The first time I used the player outside of the office I was very impressed with it. It’s really quite something to be able to access your home TV, while sitting in a desk at the office. It’s even cooler being able to control it and I must admit that I did enjoy scaring my wife by changing the channel when she was sitting at home in front of the TV.
Quality outside of the network is inevitably lower than inside the network being limited to around 300- 400Kbps on a 1Mbps connection. This meant that the picture had to be limited to normal size to look decent. However, inside a network from a Sky box, you can make the image full screen and still get a great picture.
This means that is that Slingbox effectively gives you a second TV in the home wherever you are in the house, without having to go to the expense of getting another TV, or get a second aerial point put in. I could watch the football upstairs on a laptop, while my wife watched Desperate Housewives in the lounge. Everyone’s a winner.
Once you’ve got used to the Slingbox, you won’t want to be without the freedom it brings. When you’re on holiday, you’ll no longer be slave to rubbish local TV as long the hotel has Wi-Fi and you’re willing to pay for it.
One feature though that isn’t available in the UK is the ability to watch on portable devices. As its Windows Media based you’d expect it to work with any Wi-Fi enabled Pocket PC. However Slingbox says that currently mobile devices aren’t compatible with the PAL version of the box. This is a shame as it’s one area where it loses out to Sony’s rival Location Free, which is designed to work on an PSP.
However, the Slingbox is quite a bit cheaper at £180, whereas Sony’s box or tricks will cost you £230.
If Slingbox can add PDA and Smartphone support to its little box then it really would be a near perfect product. Let’s hope it does so soon, along with Mac support.
The Slingbox is a great idea that’s well implemented. It’s looks different, it’s very easy to set-up and use, and delivers your TV to you over the Internet wherever you are with. Slingbox just needs to add support for portable device to the UK version and it would be even better.