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187 of 194 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Product - Stingy Manufacturer
The Slingbox Pro does an excellent job of streaming video from multiple sources (Tivo's, cable boxes, or satellite tuners, for example) to any internet-connected computer, anywhere in the world. If you have access to a fast internet connection, you'll be amazed at the quality of the picture and the sound.

Two issues:

1) The primary, defining feature...
Published on December 21, 2006 by Mark McElroy

versus
74 of 87 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This WAS a good product UNTIL they encrypted it
This was a well conceived and well executed product that offered good and reliable quality over limited bandwidth.

AND THEN, the Slingbox designers decided to encrypt their video signal, making it impossible to recored what you are watching. People who use this device know what a serious drawback that is. The change was implemented with no public announcement,...
Published on February 21, 2007 by John S. Hagelin


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187 of 194 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Product - Stingy Manufacturer, December 21, 2006
By 
This review is from: Sling Media Slingbox PRO (SB200-100) (Personal Computers)
The Slingbox Pro does an excellent job of streaming video from multiple sources (Tivo's, cable boxes, or satellite tuners, for example) to any internet-connected computer, anywhere in the world. If you have access to a fast internet connection, you'll be amazed at the quality of the picture and the sound.

Two issues:

1) The primary, defining feature of the PRO verison of the Slingbox is its ability to "sling" high-definition video across the internet to your laptop. It's unfortunate that the folks at Sling Media:

- saw fit to design the box to use a proprietary cable instead of the industry-standard HDMI cable that all HD component owners know and use, and

- failed to include their proprietary cable in the box with the Pro. When I buy a product for its PRO features, I shouldn't have to go back out and scavenge for a rare, $50.00 cable in order to use those features. This was a terrible oversight.

2) Be aware that you will not be able to use the Slingbox unless you:

- can plug it directly into your home network router, or

- purchase a $50-$90 wireless Ethernet "bridge," or

- purchase Slingbox's bizarre and expensive hardware solution for connecting the Slingbox to your router over your electrical wiring.

A PRO-level, premium product should be able to see and use a wireless home network connection, right out of the box; a trip back to the store to buy more hardware shouldn't be necessary.

The core product is great, and works better than advertised ... but this PRO package lacks what any pro would expect to find in the box. Be aware that, in addition to the Slingbox Pro, you'll need to buy:

- a home network router (if you don't already have one),

- a wireless G network bridge or the Slingbox networking product (if you don't have your router near your television), and

- a proprietary video cable (if you want to "sling" HD programming).
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214 of 224 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable: Works better than my highest expectations..., December 9, 2006
This review is from: Sling Media Slingbox PRO (SB200-100) (Personal Computers)
So by now you probably know what this is: A thin ethernet client (read: single purpose computer) that takes video from your home devices and streams it so that you can watch it on a PC or other compatible device anywhere in the world with internet access. You get to control your home device through a virtual remote that sends IR signals through an IR "blaster" cable that connects to the Slingbox and shoots the IR signals to your home device just as if you were at home with a remote.

Looks good on paper. But does it work? Having a lot of experience with streaming video, I was very skeptical. In general, I've found that streaming video eminating from high bandwith commercial servers still results in videos that continually freeze as the buffer runs out. Just how could this Slingbox, which has to squeeze its broadcast signal through the intentionally crippled upload connection of a typical cable connection, possibly deliver the goods to the receiving device in a fashion that allows a good, non-stuttering, non-freezing picture? (In case you don't know, almost all home cable/DSL connections are limited by the providers to about 30kpbs upload speed; compare that to download speeds that range from 768kbps to 3mbps! This is done intentionally so that people don't use their PCs as web servers unless they pay much higher commercial rates).

Anyway, I installed the Slingbox (trivially easy if you have ever installed an A/V component before), installed the software on a PC (Windows 2000 or XP required, sorry you ME, 98 and NT laggards), and let the Slingbox installer do its thing. It asked me some simple questions and I was done.

Installation was quick and painless, but what about the real question: How's the streaming video quality? Well, on my home PC, which obviously has an advantage since it's on the same network as the Slingbox, I can get great streaming video. But that's no real challenge.

