You seem to be suggesting that even a wireless adapter (and by extension, furball146's suggestion of a wireless ethernet bridge) will still require moving the xbox around from time to time, as if you anticipate wireless range being an issue. If that’s the case, are you guessing, or is this based on experience?
Also, while wireless G is sufficient for SD (standard def) content (~6mbps), HD (high def) content (~25mbps) may require wireless N. So you have to take that into consideration, esp. if you only have a wireless G router. Even powerline varies greatly in performance. For some ppl, powerline won't work at all, or may be as low as 1-3mbps, 12-15mbps, and occasionally better, maybe in the 30-35mbps range. But it's very hard to predict since home wiring varies so much.
One interesting thing I've been considering lately is MoCA
. I've heard a lot of good things about it, w/ ppl reporting *full* 100Bast-T like performance (i.e., real world numbers like 70-80mbps). That's impressive. But like powerline, it's expensive. Best deal I’ve seen recently was a pair of refurb Netgear MOCA adapters for $105 shipped @ Cowboom. Still on the expensive side, but if you need the bandwidth and reliability, and can't run plain ol' ethernet for some reason (accessibility, cost), it may be worth the investment. Only limitation I know of is that it doesn't work w/ satellite over coax, only cable.
Finally, maybe you should consider one of the many portable media players that allow the attachment of a USB drive. They’re relatively inexpensive compared to some of the options above (I’ve seen the first gen WD TV media player for as little as $35 shipped (refurb)). Just rip your files to the USB drive, plug it in to the media player, and connect it to the TV. There’s even third party firmware (WDLXTV
) that’s supposed to be quite good (adds networking too). There are similar players from other manufacturers as well. At least you don’t have to move the xbox around.
That's pretty much it. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Impossible to say what's the right answer for someone else.
P.S. In a pinch, you can use the laptop as wireless ethernet bridge. Just run a network cable from the laptop’s ethernet port to the xbox and bridge the wireless and wired connections in Windows. It would at least give you an idea of how well a standalone wireless ethernet bridge would work for you.
If you want the absolute cheapest wireless (G) ethernet bridge I know of, that would be the Verizon (Westell) 7501 wireless router ($10)
. It can be easily hacked into a wireless ethernet bridge. I’m using one right now to support a Linux PC.