sniffing around they are up and running.

Worth noting that the ports on the 4-port unit are prioritised, so one is given max priority, and the next one less priority and so on. So you can decide what items you want to have priority - easy enough to switch around if necessary.

Although it does not say so, you can also use this for connecting a PC. I have connected two PCs and our internet-enabled Sony Bravia which is in a cupboard. This worked through the wifi before and I found the response time is now significantly faster as well as the picture quality (Iplayer senses the bandwidth and adjusts picture quality accordingly.

I have not found a significant increase in the speed of the PCs using mybroadbandspeedcheck as we had "fair" wifi reception before but I am expecting it to be more consistent as previously the speed would fluctuate quite a bit (the router is on a lower floor with thick walls between). Another advantage is that when you turn the PC on the network connection is more quickly made. Now this is working I will add another adapter 3 floors up and hopefully we'll get wifi where we never could before.
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on 19 August 2013
I have used Netgear products for many years including the earlier HDXB101 HD series powerline adapters and decided to upgrade my network with the new XAV5004 kit so I could connect all my AV devices without running cables.
Out of the box the unit worked flawlessly and was setup within minutes running the following components:

1x Denon AVR3313 (AirPlay Receiver)
1x Denon DBT3313 (BluRay Network Player)
1x SkyHD Box
1x Playstation 3

Unfortunately after 6 months of use the unit now drops connection when more than one device is connected. Have tried contacting Netgears support but unless you register the unit with them at time of purchase they will not help you and only offer a forum based help section run by enthusiast.
So after spending 2x days testing cables and updating firmware on all my network devices and carrying out master resets the unit still fails to operate any more than 1 device (as soon as I connect any device to any of the ports the internet connection drops)

Fortunately I purchased directly with Amazon and they have promised me a refund.... Amazon no longer stock this unit which is a shame as I would like a replacement rather than a refund, I know I can purchase thru a reseller but after this failure the returns policy maybe no good after 6 months of use.
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on 4 January 2012
This package arrived so super quickly. I was very surprised when it arrived especially when I had ordered it over the new year period.

The 4 port hub is very small and take up little space. It was such a synch to set up, just plug in your Ethernet cables to each port, in order of its priority, and then plug the power cable in. Plug the other port connector into a power socket and then connect to your router with the Ethernet cable, supplied. Press the sync button on the units and away you go!

It was that simple. I was online within minutes of getting it all out of the box. Set up is made so simple a child can do it!

My connection from my computer to the internet using this power hub is really quick. It's really good.

My only grumble is that the four ports on the hub are set in order of priority so you need to decide what will take priority over something else when connecting your equipment. I am not sure why they cannot just make all the ports high priority? Anyway, it's not a problem as the product is superb it's more an observation. Oh, and I think that an extra ethernet port would be handy too so that it is a 5 port hub rather than 4 - other than that an excellent well made product

Definitely worth buying, don't dilly dally - get one.
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on 9 June 2012
I purchased this kit to replace my old two plug kit (also Netgear). I was getting a bit annoyed with swapping round cables at the device end, so this product is perfect for my needs. The hub/switch box has four RJ45/network ports. These can (if you wish) all be used at the same time, and each port has a different priority attached to it, to prioritise certain traffic other others, like video for example. Another very nice feature is that the power cable has an on/off switch near the unit itself which makes it easy to power on/off and saves you scrabbling around under a desk or behind a TV. At the moment I have a PS3, Bluray player and my AV amp all plugged in and have had no problems playing online games or streaming music/video from my computer or NAS.
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on 29 August 2013
Bought this to get our TiVo box on our network. It came with suspiciously basic instructions... but they really didn't have to be anything more as literally all you do is plug them in and wait a minute for electrical wiring networking witchcraft to happen. The TiVo showed up on our network pretty much immediately and now functions well with the iPad app. I ended up also connecting the BluRay, PS3 and Apple TV to it (which were previously on their own wireless connections) and the performance of all of them had improved dramatically, with seamless streaming and solid online gameplay, even on the lowest priority input.

Downsides? None really. The 'best place to plug it in' LED regularly goes from 'green' (very good) to 'amber' (still good but supposedly slower) to 'red' (it still works, so... why the OMG red!?) and back again when streaming films or playing online on the PS3 suggesting fluctuating operation... however, media performance appears to be unaffected while it's doing this. Best not to pay too much attention to those LED's in my opinion... and actually, I think there's an option on the downloadable software that allows you to switch them off.

Other than that, I can't recommend it enough if you're in need of network points near your AV. Will try the 'wireless' one next to improve WiFi coverage around the house.

Still can't quite believe it was that simple...
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