So you’ve got your Media Centre PC with Update Rollup 2 installed, and you’re looking at setting up a network that might include a Media Center Extender (MCX) or XBox 360 (which works as an MCX). (sexy website).
I’m a whore for a good gigabit switch and some UTP (that’s a wired network, kids), but as any over-40 will tell you, Wireless is where it’s at. None of those “unsightly cable things”. And no embarrassing “I thought it was the same shape” issues with the Ethernet plug attemptedly jammed into the phone line. (Got rage?)
The Windows Networking Developer API blog lays out some home truths about MCE wireless networking with high-bandwidth high-quality streaming requirements, and the results might surprise you…
To begin, I’ll itemize the possible ways to connect an extender (MCX) to a Media Center PC (MCPC), in order of best user experience:
Wired MCPC, wired MCX
Wired MCPC, 802.11a wireless MCX
Wired MCPC, 802.11g wireless MCX
802.11a wireless MCPC, wired MCX
802.11g wireless MCPC, wired MCX
802.11a wireless MCPC, 802.11g wireless MCX
802.11g wireless MCPC, 802.11a wireless MCX
The following two topologies likely will not work (you’re lucky if you can support even a single SDTV stream)
802.11a wireless MCPC, 802.11a wireless MCX
802.11g wireless MCPC, 802.11g wireless MCX
So why not use the same Wireless protocol between the MCE and your other wireless devices? The post explains.