Yet relatively few homes are wired for Ethernet throughout, and Wi-Fi can't always deliver the throughput needed to stream HD video, especially when there is contention from neighbours' equipment.
In such circumstances, HomePlug AV adaptors - which carry Ethernet traffic over mains wiring - can be a convenient alternative. The latest device of this kind from Western Digital provides four ports, eliminating the need for a separate network switch when connecting a TV, Blu-ray player, media player and games console.
Company officials claimed "the WD Livewire Powerline AV Network Kit provides users with data transfer speeds up to 200 megabits per second, enabling glitch-free playback of Full-HD 1080p video streams on up to seven connected devices."
The $A169.99 WD Livewire Powerline AV Network Kit includes two adaptors, each with four Ethernet ports. Unlike some competing adaptors, the Livewire uses a conventional power lead rather than plugging directly into the mains socket which can restrict access to adjacent sockets or prevent use with powerpoints with minimal clearance.
"With the WD Livewire Powerline AV Network Kit, it's truly easy to enjoy all the HD streaming and broadband Internet capabilities of these great new devices anywhere there is an electrical outlet," he added.