Plug In to Tune In HDTV

Okay, you’ve got a killer digital TV system set up in your living room, with cable and Internet and a DVR — digital video recorder — with a massive hard drive. But what happens when you go into the kitchen? You can’t enjoy your video assets in the other room.

Oh, but you can. You can set up a wired or wireless home network, but this can be complex and confusing. One company trying to address this problem is Sling Media (www.slingmedia.com). Their Slingbox is designed to let you connect to your video system, even across the Internet if you have a broadband connection at your disposal. The company also has a simple way to connect the Slingbox in your home. SlingLink adapters use HomePlug technology, which lets you plug the devices into a standard AC electrical outlet in your wall. The signals are carried across your home’s electrical wiring. You don’t need to hassle with stringing new wires or configuring wireless networks.

I haven’t tested this product, but HomePlug and similar systems that use your home’s electrical wires to carry data have always struck me as being a reasonable idea. People have been using X10 controllers to turn remote lights on and off over power wires for years, so why not send digital video data as well?