So I went over to a friend's house, where there's a kinda miserable DSL connection, installed the Slingbox player, and fired it up...And guess what? After about 30 seconds, where the slingbox player was adjusting the compression/resolution in order to provide stutter free playback, the picture was rock solid. Better than anything I've EVER experienced with video from any web server. And it stayed rock solid. W-O-W!

I'm sold. This product is for real. What a great product.

As for whether you need the Slingbox Pro, or the cheaper models. The pro adds capacity for multiple inputs, an integrated analogue video tuner (so you can watch EITHER cable or your attached DVR/VCR/DVD player/cable box/etc), and the abilty to stream the output of a HD (high definition) device. HOWEVER, be aware that to use the HD input to the Slingbox, you need a proprietary cable that is NOT included in the package (and which will set you back about $50). That kinda sucks, and I almost docked the unit one star for that bit of bait and switch (the box touts its high definition capabilities but doesn't really say that it will cost you $50 more to use them), but I'm so happy with the performance of the box in general that I'll let that slide...
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94 of 100 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy to setup, works great with MacOS X 10.4.8, November 5, 2006
By 
Chris Lee Mullins (Highlands Ranch, CO) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sling Media Slingbox PRO (SB200-100) (Personal Computers)
Like most everyone else in these forums, I'm fairly happy with my SlingBox. Very easy to set-up, although two things annoy me.

(1) That I need to purchase a proprietary Componant-to-HDMI cable from SlingMedia to get HD routed through this box. Its not an expensive cable, as HD cables go, but if I can't technically route an HDMI source, why fit the Sling with an HDMI connector? Maybe we're talking space-contraints here, since the Pro is already a bit larger than the other SlingBoxes and HDMI takes up less space than componants. Still, most people with similar set-ups will have componant cables lying around to integrate this thing into their set-up. The Componant-to-HDMI cable should really have been included with the Pro.

(2) No 802.11a\b\g\n option. Yes, you can go get your own 802.11-to-Ethernet bridge. Or you can use the (expensive) powerline networking option. Frankly, I'd much rather see a larger SlingBox with a couple extra cubic inches in the box to cram in an 802.11 chipset and an antenna hanging out the back. But I guess that would just increase the headache on SlingMedia's end, from a technical support standpoint.

That said, I still love this unit. The MAC OS X client works like a charm, despite being in Beta. On a Core Duo MacBook Pro, the OS X client is quicker than the WinXP client running on similar Core Duo Dell hardware (E1705). Very nice. Being able to customize the button interface and swap interfaces between Mac and PC (to suit what cable channels you commonly watch) is a nice touch as well.

Lacking any Pocket PC hardware, I can't tell you how well the handheld client runs (are you listening Sling? My Blackberry feels left out!) although the friend that recommended this product to me has connected to my Sling over the internet with his handheld HP.

I'm done here. Nice product, some extra features like 802.11 would be nice, not having to spend an extra 50 bucks on a proprietary HD cable would be nicer still. Despite that, I'm a happy camper.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!, October 22, 2006
This review is from: Sling Media Slingbox PRO (SB200-100) (Personal Computers)
OK This is the coolest thing since Tivo. I have a Comcast dual tuner HD DVR and a Tivo series one box. For a network I'm using Comcast internet with a Netgear wireless router (wpn824). My wife and I both have Hp nx7400 laptops. The Netgear is connected to the Slingbox via a standard Ethernet cable.

First thing, the Pro does have an internal tuner, so I ran the cable into it, then to my Tivo. The Tivo is hooked to the sling box via composite video. The Comcast DVR is connected via S-video. We have one TV in our living room but now my wife or I can watch TV from anywhere in our house, full screen with fantastic quality. When I tried it from work the quality is very very good in a window and even ok full screen. My boss travels all over the world and his first question was where can I get one?

PROS: Fantastic wonderful incredibly cool way to turn a wireless laptop into a wireless portable TV that works from anywhere you have a broadband internet connection. If my wife is watching the cable box in the living room I can control and watch the Tivo in the bedroom and vice versa. I can watch all our analog cable channels anytime from anywhere without affecting our home setup.

