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This review is from: Sling Media Slingbox 350 (Electronics)
With this generation Sling has significantly reduced the feature set, compared to the older models. I previously owned two pro-hd units and was pretty happy with them. When one died I got a 350 to replace it - but it just doesn't cut it. Back it goes. You can't do advanced network configuration to control the IP address or port used by the box. So if you have a home network with more than one router - really anything but a simple, basic network - you get problems such as all traffic being routed through your external IP, even when watching locally on the LAN. Lack of port control makes it impossible to use two boxes on the same network. That seems like a revenue-limiting decision by Sling, so you have to wonder what they are thinking.
Antenna inputs have been removed - only composite and component. (The 500 has HDMI as well but that's of questionable value given copy protection on HDMI. Not their fault but if you have to connect component anyway, what value does HDMI add?)
Also they stopped supporting the PC-based player - unfortunate; you have to use the web player which means you have to have access to their site to sling at all. 90% of our use is internal to our home network so a full-local option would be good.
In general what they have done is remove things to make it cheaper and simpler, but for an advanced user it is a big letdown.
Tracked by 9 customers
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Showing 1-10 of 19 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 17, 2012 10:16:27 AM PST
So basically you MUST have an internet connection to use your own hardware locally inside your house??? I've been disappointed by Slingmedia and their utter disdain of the customer, but this single review has just removed the Slingbox 350 from my cart. How lame of Slingmedia to chose to limit me as a customer. Taking my money elsewhere. Thanks for the great insight Jim. All the best.
Posted on Nov 29, 2012 8:20:54 AM PST
I was considering this for a home network only solution. I don't like port forwarding and don't do it on my router. Any competitors?
In reply to an earlier post on Dec 4, 2012 8:48:02 PM PST
Franklin Johnson says:
Good points, thanks for letting me know. I am new to this but I learn fast.
Posted on Dec 6, 2012 5:57:16 PM PST
A. Davis says:
Thanks for the heads up. I was seriously considering buying this for myself as a present but if it requires me to access their website just to view my recording then it appears to be a total waste of my time and money. Thanks again for the heads up.
Posted on Dec 10, 2012 6:36:18 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 10, 2012 7:07:53 PM PST
Thanks for the insights. I agree with all your points except I don't understand your comment "you have to have access to their site to sling at all"? Doesn't the plug-in simply get hosted by the web browser but establish a direct connection (via port forwarding) to the Slingbox at home? Don't you tap in your home IP address? What is coming from the Slingbox site (if that's the "their" you are talking about?
UPDATE: Ok, I went up to Slingbox and created an account. Then I started to install the Chrome plug in and the following warning appears:
High alert: This application can read All data on your computer and the websites you visit.
Explanation: This item contains an NPAPI plug-in.
Caution: NPAPI plug-ins can do almost anything, in or outside of your browser.
For example, they could use your webcam, or they could read your personal files.
That did it for me - enough with the Big Brother...
Posted on Jan 22, 2013 8:41:05 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 22, 2013 8:41:48 PM PST
Wow that sucks, I was going to try upgrading my Slingbox Pro HD SB300 to the new 350 just for kicks (no need for HDCP'less 500 with HDMI)
I guess I'll just stick with my original 300 it works well enough for basic live TV streaming. (via basic cable box provided by comcast)
For my Main DVR I use Windows 8 Media Center with Ceton USB Cable Card quad tuner. I then use Ceton's "My Media Center" app for DVR Schedule Recording control remotely, and I use the iOS/iPhone app StreamToMe to watch my recorded shows. http://projectswithlove.com/streamtome/
Ceton has it on their roadmap to add streaming video in the near future though.
Posted on Apr 7, 2013 8:02:25 AM PDT
Wow - Good review and insights focusing on the critical limitations, issues. Came here in search of few answers and your review provided answers to all of them. Sling was on a slow death spiral, but with these technical / security issues, this will be accelerated. Wow, need to consume internet B/W for in-house LAN slinging? NPAPI plugins??? No way. Thanks, I saved my day and money.
Posted on Apr 16, 2013 12:45:15 PM PDT
Vinyl Rules! says:
Jim, great review, thanks! You saved me some money. Due to the newly imposed bandwidth caps by my ISP, I'm not comfortable with purchasing a device that needs to spend bandwidth by requiring use of the Internet ( vs. only using our internal network).
I recommend that everyone carefully check their ISP regarding bandwidth caps. I called customer support for our ISP and they told me they "...did not throttle or cap bandwidth." Based on the speeds I was seeing near end of month, I researched this using Google and found a webpage buried in the ISP's tech support section which indicated that they are indeed using bandwidth caps. This is a major hindrance to anyone who has, or plans to, "cut the cord" and makes use of streaming video services such as Amazon Prime , Netflix, Hulu or Vudu.
Remember how many activities use your Internet bandwidth - backups to Carbonite or iCloud or other services, video streaming, Internet radio such as Pandora, Spotify or Rdio, Apple iTunes streaming your already purchased music to your various devices, ooma, MagicJack and other VOIP telephony services, and general Internet surfing, email, etc.
Your bandwidth goes fast. I'd like to buy a SlingBox, but with the ISPs capping bandwidth as more and more uses of that bandwidth are being marketed, it's not going to happen.
And the ISPs will not raise those bandwidth limits in the future. They imposed the limits to prevent customers from dropping cable TV and moving to streaming. That's not going to change. They are a monopoly and they know it.
Posted on Apr 20, 2013 10:34:23 AM PDT
Richard Naus says:
Thank You!! You have saved me the immense hassle of trying this product. I'd buy you a beer if I could.
In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2013 6:16:04 AM PDT
Paul Havemann says:
Yes, though I have no experience with it. And they don't charge extra for the software to use it remotely.
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