481 of 508 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great product, with 2 HD caveats
Having been a prior user of the SlingBox Pro, I was already familiar with the SlingBox software and hardware setup. Receiving the ProHD it was quite easy to perform the setup and installation required to be "slinging" my TV all over the world (and around my home).
Despite having setup one of the the original devices before, I attempted to walk through the...
Published on October 21, 2008 by Stephen M. Lerch
257 of 269 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars AVOID - SlingMedia doesn't support warranty
I was a happy users for about 11 months. Oh - it was a pain to setup some times. They tricked me into buying the HD version when they still don't support HD on the Mac OS/X. (They had an upgrade program and claimed my older Slingbox wouldn't be supported anymore which turned out not to be true.)
But today, about a week before the 1 year hardware warranty is set...
Published on March 31, 2010 by Michael Brennan
Most Helpful First | Newest First
481 of 508 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great product, with 2 HD caveats,
This review is from: Sling Media Slingbox PRO-HD SB300-100 (Personal Computers)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Program (What's this?)Having been a prior user of the SlingBox Pro, I was already familiar with the SlingBox software and hardware setup. Receiving the ProHD it was quite easy to perform the setup and installation required to be "slinging" my TV all over the world (and around my home).
Despite having setup one of the the original devices before, I attempted to walk through the installation as a completely new user. The booklet gives clear, easy to understand directions for the multitude of ways in which this device can be setup. It isn't relegated to "just" HD; the SlingBox Pro HD can also sling your standard definition content over the world or over your own network as well. This does not mean, however, that a person couldn't be easily confused just due to the sheer amount of devices one could potentially control with the SlingBox Pro HD (or the original Pro for that matter).
Remember when setting up the hardware, the location of the IR sensors is crucial in your ability to control your devices over the Internet or the network.
Once you are finished setting up your SlingBox Pro HD, you are prompted to download and install the Sling Player software. Of the entire process, I have to say this is the most frustrating part. It would have been easy enough to deliver a CD with the software inside the box, however Sling Media chose to force you to download the software. The only time I can see this as being an issue is if you purchased the SlingBox Pro HD with the express intention of "slinging" your media around your house and not over the Internet (and even then really only if you have no Internet connection). Deduct a point for the 5-15 minutes you must spend downloading the software; as if the anticipation of getting the device working wasn't bad enough already!
Next up was actually installing the software and finding the device on the network. The software walks you through every step of the process. The most difficult part, and calling it difficult may be stretching the definition, is in figuring out what remote to use. Some devices you may have in your home have several hardware versions and also have remotes with different nuances which could potentially throw a monkey wrench in the works. You are presented with the layout and a picture of the remote, so as long as your remote is handy you should be able to compare it easily to what is on the install screen.
You must install the Sling Player software on every PC (laptop or desktop; or cell phone if you purchase the software for it) you wish to view your media from.
Now for the fun part, actually watching your media!
From home, you can sling HD media around your network with reckless abandon. Even with a "slow" network speed of 10 mbps, you can achieve the ability to sling content in HD. At lower speeds you may notice some minor artefacting and other compression issues, but this is really only due to the slower network speed. If you are using a 100 mbps or faster connection, this should shoot high quality HD content all over your house with no problems. The only down side in this is that if you are using wireless, you must remember THERE IS NO WIRELESS CAPABILITY built into the SlingBox Pro HD (or other SlingBoxes for that matter). I wish they had included the Sling Link Turbo, which allows you to connect the Sling Link Turbo to your network, another cable into your power line and network the SlingBox Pro HD via your electrical outlets, negating the need to run network cabling all over your house. Including wireless connectivity would also be a bonus, however there is no guarantee on wireless connection speeds, which is why it is not included as a feature. Given variances in wireless speeds and quality of connection, there would be no good way, yet, for the SlingBox to offer a consistent level of quality in the video it slings.
Now we delve into watching from anywhere around the world. The first HD caveat I mention in my title for this review, is one of HD media slinging. Unfortunately you must have a decent upload speed from your Internet connection to be able to receive a decent HD picture. The recommended upload speed for a consistently good HD picture while traveling and watching over the Internet is 1.5 mbps. My DSL connection is capped at 768 kbps, which means I cannot watch HD content while traveling as I am given choppy images and broken audio. You can, however, still watch the content, only you will need to set the SlingBox Pro HD to "down convert" the video you receive to standard definition quality. So if all you want is to be able to watch local sports or TV while traveling and don't mind it not being in standard definition, this is a great device. The other side of this caveat is that if you will only be watching while traveling and don't have a fast upload speed, you may be better served saving some money and going for the regular SlingBox Pro instead of the HD.
