Interestingly, manufacturers structure these tests for ad-hoc selection according to the following:
- Network performance: Data rate, data loss, latency
- Services: Data, video, audio, other
- Environmental: Environmental chamber, thermal camera
- Electrical power consumption
- Field tests InVivo (in Digital Home or elsewhere)
- Lab tests on Powerline Test-Bed
LAN's website doesn't specify whether the organization tests products that receive the HomePlug certification using its Powerline test bed or the InVivo tests. Regardless of the method applied, the HomePlug Alliance has a strict policy defining when the HomePlug Certification mark can be used. Only after receiving a Certification Award letter, issued by the HomePlug Alliance, is a company allowed to market its Powerline networking product with the HomePlug Certification mark. In addition, noncertified products cannot be marketed as HomePlug-certified, HomePlug-compliant or HomePlug-compatible. During our product reviews, we determine if these rules affect how vendors, when marketing their products, can cite newer standards without actually having the product certified. For now, however, let's describe potential environmental concerns that could arise when applying a powerline networking testing methodology.