Devolo Launches Gigabit Powerline with 11ac WiFi

Devolo LogoPowerline networking is a great way to spread data connectivity around a home via electrical sockets instead of Ethernet, and today Devolo announced the UK availability of its first gigabit Powerline adaptor with built-in 11ac WiFi: the dLAN 1200+ WiFi ac. The gigabit speeds make it perfect for households that stream 4K and 3D content to multiple wired and wireless devices.

At 1200 Mb/s, the dLAN 1200+ more than doubles the speed of the previous generation 500 Mb/s Devolo dLAN WiFi adapters. The new high speed adaptor features two gigabit Ethernet ports allowing users to hardwire multiple devices to one unit, from games consoles to NAS home servers, while the adaptor is also a wireless access point for laptops, tablets and smartphones.

Borrowing techniques from the wireless industry, the gigabit speeds are achieved using MIMO technology (Multiple Input Multiple Output) which simultaneously uses the live, neutral and earth connectors in the electrical cable. On the WiFi side, the dLAN adaptor uses both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies which is great if the lower frequency channels are busy. Transmission rates are 300 Mb/s on the 2.4 GHz band and 867 Mb/s on 5 GHz.

Devolo dLAN 1200 plus WiFi ac_productpicture_classic_sgl_uk_print_01

Heiko Harbers, CEO of devolo AG said:  “We have launched the dLAN 1200 WiFi ac to accommodate the multiple internet compatible devices people have in their homes today, and in response to the increasingly widespread availability of superfast broadband. All connected devices can now work to their full potential regardless of where they are located in the house. We placed particular emphasis on easy installation when designing the 1200 WiFi ac including the ability to establish a WiFi connection at the push of a button.

The dLAN 1200+ WiFi ac is fully compatible with previous Devolo products from the dLAN 200 onwards and all Powerline adapters that comply with the HomePlug AV(2) standard.

Available now, the dLAN 1200+ WiFi ac is available to order online with a starter kit priced at GB£159.99. A single dLAN 1200+ WiFi ac adapter to expand an existing dLAN Powerline network costs GB£109.99 RRP.

Control Your DirecTV DVR From an Android Device

Recently I wrote an opinion piece wondering if Smartphones would soon replace universal remotes like Harmony.  For a while now, I have been using myRemote on my Droid X to control my Windows 7 Media Center-based HTPC.  Recently I have also been trying out DirecTV Remote Pro to control my DirecTV HD DVR.  Unfortunately, there is no official DirecTV Remote Control app for Android – or iOS, webOS, Windows Phone, or any other devices.  Their official app is great for browsing shows and setting your DVR to record something when you are away from home, but it’s not something you can use to control the box from your sofa.

That’s where DirecTV Remote Pro comes in (there’s a free version too, but functionality is severely limited).  The app is priced at $4.99, but right now they are offering it for $1.98 for a “limited time”.  As for the nitty-gritty statistical information, here it is.  The app has an overall four and a half star rating from 327 reviews, the current version is 2.2.3, the latest version was released July 11, 2011, and it requires Android 2.1 or better.  Your DVR needs to be connected to your home network – there is an ethernet port on the back.  You also must have WiFi enabled on your phone.

Once you have the app installed on your Android device you can start it up and it should find your DVR and prompt you to name it.  If you have more than one in your house then you will name each and be able to switch between them.  Click the “Menu” button on your phone and the choose “Select Receiver”.

DirecTV Remote Pro menu

Once clicked, you will get a list of the DirecTV boxes that are currently connected to your home network.  Click the one you wish to use and the app will take control of that device.

DirecTV Remote Pro Select Receiver

Now, we get to the remote control itself.  It is layed out exactly as the peanut-shaped DirecTV one is.  The top half contains the Stop, Pause, Play, FF, Rew, and other buttons.  In addition, there are three icons across the very top – the remote control (home), a star (to mark a show as a favorite, and the menu (which takes you to a list of your recorded shows).

DirecTV Remote top

It also contain a key feature that DirecTV’s physical remote can’t replicate – the channel, time, show, and episode name that is currently playing.  Click the “current show”and you will be presented with more detailed information, such as ratings, genre and overview.

DirecTV Remote current show info

Once you drop below the top, the remote becomes almost an exact replica of it’s physical brethren.  You will find the Up, Down, Left, Right, Select, 4 colored buttons, and all of the rest in the middle.

DirecTV Remote middle

The bottom also contains the expected – Previous, Change, and keypad.

DirecTV Remote bottom

The Bottom Line

While it’s a shame that DirecTV has not done this themselves, I have to say that I doubt they could have done it any better.  The only possible thing they could have brought to the table is integration with there official app.  I found no functionality lacking and it is every bit as fast and responsive as the physical remote.  If you are a DirecTV subscriber, and an Android user, then this is a must-have app.  It takes the actual remote and adds an extra dimension.