Hands-On Review: How easy it is to unbox a Sling Box

Hands-On Review: How easy it is to unbox a Sling Box

Summary: This isn't a new product, but it is in my household. Recently, I realized what I was missing in my life: a Sling Box - and it might be one of the best purchases I've ever made.

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This isn't a new product, but it is in my household. Recently, I realized what I was missing in my life: a Slingbox - and it might be one of the best purchases I've ever made.

The Sling Media Slingbox Solo lets a user sling their cable signal to a portable device (i.e. laptop, netbook, and even an iPhone). I set one up at my house, and compared to a lot of digital viewing accessories, this one was really simple to figure out.

Everything I needed was already in the box and there aren't any extra fees for its services after you buy it (unless you want the iPhone/iPod touch receiver, which unfortunately does cost an extra $30).

Following a simple process that was the same for both Mac and PC users, I hooked up the cables accordingly (from the Slingbox out to both the cable box and the router) and attached the infrared receivers to receive the IR signal from the box. Then it came time to create an online account and start searching for the signal. It managed to find my cable box right away, and within minutes, I had a picture.

(Yes, The O.C. was on. It's not my favorite show, but not much else is on at 2:00 PM on a weekday afternoon.) As for software, its all available on Sling's site, which I liked a lot better because I hate having to keep a bunch of CDs around for the one time I might need to use them down the road. And I've been using the program with success on both Windows and Mac OS-based computers.

Users have the option of downloading a viewing program from Sling, but it tends to leave a lot of huge temporary files on your computer. So if you don't have a large hard drive or don't want to keep cleaning these files up, you can stream through your web browser. The quality isn't as good, and you don't have much control over volume, but I have found this system to be friendlier to my old MacBook.

The only trouble I've had is sometimes the picture doesn't load but the sound will, so I'll have to refresh the page, and I've sometimes the Guide (program listings) doesn't always load either.

I picked up my Slingbox at Best Buy for about $150, not including tax (and obviously no shipping). You can check out prices and buying options here if you're interested as well.

Do any of you have Slingboxes at home? And if so, how well have they worked for you?

Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Networking, Telcos

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10 comments
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  • slingbox

    I had forgotten about this device. Thanks for bringing it back to my attention. Along a similar train of thought, I would like to do sort of the opposite, i.e., send Internet streams from my PC to my HD big screen TV. Do you have any advice on doing that?

    Thank you, jim
    jwurster
  • RE: Hands-On Review: How easy it is to unbox a Sling Box

    What's the setup workaround if your TV isn't anywhere near your wireless router.
    dodig69@...
    • SLing Network

      Sling Media has a Powerline network adapter... Plug the router into the powerline net box, and you plug a wall-wart looking module in near the slingbox and hook it to the Sling box ethernet port. Uses the powerlines to send/receive the data between the router and the sling box... You can also set up a wireless router on the sling box end to be a "receiver" and do it wirelessly... I did that with a laser printer in my house that isn't near any routers etc...
      5ft24
  • RE: Hands-On Review: How easy it is to unbox a Sling Box

    I have had an OLD slingbox classic for about 4 months and I love it!
    One thing to consider, is if you hook it to the output of a cable or satellite box, and someone is home watching TV, you'll probably wind up in the dog house for changing channels LOL
    I solved that issue... We have 3 TV's in the house, but 2 Dual DVR boxes... The unused TV2 out of the one box is now the input to the Slingbox... The unfortunate issue is that TV2 is UHF and not Infrared, but DISH makes a TV2 IR converter... You plug a straight cable from the Slingbox IR out to the converter IR in, and the coax out of the converter goes to the Remote antenna in. Works great!
    I can watch TV from my laptop, any Computer with internet access, or my Blackberry, and I never interfere with anyone in the house watching TV!
    5ft24
  • The best purchase you ever made?

    I was interested to hear what about the Slingbox made it one of the best purchases you ever made. Unless I missed it, you missed answering the question. The build up was big, but I am left hanging.
    mbe1is1e
  • RE: Hands-On Review: How easy it is to unbox a Sling Box

    My Sling Box has been used a few times to view things when on the road but I have found it unsatisfying if the bandwidth signal is not very strong. It has been useful in setting the digital recorder to get shows I have forgotten to set up when at home.
    lanem@...
  • Better purchases available

    I tend to watch what is on, and so far, so good. When nothing to my liking is on, I find something else to do.

    $150 ahead.
    cwallen19803@...
  • Slingbox with DVR - "That's the ticket"

    I use my Slingbox Pro HD to sling my Dish DVR, quality accross the internet is watchable for those shows you must see, the real use for Slingbox is on the home network with a laptop you can watch quality TV anywhere around the house, I have the Slingbox wired and a wireless network in the house. We actually canceled our second reciever becuase of it.
    rpjacobsen
  • RE: Hands-On Review: How easy it is to unbox a Sling Box

    I love my Slingbox Pro, but my only complaint now is a lack of a viewer for Android. The Windows Mobile version worked flawlessly for me, but I recently replaced my aging WM6.0 phone for a brand new Droid.
    MGusway
  • RE: Hands-On Review: How easy it is to unbox a Sling Box

    I have been very happy with the Sling box. I work over at DISH Network where I first used this technology. This is great for when you?re on the road or when ever you have a chance to catch up on your shows. I get great enjoyment and this has given me a way to enjoy more of my programming now. I recommend this to all and, it?s so easy to use. The set up process and the app are user friendly. Contact DISH for more info.
    Joe1DISH