Slingbox 500 and SlingPlayer 3.0 for Ipad Review






I’ve been playing around my SlingBox 500 for a while now, and I feel comfortable giving my opinion. When it comes to streaming TV onto smartphones now at days, we have a large variety of options, specially from our cable/internet providers. So it would seem that a SlingBox would not be a good option, but when you see its features you will certainly change your mind. For one my current provider offers limited channels to stream on my mobile device, SlingBox allows you full control of your entire TV programming.

slingbox

Out of the box the SlingBox unit comes with a strange design some would say unconventional, but its “different” it gives it an edge, the unit itself if all black with no “on” or “off” buttons or actually no buttons at all, all the controls of the unit are done via its remote.

Connectivity

The SlingBox unit allows you to connect your cable box, or satellite receiver to the SlingBox and use it as a pass-through gizmo, allowing you to watch regular TV at home without having to comprise anything but also feeding content into the SlingBox unit, now there is a downside at least with my cable provider, and that is that using an HDMI connection directly into the SlingBox will not work, since HDMI connection has a digital “lock”, so the alternative is to run a component cable from the cable box to the SlingBox and use an HDMI cable from the SlingBox to my cable box, therefore when using the SlingPlayer on a mobile device means you are not using an HDMI connection per say, but rather a component connection this is a bit of a downer since HDMI would provide an optimum image quality, but component provides still very good quality.

Software

The SlingPlayer software on a PC is completly free, which allows you to watch TV from almost any browser, FireFox, IE, Chrome I have not tested it in Safari. But if you want to watch TV on your smartphone or tablet, you are going to have to pay for it, last I checked the price of SlingPlayer for an iPhone and Android device was around $14 if you want to use your iPad, it will cost you around $25 dollars it is not cheap and many people are commenting that the software ought to be free, but hey at least there are constant updates.

SlingPlayer 3.0 is the latest update for iPad and it looks almost completely different, it now comes with a much better “guide” and an added “gallery” view allowing you to quickly see what shows, movies, sporting events are on right now, it also lists what type of rating the movie you want to watch has via Rotten tomatoes, watching TV via SlingBox on an iPad still has a little lag when changing channels I guess this is due to the limitation on the unit itself but the slight delay doesn’t really affect watching TV much, at least to me. Something that I really enjoy in the SlingPlayer software is the digital remote, as it is an almost exact replica of my real remote at home, so I know the buttons fairly well and works really great specially when trying to find the movie or show info and recording. Below is a quick video of the SlingBox player 3.0 in action.