In the house we just sold, I had a primarily wired network with only a few things wireless. This worked out pretty well as I had gigabit Ethernet switches in a few places and everything was quite reliable. Since we moved into a rental, running Cat6 cable everywhere was not a choice, so I had to go wireless in the house. I chose my office location in a central part of the house as it had coax close to it and WiFi would cover the entire house.
Since my choice for handling TV involved a SiliconDust HDHomeRun, I didn’t have to have coax directly to the TV; I just had to have coax near my network. This wasn’t a problem as I put the box next to the cable modem and my Time Capsule router. My Mac Mini and Apple TV that are hooked to our TV are connected over 802.11n to my Time Capsule and appear to function adequately for the first few days.
However, I started to notice that some of the shows that I recorded were jumpy. I suspected that this was due to lack of bandwidth. The HDHomeRun sends a stream of about 16 MBit/second for each show it is recording to my Mac Mini. 802.11n should be able to handle this without problems. My first step was to replace my Time Capsule with a newer version that supposedly had better performance. (I also went from 1 TB to 2 TB). Unfortunately, this didn’t solve the problem. I noticed the biggest issue when 2 shows were being recorded which meant that I was streaming about 32 MBit/second and then if we were watching a show, it added about another 10 MBit/second to the mix. So the Mac Mini was trying to push a lot of data and receive a lot of data over WiFi.
The next step in solving this problem (which I’ll know next week if it is the fix) was to run 50 feet of Cat6 cable from my office around a corner and over some blinds to reach the Mac Mini.
It appears that WiFi is decent for normal operations and some streaming, but is no replacement for a wired network. In theory 802.11n should be able to handle what I’m throwing at it, but the router can’t handle it, the Mac Mini can’t handle it, or the protocol isn’t up to what I want to see.