Is the SlingBox crap?
June 1, 2006 5:21 AM   Subscribe

Has anyone had any experience with the Sling Box?

I heard about this device any was curious in anyone had any real world experiences with it....

posted by keep it tight to Technology (11 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have any personal experience but CNET named it one of their "Top 10 must-have" gadgets:

I'm not sure why I would want this kind of gadget, but they seem to think it's pretty cool.
posted by justkevin at 5:36 AM on June 1, 2006

Is 14 Mbps good enough? We're talking only 20% faster than 802.11b here...
posted by shepd at 6:31 AM on June 1, 2006

I have one and love it. I use it in areas where I would like to watch TV but don't have cable access, such as my workshop. You can also watch from a remote location (like a hotel in another city that doesn't offer HBO).

It is fabulous.
posted by Jandasmo at 6:49 AM on June 1, 2006

Jandasmo - Was it easy to set up?
posted by DieHipsterDie at 6:51 AM on June 1, 2006

We've used it a lot at my job (long story but I'm in the cable biz).

It's really easy to set up (a connection between your cable box and TV and a couple of IR blasters to change channels) and works pretty well. You need to be careful running it however as it can eat up all your network bandwidth. By default it will pretty much use as much bandwidth as you throw at it. 14Mbps is plenty. Most cable channels are less than 8 Mbps. (TV is really fairly low resolution).

Though you can configure it through the client to use less bandwidth if necessary.

Haven't used the cell phone client yet.
posted by bitdamaged at 9:06 AM on June 1, 2006

They said it does not do HD...
Some says if a person turns into HD channel by accident remotely.. the box will freeze up and some one at home has to restart the box...

I almost bought the thing until I heard this issue...

I have couple of HD channels... I hate not being able see these channels but I hate more if I acccidently click into one of these channels and free the box while nobody's home...

Frankly I love the idea and there are much more positve reviews for the product... I hope they can resolve the issue...

The work around was making your cable box to only i put standard res to box/TV.... but that means I will have to reset the Cable box to HD every time I go back home....
posted by curiousleo at 9:38 AM on June 1, 2006

oops.. sorry about the spellings...
posted by curiousleo at 9:40 AM on June 1, 2006

The Slingbox is incredible. I travel for a living & this has revolutionized my hotel stays. What TiVo did for time shifting, the Slingbox does for location shifting. When you combine the two it's awesome - you can watch your shows when you want - where you want.

As far as the setup, it's incredibly easy to set up. I literally had it working within ten minutes of taking it out of the box.
posted by pierow at 11:09 AM on June 1, 2006

Dittoing bitdamaged, I'm in the cable biz and we use them too. They're fine ... if I cared more about watching teevee I'd probably be more excited. At work I can see direct 270 Mbps SDI :)

I've used the software at home to pull in a signal from work (via VPN) and it ran about 0.6-1.0 Mbps and looked just fine.

I don't know where bitdamaged is getting his bitrates. Modern cable TV bitrates to the home are more like 1 Mbps. However, the encoding is done by extremely expensive encoders (usually built by Scientific Atlanta or Motorola) so you get a lot more quality in that 1 Mbps to your settop box than you would get in 1 Mbps from a $300 Slingbox. But it's really splitting hairs -- you, the average viewer, don't care about the crap quality that satellite TV and digital cable foist on you, and you won't care about the quality of the SlingBox video.

In short, though, they're great. Watch where you want, when you want. Part of the tech wave over the last 2 years (and next 2 years) that is blowing the TV business to tiny bits.
posted by intermod at 11:32 AM on June 1, 2006

My parents are living in Italy temporarily, and hae arranged with me to hae a dumb (no TV attached) TiFaux box in my place connected to a Slingbox. Presto - Lost in Italy! When I visited, I checked it out, and while it certainly meets the need, the video quality is pretty poor - much worse than regular TV. Not sure if this is because they are watching it on a laptop with no video card or if it is the limitation of the Slingbox.

One thing to be aware of -- if you have the 'Box hooked up to your regular TV, you will not be able to watch something other than what someone at home is watching -- it would be as if you had two people with remotes for the same TV in the same room. This may be a deal breaker or of no concern to you, but keep it in mind.
posted by Rock Steady at 3:31 PM on June 1, 2006

"and hae arranged with me to hae a dumb"

Clearly my 'V' was not working there for a minute.
posted by Rock Steady at 3:33 PM on June 1, 2006

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