Use a Powerline Adapter for Internet Connectivity with TiVo, Slingbox, and Other Devices


I was so excited. I bought this new device that would allow me to watch my TV from anywhere in the world. A Slingbox, from Sling Media, plugs into my TiVo (or any other video source) and transmits the video and audio over the Internet, so no matter where I am, I can watch my home TV channels. With baseball season coming up, I was especially excited to watch the Chicago Cubs when I was out of town (or even at work)!

I took my Slingbox out and quickly realized that I need to resolve a connetivity issue. Since the Slingbox transmits over the Internet, it needs a wired Internet connection in order to work. Since I didn't have a connection near my TiVo, I needed to look for another solution.

Running an Ethernet cable from my router to the Slingbox was not an option considering all of the walls I would have to go through. When it came down to it, I really needed a wireless way to get a wired connection. Seems like a paradox, but it is what I needed nonetheless. After some investigation, I learned that this is actually possible with a device called a powerline adapter.

The way a powerline adapter works is pretty simple. It consists of two parts that each plug into the wall and use your existing power lines in your house to transmit the signals between them. Plug one adapter into an outlet by your router and connect it into the router with an Ethernet cable. Plug the other adapter into an outlet by where you need the Ethernet connection and you are done.

In my case, I purchased the SlingLink powerline adapter from Sling Media (as pictured above). Setup couldn't have been easier. I literally just connected everything and it worked without me having to configure anything.

Powerline adapters are available at most consumer electronics stores and currently priced anywhere around $50 and $90. Keep it in mind when you need a wired Internet connection in a place that you aren't able to run wire.

You can learn more about the Slingbox mentioned in this article at the Slingbox user community.