CONS: Only one computer can connect to the Slingbox at a time. This makes sense when you think about it.
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74 of 87 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This WAS a good product UNTIL they encrypted it, February 21, 2007
This review is from: Sling Media Slingbox PRO (SB200-100) (Personal Computers)
This was a well conceived and well executed product that offered good and reliable quality over limited bandwidth.

AND THEN, the Slingbox designers decided to encrypt their video signal, making it impossible to recored what you are watching. People who use this device know what a serious drawback that is. The change was implemented with no public announcement, or explanation. Apparently they got worried that they might come under pressure from the networks if they did not add such copy protection--but there is no legal reason why one cannot record one's already paid-for shows. People have been using VCR's for years--and they offer better quality recordings than an over-the-internet recording.

Unless and until Slinbox fixes this, I would recommend one of the competitors products, like the Sony.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Device!, February 8, 2007
By 
Richard (ELKRIDGE, MD, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sling Media Slingbox PRO (SB200-100) (Personal Computers)
What is a slingbox? It's a device that will forward your video signals (i.e. cable, dvd, tivo, etc) to your computer over the internet. What does the slingbox require? First, it requires a video source. In my case, I have a directv box. Second, it requires a router. Third, it requires internet access if you plan on viewing video away from home. I required about 5 minutes to hook up the cables and about 10 minutes to load the program on my pc and indicate the model of my directv tivo box. After that, voila, I was watching directv on my pc!

I primarily picked up the slingbox to get access to my directv tivo from any pc in my house and it works quite well. I have also used it away from home and received similar results. There is even a version for your pocketpc which I have used.

There are three flavors of slingbox.

1. Tuner (for antenna or cable tv) only

2. AV (one video source using either composite cable or s-video)

3. PRO (two video sources (composite or s-video) and tuner

(for antenna or cable tv). For an additional $50, you can add

an additional high definition video source using component video

cables.

PROS:

1. Can observe video source on any networked pc in your house

or via the internet (if you have internet access).

2. Video quality is pretty good and automatically adjusts as

network/internet becomes congested.

CONS:

1. High action scenes are not always perfectly rendered.

2. Tuner is not high definition (obselete in a couple of years).

3. High definition source option is $50 more.

4. Computer challenged people might have troubles setting

up the system.

5. Latest players have encrypted the image which currently makes

recording the video impossible.

CONCLUSIONS:

I have been satisfied with my purchase though disappointed that the fourth video source on the slingbox pro requires a $50 purchase.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars even better than original Slingbox, January 30, 2007
By 
Living in Budapest "livinginhungary" (Budapest, Hungary (originally Ann Arbor, MI)) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Sling Media Slingbox PRO (SB200-100) (Personal Computers)
I bought a Slingbox because I live and work in Europe and like to keep up with all sorts of American sports. Last year I installed an original Slingbox at my home in Ann Arbor. It's been great. I have 'Slinged' at my apartment in Budapest and all over the US and Europe using my laptop and wifi connections.

Sling Media does a great job of upgrading/updating its software improving picture resolution. I upgraded to the Slingbox PRO and have seen a significant improvement in the picture quality. I don't know if it's really the 400 times improvement over the original Slingbox that Sling Media claims, but it really gives a much crisper pictures at large viewing sizes. As with the original Slinbox, setup can be a little tricky especially for those with little experience in setting up wireless networks/devices. In my case, I had to play around with some network settings.

If you're deciding between the original Slingbox and the Slingbox PRO, I would make the extra investment in the Slingbox PRO.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great product!, October 8, 2006
This review is from: Sling Media Slingbox PRO (SB200-100) (Personal Computers)
I just bought the Slingbox Pro and installed it. This is the first Slingbox device I have purchased or used. Setup was very easy and this thing was running great in no time flat. I used the Slingbox brand outlet router thingies. They work great as well and were easy to setup. I even downloaded the slingbox mobile player for my wifes Motorola Q and she can now view our tv from her mobile phone! We have it connected to our DVR unit and now she can view her saved showed whenever and wherever she wants. She travels a lot for work so this makes her very happy! Very happy.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Slingbox is great, May 12, 2007
By 
This review is from: Sling Media Slingbox PRO (SB200-100) (Personal Computers)
I really liked the idea of the slingbox. I travel, and I have a pocketPC phone, so the idea of being able to access my TIVO from an airport using Cingular's 3G network, or from a hotel room using my laptop was very appealing. It works great! Here are some tips and other information you might find useful:

