Customer Reviews: Sling Media Slingbox PRO-HD SB300-100 (Old Version)
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on October 12, 2009
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.
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VINE VOICEon June 19, 2009
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.
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on March 31, 2010
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.
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on February 8, 2010
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 not expect any support from this company if you choose to buy their equipment.
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on December 10, 2009
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.
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on June 16, 2009
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.
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on November 6, 2009
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.
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on June 25, 2009
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.
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on January 11, 2010
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...
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on April 7, 2010
I own a slingbox pro (which i've never been able to get to work due to the need for wireless connection) and recently purchased the wireless components to use my electric plugs in lieu of a router near the TV. The need for the wireless connection is a serious flaw in their system and market expectation. The agents insisted on seeing a proof of purchase and was unwilling to help me without that or a commitment to pay $30 for help. Also, the $30 help fee didn't guarantee me a solution. In other words, they said they'd try but if they couldn't solve the problem on that call, i'd have to pay again. This is the WORST service i've received on any consumer electronics product. Absent an alternative resolution, i intend to share vigorously my frustration and a warning to avoid the products. Allan
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