There are certain landmarks for me when it comes to technology purchases. The ones that stick out in my mind are my first CD burner for my PC in the late 90s, the first mp3 playing head unit for one of my cars in the early 2001, my first digital camera, my first laptop, my first Ipod, and this, the Sling Media Slingbox 350.
What do all of those things have in common for me? I never had one moment of remorse buying any of them. I have used one version or another of the Slingbox Classic since 2007. It is particularly useful for someone that travels internationally.
How Does a Slingbox Work?
The basic concept behind the Slingbox Uverse is that you can watch your home television from anywhere you have internet access through your laptop or mobile device. Why would you ever need to do this? Well, it comes in handy if you are traveling, particularly overseas where English channels can be limited at some hotels. But it provides much more than just television channels, it actually allows you to access all of your recorded programs on your DVR if you are using a cable or satellite provider.
The following summarizes some of its best features:
- Watch your local channels live
- Navigate your program guide and DVR with a virtual remote
- Remotely control your programming in real time
- Watch previously recorded shows on your DVR
The 350 model also supports the following devices:
- Apple TV
- WD TV Live Media Player
- Sony Internet Player with Google TV
- Netgear NeoTV
Slingbox Support Phone Number: 1-800-313-4274
Singbox Solo Setup
Slingbox installation is easy for someone with moderate technical skills. If you get confused connecting cables or loading software, you may need someone more technically inclined to assist you to get slingbox on tv.
You will have to physically plug in some coaxial and component cables and you will need a wired Ethernet cable to access your router. If you do not have the router close to your TV, you will have to move either the router or the cable/satellite box to the same room to set it up or connect via a Wi-Fi option which the new Sling Uverse players have built inside. I prefer to have it hardwired to the network because a wired connection is faster than wi-fi and the difference in speeds can mean less buffering. But again, either way you choose, you must have access to both your cable/satellite box and your router.
Once you get the connections made to the back of the Slingbox, you need to configure the IR remote transmitter onto your cable box. To do this, plug the IR cord into the outlet provided onCredit: http://support.slingbox.com the back of the Slingbox, then thread the cord through and tape the ends to the front of your cable or satellite box. This allows you to change your TV channels at home remotely. It is important to place the transmitter near or over the infrared reader on your box. You may have to shine a flashlight at the display on the cable box to actual see the IR reader. It is not as difficult as it sounds.
After that, the physical part of the installation.
Installing the Slingbox Software
Once everything is physically connected, turn the media player on and install the setup wizard on the provided CD on your laptop. You can also go to the web for the latest version of the Slingbox download software from their website.
The setup wizard will download the Slingbox program and during the process, you will setup a Slingbox account account with a login and password. Once you access the system on your laptop, it will go through a series of steps that will configure the local stations and the video quality on your computer. The system ask for the manufacturer and model of your TV source so you may want to write that down before hand. You can get that information off the back of the your cable or satellite box. This is what allows the player to show you the correct on-screen remote control. It is pretty cool actually. I use Comcast cable and the virtual remote is an exact duplicate of the real thing.
And that is it, you are done.
If all went well, to access the Slingbox on your laptop, simply click the new icon on your screen and it will launch. There are multiple forums on the Sling Media website if you have any installation questions or issues. If you have multiple computers you want to add, you will need to run the setup CD on each.
I have found my Slingbox to be remarkable so far. I have been using one model or the other for 6 years now. Viewing TV on my laptop was an amazing experience, especially when I was out of the country. With a decent internet connection, the HD video was great. It even has a virtual remote on the screen that looks exactly like my Comcast remote control. You can use it to control the set top box, including using DVR and OnDemand functions.
When I go to coffee shops, or anywhere that has Wi-Fi, I can click on the Slingbox icon on my desktop and watch my TV. I can even change the channel or pull up my DVR and watch a recording.
Where the Slingbox shines though is with a dedicated internet connection from your home, work, or hotel room. With a private internet setup, you can pull up your TV on your laptop anywhere and the video quality will be exceptional.
I use my device extensively when I travel to Brazil or New York City. In fact, I took it a step further and bought a separate device called a Slingbox Catcher (no longer available) so I could watch my Comcast cable channels on my remote TV.
So I am completely satisfied with this device. I have access to all of my TV channels and recordings, including OnDemand, when I am out of the country. As long as you have a broadband connection, you can access your own TV from anywhere in the world. It's amazing.