It's been a long time coming, but the Homeplug Powerline Alliance is introducing a new class of home networking technology known as AV2, which is meant to better facilitate HD content transmission over electrical wiring. With MIMO functionality (multiple-input and multiple-output) at its core, the new specification features gigabit class speeds and comes from a decade of field tests. What's more, the new standard promises to bring greater in-home coverage beyond WiFi capabilities while maintaining compatibility with existing HomePlug AV / IEEE 1901 products. Whether consumers are willing to embrace yet another new specification from the HomePlug group remains to be seen, although we can imagine a few Netflix junkies will be downright giddy. For the complete deets, the PR follows the break.
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HomePlug® Powerline Alliance Announces AV2 Specification for Next-Generation Broadband Speeds over Powerline Wires

Global Standard Meets Burgeoning Demands of Home Networking with Expanded Coverage and Performance

Portland, Ore. - January 9, 2012 - The HomePlug® Powerline Alliance (www.homeplug.org), the world's leading industry group for powerline networking, today announced the availability of the HomePlug AV2 specification. This new HomePlug technology enables significant performance and coverage for broadband networking over powerline wires while remaining fully interoperable with existing HomePlug AV / IEEE 1901 compliant products used in millions of consumers' homes and widely available worldwide from service providers and retail stores.

HomePlug's digital entertainment technology provides high-quality networking over existing wiring within the home to any device with an Ethernet port or even to extend the range of a Wi-Fi router. The HomePlug AV2 specification is based on more than a decade of real-world experience and extensive field tests conducted by the alliance's AV Technical Working Group validating in-home coverage and performance across five countries with wide variances in home construction. HomePlug AV2 technology supports gigabit-class broadband speeds, making it ideal for Internet video, multi-room IPTV, online gaming, HD audio and other high demand networking uses, particularly when using multiple HD devices simultaneously.

Expanded Coverage and Performance
Enhances delivery of HD/3D streams throughout the home
Anticipates move towards ultra-high-speed broadband access and services
Developed by the HomePlug AV Technical Working Group (Broadcom, devolo, France Telecom, Marvell, Qualcomm Atheros, Ralink, Sony, SPiDCOM Technologies, STMicroelectronics)

Key Features
Gigabit-class PHY Rate (physical interface rate)
Support for MIMO PHY (multiple-input and multiple-output)
Whole home coverage with inherent repeater functionality
High-definition video and audio support without noticeable dropouts or artifacts
Interoperable with HomePlug AV and HomePlug Green PHY devices
Power save: Active, Standby and Idle

Today, HomePlug Certified products are available in retail channels from many manufacturers and are being deployed by more than 30 service providers globally. The HomePlug powerline technology family includes HomePlug AV for broadband applications, HomePlug Green PHY (GP) for smart grid/smart energy applications, and now HomePlug AV2 for next-generation broadband speeds. HomePlug Certified products with HomePlug AV, AV2 and GP technology are fully interoperable and support the IEEE 1901 powerline communications standard.

"HomePlug AV2 is the much anticipated and logical follow on to the successful HomePlug AV specification," said Kurt Scherf, senior analyst for Parks Associates. "AV2 greatly increases the capacity of home networks to support ultra-high speed applications by increasing the network's bandwidth and also greatly improves reliable delivery of that bandwidth to all areas of the home."

"The explosion in demand for robust home networking is driving the need for ultra-high speed broadband across the home," commented Rob Ranck, president of the HomePlug Powerline Alliance. "HomePlug AV2 leads the way in enabling a variety of manufacturers to deliver this capability with maximum interoperability."