The other HD caveat is that the SlingBox Pro HD can only accept and output sources UP TO 1080i. This means that if you have a Blu Ray or other HD capable device that can output and is setup to output at 1080p, you will have to dial it down to 1080i output. 720p content is not affected.
Which brings us to connections. There is NO HDMI connection on this device. Not a single HDMI connection. Your options are:
composite (red, white, yellow)
svideo (still needs red and white for audio)
component (red, blue, green, uses either red and white for anlog audio or orange connection for digital audio)
coax (your cable connection)
composite (red, white, yellow)
svideo (still needs red and white for audio)
component (red, blue, green, uses either red and white or orange connection for audio)
The SlingBox Pro HD also has a USB connection for viewing media off of a USB thumb drive (may even work for a USB hard drive; I haven't tried it as of this writing)
You can control all sorts of devices with the SlingBox Pro HD, and especially important is the inclusion of an ATSC tuner within the Pro HD. What this means is that this SlingBox is prepared for the digital conversion we all keep hearing about on TV. The regular SlingBox Pro has only a regular NTSC tuner so is not future proof on its own (if you have a digital converter box, like the ones the government offers coupons for, the regular SlingBox Pro may still be an option).
One other "problem" is not being able to control the PS3. As the PS3 is one of the best selling Blu Ray players, I would have liked to have seen a way to manipulate it using Bluetooth connectivity from the SlingBox Pro HD. They missed the mark on this one, but only by a little. Hopefully they will allow for Bluetooth remote control connections in the next version of the SlingBox?
In the end, this device is amazingly nice. Very rarely does a device impress me as much as this. If you desire to watch HD sources all over your house, this is a great device to purchase. If you want to do the same with SD content, this will still work for you. If you want to watch HD media while traveling, this is the device to purchase (assuming you have a fast enough upload speed to the Internet); you can also use it for watching standard definition content while traveling, though again, if this is what you desire you may be better served with the regular SlingBox Pro and save a few dollars.
As long as you can look past the inability to input/output at 1080p and the Internet upload requirements, this is a great buy!
257 of 269 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars AVOID - SlingMedia doesn't support warranty,
This review is from: Sling Media Slingbox PRO-HD SB300-100 (Personal Computers)I was a happy users for about 11 months. Oh - it was a pain to setup some times. They tricked me into buying the HD version when they still don't support HD on the Mac OS/X. (They had an upgrade program and claimed my older Slingbox wouldn't be supported anymore which turned out not to be true.)
But today, about a week before the 1 year hardware warranty is set to expire the box just quit. No power light, no network lights - the box doesn't do anything. Clearly a hardware issue or a bad power supply.
However when I follow the directions on the SlingMedia website to get an RMA to return the defective hardware, I was told I need to pay $29.99. I said it is still under warranty - you cannot charge me. The person said it was $29.99 to talk to them. I asked if it turns out to be a hardware issue - which it clearly is, would I get refunded? No was the reply. There is no escalation path.
Consumers should not have to pay to have warranties honored. SlingMedia is no longer a company I respect or can recommend. I highly recommend everyone avoid this company.
284 of 298 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Failed after 100 days; More $ to get support,
This review is from: Sling Media Slingbox PRO-HD SB300-100 (Personal Computers)I wanted to review this product's feature set and its ease of setup or its compatibility or some other attributes. However, I could not: mine failed after only 100 days of ownership. And I couldn't initially get it fixed by Sling because they told me they only support it for 90 days. I guess I'm old-fashioned in that I expect products to last more than three months before they fail. I also expect companies of those failed products to stand behind them.
UPDATE ONE MONTH LATER: Sling was now willing to honor the warranty on my Slingbox....but only if I paid them $50 more for an extended warranty. Yes, even though my product was well within the one year warranty. Only if I paid them more money would they answer my calls or e-mails asking them to replace my unit.
Anyone considering this product should add $50 to the purchase price when evaluating its worth to you. The product essentially comes with a mere 90 day warranty--you must pay extra after that. Sling should be upfront, adding that $50 to the list price and providing good support. But I guess that's not how they do business.
UPDATE ONE YEAR LATER: After stewing over the extra $50 for months, I opted to pay it so I could move forward and actually have a working SlingBox. I will give Sling credit: Once you pay them their extra $50, they do support you. They stayed on the phone with me at length, connected in remotely, and didn't hesitate to send a replacement unit for my failed one.
