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Need help choosing a router for HDTV and/or Blu-ray player...

Last response: in Networking
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March 28, 2011 5:03:30 AM

Hey guys,

I recently purchased a Panasonic VIERA TC-P50GT25 50-inch 1080p 3D Plasma HDTV and a Panasonic DMP-BDT110 Wi-Fi Ready 3D/2D Blu-Ray DVD Player. I have a few questions about being able to connect to the internet with 1 or both of them.

1.) To watch Netflix I plan to split my Cat5e line currently hooked to my AT&T U-verse box with a router and hook to both my TV and U-Verse box. I don't plan to use wireless anytime soon, but I wouldn't mind having wireless capability in the router if it's a really great deal. I've come up with a few options and would like to know what you would suggest (out of these or your own suggestion...the links provided are for user reviews, and may or may not be actually where I plan to buy from).

a.) A refurbished Cisco-Linksys EtherFast Cable/DSL Router with 4-Port 10/100 Switch for $11.17 total.

b1.) The Medialink - Wireless N Router - 802.11n - 150 Mbps - 2.4 Ghz - NEW Design w/ Internal Antenna for $53.48 total. This has great reviews on Amazon, but may be something fishy going on review-wise. I read it is the same as b2 except for the color.

b2.) The W268R Wireless-N Broadband Router with 4-port Switch for $25.98 total.

c.) The Cisco-Linksys WRT54GL Wireless-G Broadband Router (Compatible with Linux) for $49.99. I read you can do a lot of different changes to it because it has customized Linux firmware available from third parties. I don't know that I would want or need anything extra...maybe you guys will know better.

2.) Would I need to do any firmware updates to these routers before I could just hook them up to my U-Verse box and TV, or should they be good to go right out of the box?

3.) My U-Verse modem has wireless capability. Should I just get the $11.17 router because by the time I would want to use anything wireless the technology would either be too far ahead of anything I would buy now or I could get something newer/better for cheaper later than anything I would buy now (and don't see myself using anytime soon)?

4.) Should I hook up both my TV and Blu-ray player (get a 3rd cat5e cable to run from the router instead of 2) to make sure they are getting their firmware updates, or could I just periodically switch the Cat5e cable between them to check?

5.) Anything wrong with these cables? MWAVE Premium cat5e 7ft 350mhz stranded network cable - light grey for $0.99?

Thanks,
-TG

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March 28, 2011 9:53:56 PM
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1) Look for a router that has a WAN port of at least 10/100 and will give you N-wireless of 300 since 150 will usually not provide enough bandwidth for streaming over wireless.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

2) Usually no; however, if you choose to get the ASUS router, ASUS tech support even recommends to update to the DD-WRT firmware for more stability

3) If you could imagine to be using the wireless for video streaming and/or share files in the future and the u-verse is not a 300 N-wireless, spend the extra $10 for a better router.

4)spend the extra $0.99

5) Nothing wrong
March 29, 2011 3:41:08 AM

I ended up going with the refurbished...I didn't have any answers on here yet when I decided. I really hope it works fine. The $0.99 wires offer had expired (the free shipping part) and I didn't want to lose out on another deal.

I could imagine wireless for me in the future, but not the near future...and probably not for video streaming.

I should have just bought a Cat5e crimper tool and some caps because I have tons of extra wire going into my U-Verse box.

Thanks for your response though.
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April 5, 2011 7:46:23 PM

The refurbished router needed to have it's IP address cahnged because it was trying to use the same IP or something too close to the same IP as my modem from AT&T U-Verse. The customer service from cisco/linksys was extremely polite and helpful in helping me figure out what was wrong and guiding me through how to fix it.

I've had it do something weird just one time since I've had it hooked up to my AT&T DVR box. It looked like the connection was lost somehow. I had it disconnected while waiting on my Cat5e cables to come for the TV and Blu-ray. I've had it hooked up to all three devices for about 1/2 a week now with no issues yet. It might have just needed to be powered off and back on. It was a great <$15 total spent if I don't have to keep resetting it too much...too early to tell, but I just wanted to share how this is going before I chose a best answer...which there's only 1 reply, but still. :) 
April 5, 2011 7:46:48 PM

Best answer selected by TopGun.
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