Arris-Made Powerline Adapters Show up at Bell Canada

by Charles Hall

Arris-made powerline adapters with chips have shown up in Canada with a Bell Canada (BC) label.

They are an optional powerline network adapter for use with Bell Canada’s 4K whole home DVR that also supports HDR.

Bell Canada’s sales support and a usually reliable source in Canada have confirmed that Bell Canada’s pass through powerline adapter, made by Arris but branded BC, has Marvell’s chips.

It’s intended to work with BC’s new VIP5662W IPTV receiver/DVR for 4K, also made by Arris.

It can support up to five remote receivers for connecting TVs in other rooms.

The remote receivers support Wi-Fi and are Canadian $7 each per month. The VIP5662W has four Wi-Fi antennas and a Bluetooth antenna. It also has Broadcom’s 7252 system-on-a-chip and a Toshiba hard drive that holds up to 150 hours of 4K content or 320 hours of HD content.


Bell Ghn adapter

Bell Canada’s New Arris-made Powerline Adapter

Bell Canada said that it had previously offered HomePlug powerline adapters. It also offers coax adapters that have HPNA technology, many in adapters made by Motorola, which Arris acquired. That could make BC a candidate to use adapters that can support both and HPNA, where it is already installed, and where it is not.


Bell 4k HDR DVR box

Bell Canada’s New 4K/HDR Whole Home DVR


Bell’s 4K Whole Home PVR is available to BC’s Fibe TV customers in Toronto, Montréal, Ottawa and Québec City for Canadian$599 (US$455).

It is also available to Bell Aliant FibreOP TV subscribers in the Atlantic region of Canada, much of which is so far east of Maine that it lays in the Atlantic time zone.

BC’s powerline adapter is so new that the people to whom we talked, at least initially, said there was no such product. After doing some research at our request, they confirmed what we were looking at on BC’s Web page. They could not, however, tell us how much BC is selling the adapter for but said that when we went to a BC retail store, someone there would give us the price.

What we do know is that it is what is called a pass-through adapter, which means that it has an electrical socket so that consumers don’t lose one of their highly-valued electrical outlets. See the web site here for more details.


Bell adapter

Bell Canada’s Adapter Is a Pass-Through Device

Because Bell Canada is the purveyor and because the market is for 4K TVs and content, we reckon that Bell Canada has ordered many thousands of the powerline adapters in anticipation of a) 4K becoming the dominant TV resolution, especially now that 4K sets are as inexpensive as HD sets were two years ago, and b) BC’s desire to deliver picture-perfect, flicker free 4K TV.

Arris and Marvell may have been handed some nice orders considering that at the end of 2015 BC had 3.4 million broadband subscribers and more than 2.7 million pay TV subscribers.

How Many 4K Whole Home DVRs Would You Order?

And How Many Powerline Adapters Would You Order?

And at What Ramp up Rate?

If You Had:

Broadband Subscribers      3.4 million

Pay TV Subscribers   2.7 Million – of which 1.18 million are high-end Fibe TV subscribers

And Were Increasing Each by 3% to 4% a Year


Bell Canada is proud of its 4K pay TV offerings and wants glowing reports from the very beginning of the 4K service. In February, BC said:

“Bell’s TV leadership extends to 4K”

“As Canada’s largest TV provider and number 1 multimedia company, Bell continues to set the pace in Canadian television. With the January 20 Toronto Raptors vs. Boston Celtics NBA game, TSN became the first broadcaster to produce a live 4K Ultra HD broadcast in North America. Bell TV also announced in January the availability of the Fibe 4K Whole Home PVR for Fibe TV customers in Toronto, Montréal, Ottawa and Québec City. Far superior to basic cable 4K set top boxes lacking recording and other PVR capabilities, the Fibe 4K Whole Home PVR is also ready for the next step in broadcasting: high dynamic range (HDR). In February, Bell will extend availability of the 4K Whole Home PVR to Bell Fibe TV customers in Ontario and Québec and Bell Aliant FibreOP TV customers in Atlantic Canada.”

(The highlights are The Online Reporter’s, not BC’s)


The Significance

There are six significant points about BC’s decision to purchase quantities of powerline adapters:

  1. As would be expected from an incumbent telco, BC does a very thorough job of testing in the labs and in the field. Reportedly the tests were very extensive and thorough – and involved comparison tests against stiff competition such as MoCA 2.0 with bonding and HomePlug AV2 with MIMO.
  2. BC, like many other cablecos and telcos, probably realizes …

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About the Author

The Online Reporter is the weekly subscription-based strategy bulletin about the enabling technologies of broadband, Wi-Fi, HDR, home networks, UHD 4K TV & OTT services; identifying trends in the Digital Media space. Only a fraction of our material here is published here. To see 4 free copies, follow the links above or go to