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Networking
To provide Media Center experiences, you connect the Media Center Extender to an HP Media Center PC (MCPC) or HP Digital
Entertainment Center (DEC) using either a wired (Ethernet) or wireless network. For more information on networking the Extender,
visit http://www.microsoft.com/mcx/.
A. Wired Network Connections
100 Mbps access point/router
DSL or cable
modem
Internet
Wired
MCPC/DEC
TV
Wired Media Center Extender
C. Setting up and Troubleshooting the Media Center Extender on a Wireless Network
When setting up a Media Center Extender on a wireless network
or troubleshooting problems with a Media Center Extender on a
wireless network, follow these guidelines:
1. Select and set up the access point or router
• Use a recommended dual 802.11a/802.11g (A+G) access point
or router, or an 802.11a access point or router.
• When using a dual A+G access point or router, make sure the
802.11a and 802.11g networks have different, unique network
names (SSIDs).
• When you fi rst set up the access point or router, make sure the
external antennas are oriented vertically.
2. Locate and position the Extender, access point and router
• Before you position the Extender, imagine a straight line between
the Extender and the access point.
• Locate the Extender and access point or router so there are as
few obstructions as possible along the straight line. Obstructions
include such items as TVs, cabinets, other electronics, and
furniture.
• There should be no more than two walls or two fl oors between
the wireless antenna and the access point for optimal
performance.
Don't Do
Do not use an 802.11b network for
MCPC/DEC and Extender connections.
This
The 802.11b network standard does not
Poor
provide the necessary capacity to support a
802.11b
MCPC/DEC or Extenders. Reserve 802.11b
for other wireless devices such as laptops.
network
© 2004 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.
Printed in
Wired,
Best
In a wired network, all PC components and devices are connected
to the network using RJ-45 Ethernet cables.
In this confi guration, the MCPC/DEC and Media Center Extender
are connected directly using Ethernet cables.
• Make sure to use an Ethernet switch that supports
100 megabits per second (Mbps).
• Depending on the capabilities of the MCPC/DEC,
this confi guration supports up to fi ve Extenders.
Second PC
3. Connect the Extender to the 802.11a network
• Use the Media Center Extender Quick Setup Guide to set up the
Extender hardware and cables. Then use the Windows Media
Center Extender Setup Wizard on the MCPC/DEC to install
the software and make sure the Extender and network are
working.
4. Try the following if the Extender experiences pauses in
TV viewing
• When connecting the MCPC/DEC to an 802.11 A+G
access point or router, use 802.11a for the MCPC/DEC.
Use 802.11g for other wireless devices such as laptops.
• To help you improve video quality, use the Media Center
Extender Network Performance Tuner. To use the Extender
Network Performance Tuner, see section B. above.
• The following devices can cause interference with 802.11g
networks. Adjusting them might reduce interference.
• 802.11b wireless networking devices
• Microwave ovens, 2.4 GHz cordless phones, 2.4 GHz baby
monitors, etc.
• Other wireless networks, for example those from neighboring
houses
Wireless 802.11b access point/router
DSL or cable modem
Internet
MCPC/DEC
B. Wireless Network Connections
Wireless 802.11a access point/router
DSL or cable
modem
Internet
Wired
MCPC/DEC
Good Performance
Wireless 802.11a access point/router
DSL or cable modem
Internet
MCPC/DEC
Don't Do
This
Poor
Two wireless
links
TV
Media Center Extender
In this confi guration, only the Media Center Extender is wireless. All
other devices are connected to the network using Ethernet cables
and an 802.11a or 802.11g wireless router.
• One wireless Extender and four additional wired Extenders
can be supported depending on your MCPC/DEC hardware
capability.
• 802.11a networks are the least likely to experience interference
from other devices.
• Media Center Extender supports Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP)
and Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA).
• The Media Center Extender Network Performance Tuner
Second PC
is a tool you can use to improve wireless video quality. To use
the Network Performance Tuner, go to your MCPC/DEC,
TV
click Start, All Programs, Accessories, Media Center, and then
click Media Center Extender Network Performance Tuner.
Wireless Media Center
Important: the connection from your MCPC or DEC to the access
Extender
point/router needs to be wired 100 Mbps Ethernet.
Poor Performance:
DSL or cable
modem
Internet
Second PC
MCPC/DEC
TV
Media Center Extender
Do not connect a MCPC/DEC to a wireless
DSL or cable modem
router and a Media Center Extender to a
wireless router at the same time. Most home
Internet
networks do not have the capacity to support
video transmitted across such a wireless
connection.
Home Offi ce PC
802.11a,
802.11g,
Good
Fair
too many obstructions, 2.4 GHz interference
Wireless 802.11a/g
access point/router
TV
Media Center
Extender
Wireless access point/router
MCPC/DEC with
wireless adapter
TV
Media Center Extender

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