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This review is from: TRENDnet TPL-406E2K Powerline 500 AV Nano Adapter Kit, up to 500 Mbps
Pros: Just plug them in, connect the cables, and it works.
I haven't directly tested the communication speed, but it's fast enough for a Roku 3 to stream HD video. The units are plugged into different electrical circuits in our apartment, so it's communicating across the breakers.
It works well enough that I'm thinking I should buy some more of these things; the WiFi bands are getting mighty cluttered these days. (A quick scan while writing this review detects 40 WAPs.)
Cons: The documentation comes on a CD-ROM, and the utilities only support Windows. You may not need the utilities (I didn't) so that's not a deal-breaker, but it's still annoying (and short-sighted).
Seems like optical drives are becoming a rarity more quickly than manufacturers realize. None of the notebooks/internet-capable devices I've bought in the last couple of years came with an optical drive.
Other Thoughts: These start out using a default shared key for encryption. They will auto-generate and share a new (pseudo)-random key at the push of a button. (You have a 2-minute window to push the button on all the units.)
I'm assuming that there's not going to be any fiddling needed with these things. If there is, I don't know if I'll even bother, since I'll have to find a Windows machine to be able to use the utilities.
They should look into making the devices support SFTP or summat. All you really need is some way to move a configuration file on and off the thing.
Pros: Easy use; easy to install. Your mother can use a Roku; your grandfather can install and configure one.
Bluetooth remote (no line-of-sight needed). Built-in WiFi, but also has RJ45 ethernet jack.
Cons: Does NOT support multiple profiles in Netflix. And there's no update for the Roku 2 in the pipeline to change this. Ever.
Yes, I took off *two* stars for this. This is a major usability problem that's doubly annoying because Roku 3 does support multiple profiles.
Other Thoughts: The more experience I get with Roku players, the more I like them. They do not do well with playing files from local storage, but for anything streaming, they're awesome. Pair them with a Plex Media Server (any old computer will do—just install Xubuntu and Plex) and they can play any video or audio file you have.
I also have a competing brand of media player that does play local files well. But it freezes up on a regular basis and must be power-cycled. This Roku has never needed to be rebooted, restarted or whatever.
Pros: Plug'n'play. Faster than USB 2.0. Faster than the SD card reader on a 13" Mac Book Pro Retina.
Other Thoughts: No, no, really: with a Class 10 SD card I get faster writes through this adapter than through the internal SD card reader on a MBP-R.READ FULL REVIEW