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Set up proved to be an easy and straightforward process. The first thing to do is to make sure you’ve hooked everything up correctly but lay the Quick Start guide out on the floor and follow the instructions and you shouldn’t have any problems. Without wanting to be politically incorrect when you’re used to ‘Ingrish’ from the manuals of most component manufacturers it’s refreshing to read clear instructions written in correct English. Continuing that theme, the SlingMedia web site is also a very good resource for information and updates.
The software sensibly checks for updates before it gets going, and a Firmware update was downloaded and applied on my first go. For Sky+ users it’s well worth downloading the very latest version (currently beta) of the SlingPlayer software as it contains remote skins that exactly mimic the layout of the Sky + remote (a design classic in my book), which makes controlling your Sky + remotely virtually the same as if you were in the same room as it.
As you set-up the SlingPlayer software you choose which input you wish to configure, but you can only do one at a time. I first had to set up the Sky+ and then had to go back to set up the internal tuner.
After finishing a scan the software picked up a long list of channels. However, the software help warns that not all type of programmes can be accessed – this includes pay-per-view, encrypted and radio- so you can’t use your Slingbox to stream digital radio, which is a shame. I also found that most of the stations picked up didn’t actually generate any picture. This is probably due to the fact that the TV reception in my house is poor, which isn’t the Slingbox’s fault. Fortunately, the major stations were all picked up.
The next step is to choose your make of set-top box from the list in order than the software sends the correct control codes. The list is very extensive and the chances are that your equipment will be there. Sky+ was located straight way but you do have to do some tweaking to how the codes are transmitted to get it to work well.
The SlingPlayer software isn’t the best looking media player in the world but it’s well laid out and effective. The downside to having to use proprietary software is that if you want to access your TV remotely it’s a hefty download but it’s required because of the nature of the dynamic bit-rate adjustment and does have some nice features.