As web viewing figures begin to put on serious weight, so grow the demands on households’ internet connections. Recent stats show that more than four in five people are watching more internet video than a year ago and the number of videos being viewed has ballooned 10-fold in a couple of years. But speed and bandwidth, which are critical to quality video streaming, remain issues. A product like Belkin’s new Gigabit Powerline HD Starter Kit adapter, however, is helping the challenge of delivering mass entertainment over the internet.

The Gigabit Powerline adapter uses the home’s existing powerline network to push multiple streams of HD entertainment super-fast through the electrical wiring. But it’s not only a smooth video stream that’s important to households. Reliability is top of people’s list of concerns.

Belkin has incorporated a Gigle Semiconductor’s mediaxtream chip to power its adapter and provide a stable and secure wireless connection. This is particularly important in reducing latency for the growing population of online gamers, which cries out for ultra-fast, high-quality video transmission.

If we’re talking numbers, the fastest powerline technology in the U.S. now runs at 200Mbps. Gigabit Powerline throttles that up to 1000Mbps.

With 84 percent of people reporting increased viewing, according to a 2008 IDC research survey, and the number of videos watched jumping from 10 billion to 100 billion in the two years from 2005 to 2007, the pressure is on to produce products like these that squeeze the utmost out of the existing communications technology.

The other appealing aspect to the adapter is the ease of setting it up. The adapter is plugged into the wall, at one end, and into any device with an available Ethernet port, such as a gaming console, set-top box or computer, at the other.

The Belkin Gigabit Powerline HD Starter Kit is now available in the U.S. (USD$150), and in Europe in early August.