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Japanese Firms Claim 170Mb/s Service Via Powerline 229

valdean writes "Sony, Mitsubishi, and Panasonic have created and launched a new technology to transport Internet and media signals around the home via the electricity network at speeds 3x that of Wi-Fi. It's even fast enough for HDTV. The introduction is only dependent on government authorization."
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Japanese Firms Claim 170Mb/s Service Via Powerline

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  • Still not internet2 (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Nemba ( 805178 )
    I thought they just said it would be impossible to go over 100MB/s :/
    • i think your refering to the speed of the connection to the net, where as the article is (i think) refering to home networks, the slashdot post makes it look like it applies to total net connection though, i doube this works past the transformer comming into your home at that speed, if at all!
  • by atv1990 ( 721066 ) <atv1990@ g m ail.com> on Sunday March 13, 2005 @12:06AM (#11924228) Homepage
    "We think our technology is better."
    Nothing new there...
    • Actually... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Short Circuit ( 52384 ) * <mikemol@gmail.com> on Sunday March 13, 2005 @12:21AM (#11924307) Homepage Journal
      From what I've learned, Japanese engineers have the enviable ability to invent something to fit their needs, even though the development cost would have to be recouped in sales. The stories I hear about developers here in America tell tales of requirements of immediate or near-immediate profits. *coughCarlyFionacough*
  • Original text... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chill ( 34294 ) on Sunday March 13, 2005 @12:08AM (#11924242) Journal
    Asked why the three companies came up with their own technology and risked yet another format war in the consumer electronics world, Chmielewski said: "We think our technology is better."

    Translation: We patented our version. Ka-ching!

    • Translation: We patented our version. Ka-ching!

      Yeah, it is scary how much they'll try to charge for something like this since it's not (from what I see) a government standard (not that such standards are usually free or unencumbered). I just wonder if Sony will see this as an expensive alternative to HomePlug or jump ship and try to lower this one's price. Or better yet, keep working on both and make them, you know, compatible.

      The reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls

  • Misleading... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Manip ( 656104 )
    That is 170Mb/s when tested over a dedicated power line... The speed will bottle-neck all over the network when used with an unknown number of users. But it is good to know that a direct dedicated point to point line can handle such speeds. Means, depending on the architecture of the network and the locations of the end points the users could see as much as 10Mb/s of that each.
    • "Means, depending on the architecture of the network and the locations of the end points the users could see as much as 10Mb/s of that each."

      10Mb/s down and up... or just down?
    • Re:Misleading... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Fjornir ( 516960 ) on Sunday March 13, 2005 @12:25AM (#11924324)
      Sir, did you read the article? This is for your LAN, not for broadband to the home.
      • Sir, did you read the article? This is for your LAN, not for broadband to the home.

        Apparently you've never heard of apartment buildings, where the electrical lines are shared among many residents.

        If max bandwidth is 170mb/s, and you've got fifty residents with fifty "LANs" in that building, you've got about 2.5mb/s bandwidth for each. Simple, eh? And that's not counting overhead and delays due to collisions.

        Nevermind the security issues. You're talking basically about one big shared LAN, not fifty s
        • if the power wiring is not segmented (for fifty users, it will likely come in two to six easily RF-separable sets of circuits, typically one set per floor), if each of the three phases are RF-connected and not filtered (unlikely), and if every single resident uses the service.

          In real life and assuming reasonable terms, about half of your tenants will take you up on it; the three phases will be separable, and your fifty residences will be in three floors of seventeen units each. This gives you six residence
          • In most modern apartment buildings each unit has it's own breaker box. It should be pretty easy to isolate the network at this box providing each unit with the full 170MB. All this discussion about line sharing is nothing but FUD.
  • Insecure (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 13, 2005 @12:09AM (#11924248)
    Electrical power lines are not surrounded by a ground shield. I hope they came up with some security to go along with their high-frequency data mover.
    • Add to security interference. There's enough crap in the air to make several miles of wire a very nice antenna, and in some places already does.
    • Bwa ha ha ha! That's a good one.

      Seriously, how many Normal People® actually care about the security of their bits? How many open, unencrypted WiFi APs are out there? And you honestly think someone outside of the tinfoil crowd is going to care about their power lines being unshielded? In reality, normal people using powerline networking is actually much more secure than today's wide-open AP situation.

      Bottom line: those that care about data security will encrypt and use regular wired Ethernet. Those

    • Re:Insecure (Score:3, Insightful)

      I think the outright devestation of several key radio bands will likely make this a non-starter in most other industrialized countries. If the Japanese wish to wipe out AM bands as well as emergency frequencies let them, but I doubt we'll ever see it in North America.
      • Is AM necessary in Japan? How about South Korea?