I did require support after receiving the new unit because no installation instructions were included and their software is not all that smart. It should have recognized there was a new SlingBox on my LAN and proffered "Do you want to configure the unconfigured SlingBox?" instead of making me hunt through the menus to force it to do so. There are still bugs in the latest configuration utility too, leaving me stuck in the procedure at one point with no "Continue" button and necessitating another chat with Sling support.
OVERALL: I cannot recommend a SlingBox for a non-technical user. With work, an average Joe can connect the cables to one but the software setup is for those who understand video hardware and computer software rather well. This is in no way whatsoever a "plug & play" product. Better software engineering (and hardware quality) could vastly widen the potential user audience. Maybe we will see this in future revisions, but until then it remains a hobbyist extravagance. Make sure you know what you're getting into before buying.
301 of 317 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible customer/technical support. Only 90 days warranty!,
This review is from: Sling Media Slingbox PRO-HD SB300-100 (Personal Computers)Overall, I have been pretty happy with the functionality of this product over the last 9 months. Other reviews have covered the features well, so I'd like to focus on the customer support/warranty side of things, which is an important consideration.
In order to use access the video from your Slingbox remotely (when away from your home), Sling has created the concept of an online "sling account" which stores your Slingbox access information on the internet.
As far as I can tell, once you leave your home network, there is no way to access your slingbox signal, without logging into your sling account. This is basically a website, that you log into with email/password, and designate which slingbox you want to watch.
I recently ran into a problem where my email address changed (they require you to login into your slingaccount with your email address rather than a userid), and I needed to update it on my slingaccount. After MUCH searching, all I could find was a way to change my password, but no way to change my email address.
So, I found the "contact us" email link, and fired off a quick request to "please let me know how to change the email address on my sling account".
What I received back was really shocking. Honestly, I have been buying electronics, web services, etc for a long time, and have never received as outrageous of a reply as this.
The response was basically:
- We checked your account, and you purchased your slingbox over 90 days ago, which makes it outside our warranty.
- Therefore, in order for us to resolve you issue, you will need to pay us $29.99 per incident.
- OR you can pay us $49.99 for 2 more years of support.
Are you kidding me! It took them LONGER to write that reply than it would have to copy/paste in the answer for how to change my email.
So just beware, that you will very likely need to pay an extra $50 (or $30 per incident) in order to have access to ongoing functionality of your SlingAccount.
Also, at least in the email I received, they indicated that the $49.99 2 year support coverage was only available PRIOR TO MONTH 12 of your ownership of Slingbox. So if you want to avoid the $30/pop charge, you need to pay the $50 before the 1 year mark.
80 of 82 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointed......,
This review is from: Sling Media Slingbox PRO-HD SB300-100 (Personal Computers)My first impression of the Slingbox was "hey, this thing is great." It was relatively easy to set up and worked reasonably well, though it did not really support HD on the Macintosh platform. After several months of relatively carefree use, I did a software/firmware update recommended by Sling. Since then, my Slingbox has been essentially useless. The streaming speeds are now so slow, that the video and sound quality are not watchable.
The biggest disappointment, however, comes in the form of lack of support. Despite the "firmware upgrade issue" being all over the internet billboards, Sling will not acknowledge the issue. Additionally, after the initial setup support from Sling, they charge you just to talk to a human in support. Those who have tried this have found that since Sling doesn't acknowledge the problem, they can not help the caller and suggest that the hardware is defective......and the suggestion from them is to BUY a new Slingbox. Unbelievable really.
Unfortunately for us, there is no equivalent hardware out there.
Buyer beware......do not expect any support from this company if you choose to buy their equipment.
75 of 78 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Slingbox Pro HD are Junk,
This review is from: Sling Media Slingbox PRO-HD SB300-100 (Personal Computers)This my second Slingbox Pro HD that I've gotten from Amazon in the last week. Neither box can pull an IP address from my network router (which is listed on the Slingbox compatible list). Without an IP address from your home network you cannot set the box up or watch TV. I have 2 iphones, 2 computers, 1 laptop, 2 DirectTV DVRs all can pull IP addresses from my router, but the Slingbox cannot. Call technical support and you get a novice who has you press reset buttons a couple times and tells you to get a firmware update for the router (I'm at most recent version). After Googling this problem I see that hundreds of people have had the same problem. Their complaints are even posted on the Slingbox forum. I am a network engineer who manages and builds servers, switched networks across multiple subnets, program Cisco routers, etc. I think I know a thing or two about networking and network equipment. These Slingbox devices obviously have their own firmware or hardware engineering problems and are junk. It is no wonder the Slingbox has never really caught on like VCRs and other consumer electronics. Save your time and money until they get the bugs worked out. Great service from Amazon returning the devices.
