Buffalo WBS-G54A-CB1 and WLI-TX1-G54 test and review from Computer Video Magazine

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Buffalo WBS-G54A-CB1 & WLI-TX1-G54

The wireless storm is coming, but editors need the hurricane-strength hardware standards of 802.11g to be able to go sailing with video. Is Buffalo's rigging up to the job?

Wireless networking hit the mainstream with Intel's concerted Centrino laptop PC advertising campaign. But for the kinds of uses dear to readers of Computer Video, the prevalent 802.11b standard just isn't fast enough. Even though it boasts theoretical speeds of up to 11Mbps, the maximum users generally see from this standard is 3-4Mbps. That's adequate for streaming web video, but it can't handle the kind of DVD-quality visuals we've become used to.

Fortunately, a new, faster standard - 802.11g - was ratified at the end of last year. Hardware based on the draft implementation has been around for many months, but finally we have kit with guaranteed compatibility. One of the first companies to offer draft 802.11g equipment, Buffalo, was also early to release full 802.11g products. Here, we're looking at Buffalo's answer to the problems of wirelessly sharing a broadband connection and accessing PCs from media players such as Pinnacle's ShowCenter.

Buffalo's WBR-G54-1 is a reasonably-priced and comprehensively-featured wireless router with a clear and well organised web interface. Buffalo's WLI-TX1-G54 media converter costs little more than competing products that only run 802.1b and is great value. We can see this pairing ofBuffalo wireless goodies being regarded as essential purchases by a range of owners of Ethernet devices who want to go 802.11g. These include users of networking printers and people who are starting to buy into the idea of watching and listening to PC-based media in their living-rooms, courtesy of networking media players such as the Pinnacle ShowCenter. TV-quality wireless video streaming is now a reality - and Buffalo is showing the way forward.

James Morris

Read the full review in June 2004's Computer Video magazine.

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