On the way to 20mb

Finally, I may for the first time be on the way to what could be considered truly ‘high speed’ internet. Yes, that’s right, I have placed an order for Guernsey’s over-priced 20mb ‘Pro’ internet. Why, you may ask? Well, for two reasons actually:

First, I cancelled our Sky TV subscription – with Freeview now available on the island and also the discovery of the rather good Freesat+HD box, I thought that shelling out £60 a month was a bit excessive.

Second, I wanted faster upload speeds to stream our Slingbox to other locations. The rather poor 512kbps upload on the standard broadband wasn’t enough to stream video successfully.

So, how will it all work then? Well, I placed the order online, and about a week after I got an email confirming that the service was going to be installed. Today, I noticed that my router’s sync speeds have changed: The upload speed has gone up to 860 Kbps. But my download speed is still at 8 Mbps. But, I realised that my old Draytek Vigor 2600+ router was only compatible with G.DMT (ADSL v1).

Now, there seems to be a lot of confusion/wrong saying about what speeds ADSL 1 is capable of. According to the ever reliable Wikipedia, G.DMT supports up to 12 Mbps down, 1.3 Mbps up. So, I should have got at least 12 Mbps on the router if Sure has changed me onto their pro service. Maybe they haven’t? Maybe the upload speed increase is just some Island wide speed bump that they haven’t announced yet? Perhaps in reality the router just won’t go any faster? Maybe Sure don’t support G.DMT above these speeds? Lots of questions. Of course, the only real way to get the full upgrade is to find a router that is compatible with ADSL2+. Unfortunately, I don’t have one yet (it’s on order)

I will update as soon as any further upgrades seem apparent.

Slingbox died? – It’s probably the power supply

I returned from my holiday a few weeks ago and noticed that my Slingbox Solo was no longer connecting to the network.

The power light was lit, but the network light was blinking with a dim light every 5 seconds or so.

It turns out that my power supply had died. Luckily the box is still under the 2 year warranty (Thanks for the EU – Only 1 year in the US!). So I called Sling support and they agreed to send out a free replacement.

A week went by and still no replacement power adapter. I called again and asked them to chase the order. And unsurprisingly 2 days later the power supply arrived.

But this wasn’t the end. It turns out the replacement adapter was ALSO dead!! Sling Media obviously haven’t heard of something called ‘Quality Control’ – you know, where they test it to make sure it works before giving it to the consumer…

Another phone call later, and they agreed to send me out another adapter… We’re still waiting for that one.

UPDATE: the new supply arrived, and all works fine. I wonder how long this one will last?!