Businessweek covers the Media Center Extenders

Putting Home Theater In Every Room Kind of a negative piece in my opinion out from Businessweek today on the extender units. Although I haven’t tried them yet I have reservations of my own.

My house is old and mostly plaster and lath and I’ve had trouble with wireless signals in the past.

Businessweek says that Microsoft is looking to adress some of the shortcomings of the extender units with a patch in November and concludes that, “despite its flaws, the Media Center Extender is a breakthrough product.”

Still, some of the article seemed kind of negative:

“In many homes one access point is not going to provide coverage to every room with a TV. As a rule of thumb, if the signal has to travel through more than three walls, or two walls and a floor, it probably won’t be fast enough.”

“Extenders can’t show high-definition TV. And some premium cable shows, notably on HBO (TWX ), won’t play because of copy-protection measures.”

“Microsoft (MSFT ) has unveiled a solution — though it has some major limitations.”

“…there’s no way to find out for sure until you bring an Extender home, plug it in, and see if it passes its network speed test. If it doesn’t pass, the options aren’t great. There are “range extenders” for 802.11g but not for 802.11a. To complicate matters, for best results you want a wired connection between the Media Center and the access point. I’ve given up at home and installed Ethernet cables between rooms.”