Should I use slingbox for my primary cable connection?
May 30, 2012 1:28 PM Subscribe
Should I use slingbox as a permanent cable replacement for primarily sports games?
posted by btkuhn to Technology (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'll be starting a one-year graduate program out of state starting later this summer, and I am trying to figure out whether to get cable or satellite. I watch tv almost everyday, but it's mostly sports - so if I could subscribe only to espn and espn2 (and the main networks), I'd be set. Unfortunately, the cheapest plan that my future cable provider offers including espn is $50/month, and it looks like with all extra costs included a directv subscription will work out to be about the same.
Then I heard about slingbox. It sounds perfect - I could set it up with a rarely-used cable box at my parent's house in my home state, and not only would I save $600 on cable subscription, I would get the NFL and college basketball games from the local teams I grew up with. It looks like if I go with the local provider in my new town I won't get the NFL games and many of the college basketball games from the teams I want.
However, I don't know anyone that has a slingbox and the reviews I've found online usually talk more about using it on mobile devices and such, which I'm not really interested in.
My concerns are basically:
1. Picture quality. I'm not real picky about this - I don't expect HDTV, but I've watched some games online in the past (streaming, not slingbox) and some have been great, others not so much. It is very annoying to watch sports when you have a subpar connection and there are 'pauses' every few seconds. I think having a super clear picture is less important to me than having a consistent stream like you would watching TV.
2. Significantly slowing the network speed of either my or my parent's internet connection. They have road runner (time warner cable) and I will probably get DSL through AT&T, although I haven't researched this.
3. Connection issues. Basically, if having my cable connection located in another state is going to be a huge PITA and I end up having to call my parents every other day to reset the unit or miss games because the connection's down, I'd rather pay the money for proper cable or forego cable altogether. I don't really have a feel for how reliable the slingbox network/equipment is.
The sports I would be using this for are: Euro 2012, college football, NFL football, college basketball. Maybe the olympics soccer, although I think I heard it is being streamed for free online.
So, if you use slingbox for this or a similar purpose (or can comment on the overall quality/reliability of connection of slingbox), would you recommend it?
Bonus points: Is slingbox the best option, or is vulkano something to consider?