        I'm not advocating anything, I am just seriously wondering. Is there a reason that emergency services could not be just as easily offered over FM at least in South Korea? Are they already?
      • Homeplug-style in-home-networking doesn't tend to cause the sort of interference you're talking about (certainly not on AM). You're thinking about BPL (Broadband over Power Line) technologies, that ham radio enthusiasts have been complaining about.
    • but that is just physical media. It could not be worse than air (wireless).

      secure communication could be achieved in network layer, or even higher.
    • I would assume that they're planning security at least as good as HomePlug (which they're competing with), which uses AES encryption. RF isn't your issue; the reason security is required on HomePlug-type networking is that the signals are received (typically) by 2-5 other houses attached to the same transformer. (Some houses are the only house on their transformer, like mine.)
    • Cable modems share the same RG59/RG6/??? cable so anything sent or received is also receivable by everyone in the same network segment... that's why cable modems are usually setup to use 3DES or AES encryption to preserve point-to-point (modem to head-end) confidentiality.

      Any unencrypted transmission over a common carrier is open to sniffing and men-in-the-middle attacks so it would not be sane for an ISP or LAN of any kind to use any such media (air, power-line, phone-line, fiber, etc.) unencrypted - they

    • Electrical power lines are not surrounded by a ground shield. I hope they came up with some security to go along with their high-frequency data mover


      Why? Are you operating under the assumption that things you send out over any other internet connection are somehow secure?

  • HANOVER, Germany (Reuters) - Three Japanese consumer electronics giants have created a new technology to transport Internet and media signals around the home via the electricity network, Panasonic said on Thursday. Sony (6758.T), Mitsubishi (6503.T) and Matsushita-owned (6752.T) Panasonic have set up the SECA powerline alliance.

    Desktop Duel
    Preview the major OS updates from Apple and Microsoft. Is OS X reason to switch? Plus, the latest Linux goods.

    They have developed a system to transfer 170 Megabits per
  • by FooAtWFU ( 699187 ) on Sunday March 13, 2005 @12:09AM (#11924254) Homepage
    I first saw network over home powerline products quite some time ago (probably not at these speeds, however). I seem to recall the usual issues about dirty power, the fridge kicking in, et cetera et cetera. Does this deal with those any better?
  • by Spaztiq ( 757432 ) on Sunday March 13, 2005 @12:20AM (#11924305)
    Will this technology induce extra RF interference in other appliances? It was considered a negative possibility everytime Broadband over Powerlines has been mentioned in the past. Does being localized to a home reduce that? Is it actually localized to the home or can it spread from a home to outside powerlines then onto another home?

    *Imagines the next form of "War-Driving"*

  • RFI (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Detritus ( 11846 ) on Sunday March 13, 2005 @12:24AM (#11924320) Homepage
    Household power wiring is not designed to be an RF transmission line. Are they going to follow the path taken by BPL and Homeplug, that is to shit all over the HF spectrum since nobody important is using it?
  • Why not just say x times faster than DSL or Broadband? I think more people understand those kinds of data rate comparisons. And it's the same type of physical layer.
  • by d474 ( 695126 ) on Sunday March 13, 2005 @12:33AM (#11924365)
    If they implement this here, kiss your 2 way radio's good-bye. The radio interference those large powerlines give off when they are all jacked up with Broadband is nasty.
  • I have three major concerns with this.
    1: Noise between your network and your neighbor's network that are both on power lines coming from the same transformer on the pole, with no transformer inbetween. 2: Noise on the mains from the network equipment interferes with your power-level sensitive equipment. 3: Noise on the mains from equipment (possibly malfunctioning) on the mains that interferes with the network equipment.
  • by d474 ( 695126 ) on Sunday March 13, 2005 @12:41AM (#11924398)
    I will not RTFA.
    I don't need to RTFA.
    I already know this technology is bad with out RingTFA.
    So, no, I will not RTFA.
    • Yup, I know it's bad tech. Let me fire up the ole' Icom rig and watch their network come to a screeching halt due to front end overload.

      They can't change the laws of physics.
  • Robot? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Sunday March 13, 2005 @12:42AM (#11924400) Journal
    If it is from Japan, there has just GOT to be a robot involved somehow.
  • by stimpleton ( 732392 ) on Sunday March 13, 2005 @12:44AM (#11924410)
    I love reading stuff like this.

    All I can think of is the bosses of our local telecomms incumbent reading this, instantly loosing control of their bowels, the splash of the explosion showering their faithful lieutenants in gooey excrement.