60 of 63 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Horrible, Horrible experience,
This review is from: Sling Media Slingbox PRO-HD SB300-100 (Personal Computers)I've owned the Slingbox Classic and the Slingbox ProHD. Since buying the PRO-HD, I've never been able to get it online. However, with other pressing things going on, I didn't think about it much. Tonight, I tried to finally get it up and running, only to find out that the network part of it is shot. The box won't respond to a reset, or anything. So, I call SlingMedia and try to find out what I can do. Product has never worked as advertised, now doesn't work at all..... My options are two. Buy a refurb for $99 or take a 20% discount on a new one.
My choice?? Nothing at all. They are thieves and their product is horrible and has been getting worse. To add insult to injury, I've helped them beta test software since they first started. I cannot recommend this piece of garbage to anyone.
63 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How does it look?,
This review is from: Sling Media Slingbox PRO-HD SB300-100 (Personal Computers)So, I purchased the Slingbox PRO HD before going to Japan for the military. I wanted to watch my local sports teams and was willing to pay for it.
My setup- I have a 54" plasma TV I'm watching it on. Other ancillary devices: Tivo HD, SlingCatcher. The upload speed at the Slingbox is 20MB/s (thank you FiOS!) and download speed at the SlingCatcher is 10MB.
I'd love to say I was getting transfer rates above 3MBPS, but I am not. I've had a huge range of transfer speeds and I wanted to give an idea of how it looks at different ranges. This will help those deciding if they should upgrade their internet service, or switch services altogether.
3+ MBPS-- Looks great! Low quality HD (not blue ray by any means, but very very good). The only time it is out of synch is on fast moving scenes in football games. Fantastic and I'd be thrilled if I were always able to keep it this fast!
2.5MBPS-- Still looks great. Football gets choppy and but is still great.
1.8MBPS-- Normal TV is still HD quality. The choppiness of football is annoying enough that I don't try HD. I do 480P. Not bad. Still happy when it's here
1.5MBPS-- Normal TV starts getting choppy. I usually set it to 480P
1.2 MBPS. Always in 480P. HD is way too choppy
1.0 MBPS- 480P gets choppy. I use 480i instead. Football is very choppy.
0.8 MBPS- 480i still looks good.
0.6 MPPS- Go to lowest quality and looks decent on my huge TV. I'm annoyed when my internet sucks this bad
0.4 MBPS-- Even lowest quality is grainy and choppy. Sucky!
The quality depends totally, or almost totally on your internet speed. I get my speed clamped down by my ISP and so I get ranges all the time. Overall it's fantatic and I can't wait to watch the Super Bowl, but there are times its very frusterating.
As I was looking to buy I never saw this kind of review so I hope it's helpful...
49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sling Box Turbo HD,
This review is from: Sling Media Slingbox PRO-HD SB300-100 (Personal Computers)This product arrived DOA. The correct setup is to connect your video source such as cable or satellite to the SlingBox and then connect the Slingbox to your TV using Component cables. Even if you have HDMI, you need to use Component. The video output to the TV created a greenish hue. Technical support from the Asian call center was not very helpful. The manufacturer did not offer an exchange. Fortunately, I was within the 30 day return policy for Amazon. I bought the Sling Player Mobile for my Iphone for $29.99. Since I had to return the hardware, there was no function for the Iphone software. Sling Media said to call Apple. Apple said it was Sling Media's responsibility, but because Apple values their customers, they agreed to the refund. Even if I did not have hardware problems with the Sling Turbo, the Iphone player is ridiculously slow. It only works on wifi. But even with a very fast wifi connection, it is difficult to watch.
I would stay away from this company at all costs. Poor support. Also the products don't work as advertised. The implication is that you can connect more than one video source to the device. This is not the case.
65 of 70 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars HORRIBLE CUSTOMER SUPPORT,
This review is from: Sling Media Slingbox PRO-HD SB300-100 (Personal Computers)Buyer Beware!!!! Sling Media has by far the worst customer support I've ever encountered from a technology company. I've had an open case for a faulty IR port on my Sling Media product for the ENTIRE 18 months that I've owned it and they refuse to replace my product. They gave me the run around from an incompetent foreign based support staff, over and over again, and never follow up with a resolve. All I wanted was a replacement.
If you buy a Sling product and have a problem you have been warned.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Sling Media Slingbox PRO-HD SB300-100 by Sling Media
Used & New from: $100.00