1. Slingmedia's support is terrific. I found the process of the initial set up very confusing, as the instructions and setup wizard could not modify my DSL router. I tried to do it manually, following the directions, but the screenshots provided in the setup wizard didn't match my router's homepage. Anyway, I went to slingmedia's website and found the technical support option and clicked the "chat" option. Within a few minutes, the technician took over my computer and remotely set up my router to work correctly. Since then, it has been very easy to add devices to receive the Sling signal.

2. To watch on a laptop, you have to be able to download software to your laptop: if you are using a company laptop, for example, you need administrative rights to install.

3. Write down your Slingbox's password.

4. Slingbox apparently takes a lot of resources on your computer. Trying to surf the internet while watching a program really slows down your internet connection - lots of timeouts on pages.

5. Before you buy, scope out your location. The slingbox needs to be near your AV equipment, as well as near your router. (You have to have a wired router -- slingbox doesn't support wireless -- and not just a cable modem or DSL modem. You have to have a highspeed modem, AND a router. I have a DSL modem that has a wireless and wired router built in, a Westell DSL modem from AT&T). Slingmedia sells some extra equipment to allow hook ups where your router is in a different room, but I have no experience with that. Also, the computer requirements are pretty high - 1 gig processor minimum. I don't quite get this last part. Sling works well with my cell phone/pocket PC so I don't know why they set the minimum requirements so high.

6. The program to make you pocketPC work costs about $30 and can be downloaded from the slingmedia website. This is, of course, in addition to the cost of the Slingbox.

7. Once you own it, you own it. No monthly fees. Just the normal cable or satellite/tivo charges.

If you travel with a laptop or with a pocketPC (a palm version is in beta testing, from what I understand) you will be happy with the purchase.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Slingbox mfr does not make this usable from internet, June 10, 2008
This review is from: Sling Media Slingbox PRO (SB200-100) (Personal Computers)
I bought the slingbox pro before an extended trip to various other countries. The box works great from inside my house on my internal network, but once you try from outside your house on the internet, its a pretty daunting experience, and I would expect 90% of the computer users out there would fail. Ive done a fair bit of internet reading now, and it appears that, while remote access works great for some people, MANY other people just cannot get internet viewing to work, even though they truly understand what they are doing. From what I have read, slingbox phone support is useless, and my one experience with them from home while I tried to get it to work confirmed that for me. They basically told me my network config was not supported by them, and that was it. The config they do support is pretty limited. Luckily I know enough about networking that I was able to reconfigure my existing network H/W and S/W to be a supported config (without buying any new hardware). Even that took some internet reading though to identify the problems.

I understand networking pretty well, so I was able to completely reconfigure my LAN in my house to make it work from outside. *ONCE*.... now that I am overseas, it just doesnt work. The built in slingbox finder in the software could not find my box. Lucky I have a fixed IP and know what port I forwarded in my home LAN's router. I abandoned the "auto-slingbox-finder" and just manually entered the network info myself. Now the slingplayer S/W can find my slingbox, but it still does not work, even though it should. I truly dont understand why. I can connect to the box, but not stream any video or reconfigure it. It immdediately generates a totally useless error message saying it cannot connect. Similar to many stories I found on the web.

My honest recommendation is that you should not buy this box unless you are willing to take the chance that you will never be able to use it over the internet. I wish there would have been a review like this for me to read before dropping the money for it. Maybe it will work, and maybe it wont. If it does, you are happy and set. If it doesnt, dont hold out hope that you will be able to get it to work... There are plenty of messages on the internet from network engineers who are out of ideas. Its really too bad, because the concept of the slingbox is absolutely great. If the company would just provide decent support to help users solve problems, it would probably work great too. Doesnnt really help when tech support just reads some totally unhelpful info from some book in front of them and has no clue about how the thing really works.
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Sling Media Slingbox PRO (SB200-100)
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