    I'm in New Zealand. We pay $70/month for 2mb down 196K up. Its sketchy at best as interleaving pushes pings to about 70-90ms. No unbundling of the LL, and a government that takes it like the Goatse guy from the incumbent, better service is a far off dream.

    Please, dear jesus, let alternatives like BB over powerlines work.
  • by ErichTheWebGuy ( 745925 ) on Sunday March 13, 2005 @12:49AM (#11924433) Homepage
    It is important to note that this technology would only work inside your home. It would never make it past the transformer at that speed, if even at all. Transformers, by their very nature, kill off any signal that would be sent down the line. Now if you could have a bypass, with a rather large resistor to cut back the outside voltage, then we might have something. Since that's not very practical, don't hold your breath.

    For home networks that wanna, say, stream HDTV from a media server with something like MythTV, that sounds pretty sweet.
  • DAMN! (Score:5, Funny)

    by joNDoty ( 774185 ) on Sunday March 13, 2005 @12:50AM (#11924439)
    Now I have to firewall my exterior power outlets?!

  • Great!

    So, power lines are to become the antennas that
    broadcast new interference that can make use of
    the HF bands impossible for Radio Amateurs and
    others, alike...

    That's like creating large waves on all of the
    bodies of water that amateur Sailors use for
    their happy hobbies.

    Who wants such intrusive & offensive technologies!?!

    I - for one - wouldn't... Say NO to BPL (ie,
    Broadband over Power Lines) - even for the
    Japanese - ie, if it has to displace so many
    happy, helpful, self-edu
  • been there (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Check your history books for a company called Gridcomm around the 1986 time frame.
  • by schwit1 ( 797399 ) on Sunday March 13, 2005 @01:09AM (#11924511)
    What's next, wireless electricity and cordless extension cords.
  • This technology does not exist.

    It's just a way for firms to bilk money from Government grants and gullible investors.
  • in my apartment in china i can have on one heater and some lights before the circuit trips, so does this mean i have to sacrifice my heater or lights for this service? you should see when i switch on the microwave! oh and they wont install a bigger breaker as the apartment building isn't up to snuff
  • When there is a disaster, and they need to use ham radios, I hope they enjoy the interference. Sad that they are not remembering that lo tech sometimes is needed - and this interferes with lo tech radio wave transmissions.
  • by Arroc ( 208497 )
    now, that will finally kill my x10, already barely working due to interferences.
  • will have something to say about this.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 13, 2005 @01:44AM (#11924603)
    You only need an adapter [fiftythree.org].
  • Would that make it power-porn?
  • It's even fast enough for HDTV.

    Wow, it can do a whole 19.5mbps!
    Well, knock me over with a feather!
    I never thought I would see that kind of speeds in my home network!
    • How many TV's are in the typical home? How much bandwidth will you need to provided signal to all of them (provide each is tuned to a different station)?

      While you might only need 19.5Mbps, that assumes only one channel/TV, and assume you aren't do anything else on the network. Most homes have to contend with multiple TV's, plus little Jenny video chatting with her friends, and little bobby is downloading MP3's over P2P, while mom is using Vonage to make a call. You need a bigger pipe to support all o

  • Once again... (Score:4, Informative)

    by IntergalacticWalrus ( 720648 ) on Sunday March 13, 2005 @04:57AM (#11925040)
    the /. headline is misleading. It's a LAN solution, not a broadband Internet service. The word "service" should not appear in the title.
  • I can do 100Mb/s over ordinary CAT5, and it costs $60 for a 1000' box. Why the hell would I want to use the electric wiring in a home for networking?

    Heres a message for them - "Go back and figure out how an ISP can use the outside wiring to deliver last-mile broadband, bypassing both the cable and telephone companies. Then you might have something newsworthy"
  • How short our memories. This idea pops up every few months. Somebody gets the idea that because wire is wire, you can piggyback twisted-pair ethernet like signals over the power wires. And you can. In the lab. With no surge surpressors on the line. No light-dimmers. No Touch-lamps. No taxicab radios in use nearby. and 500KW TV station within 5 miles. No subways or streetcars closer than a block. No biker bar nearby. Works about good enough to convince the latest incarnation of venture capitali
  • There are current Powerline products out there.

    Though the speeds are pretty dismal (up to 14mbps) they work WONDERFULLY in homes in which wirelss is simply not an option, no one cares to transfer large files between computers, and no one wants to poke holes in walls.

    Everyone is right about the security problem, though Netgear, for example, ships a utility that places a password on the connection. I've honestly never tested it in my line of work, but it purports to stop rogue powerline adapters from pluggi

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