SlingBox Pro-HD Review (Hands On)

Sometime back we told you about a cool product called ‘SlingBox’ which enables you to watch your Home TV wherever you go. To be frank, it allows you not just to stream your home TV from anywhere but also your CCTVs, DVRs, Blu-Ray players, etc. And as promised, we are presenting a detailed Hands-On review about the SlingBox Pro-HD!

We are basically going to share with you our experience in using SlingBox rather than giving detailed technical specifications!

Setup

This is among the most important parts, because setting up the Slingbox needs to be done right! People seem to get tensed after looking at so many wires and connections, but there’s nothing to worry about. The Slingbox Setup Manual provided with the product gives step-by-step instruction to setup your Hardware!
Slingbox connection options
In our case, we connected an Analog Cable to the Slingbox, so we just had to remove the Cable TV wire connection from the TV and attach it to the Slingbox (Slingbox does give you an additional attachment to connect your TV too)

Also, we connected our Network wire to the Slingbox along with the Power cord and we were ready to roll. (If you are using any DTH service like TATA Sky or Dish TV, then your steps may differ, but are explained properly in the Manual) Now you will start seeing the red blinking lights on the Box which means that it is connecting to the Network. Once the lights stop blinking and become stable, you can assume that it is properly connected to your TV as well as the network!

Now, when you are through with the Hardware setup, you need to configure your device for watching the Slingbox streamed content for the first time. (Remember that you need to be connected to the same network to which the Slingbox is connected)

Then you can go to the Web Address : http://setup.slingbox.com/ from your Web browser to configure your device. Make an Account, configure your Browser (looks good in Firefox), install necessary Add-Ons and you are done!

Once you have successfully set-up the Slingbox for the first time, you can watch your TV from anywhere in the world from any Mobile device for free (you need to purchase the Mobile SlingPlayer software though)

Looks

Slingbox Product
The Device appears pretty sleek (in Black color) and the Blinking lights just add to its cool looks. If you can somehow manage to hide the wires between the Device and the TV/Wifi router, then it will surely add to its appearance.

Features

You can connect a wide variety of devices to the Box like Security Camera, your Cable or DTH connection, some Video Camera recorded videos, etc

It enables you to (read: Features)

  • Watch your favorite TV shows in HD over the Internet on PC/Laptop/Mac or Handheld Devices (iPhone, iPad, or Android mobile devices) from anywhere
  • 1080i HD reception (only for compatible channels)
  • Connect almost any audio-video device; Maximum of 3 Devices simultaneously (one SD, one HD and one via the coax input)
  • Digital Audio Inputs available
  • Change channels, Pause, Fast forward or Rewind, do everything that is possible on your TV’s remote control
  • On-screen Virtual Remote control, which is exactly similar to your own Physical Remote control (in most cases)

Usage Experience

Firstly, I was damn happy while using this product as I was able to watch any channel of my choice even when my parents are watching some other TV show! (all channels which are available for your TV)

The Quality of the stream is not as good as the one which we watch on the TV directly. It seems a bit pixelated, but that can be ignored!
Slingbox screen
Ability to watch the stream in Full Screen mode (or In-Site mode or POP-Out mode), Pause, Fast-Forward, etc using a proper On-screen remote is a very good feature. You can also use a normal remote which gives you the ability to change the channels only (if you do not like the Big Remote occupying your screen) It must be noted that you can drag your Remote anywhere you want on the Screen as per your preference.

A slow internet connection like the 256kbps connection is enough for you to watch decent quality video and audio without waiting for buffering to take place.

The Slingbox auto-recognizes your Network connection speed and the Quality of the AV Transmission to give you the best possible viewing experience.

Ability to connect 3 different devices simultaneously(to the SlingBox) is very useful when you wish to keep a track of multiple things like streaming your CCTV, watching your Home TV and Watching Blu-Ray movies simultaneously.

We faced a few problems with some of the TV channels like “very low sound”, “lag between audio and video” and “blurry output”. As these problems did not prevail for all the channels, we assume that the problem was with the propagation of the channel from our Cable connection over the Internet.

The lag of about 2 seconds between the Audio and Video on some channels did disappoint us though! (Audio leading the Video by about 2 seconds)

The HD channels are very Clear (with High Resolution) as expected. But, you can only supply an HD source of 1080i (or 720p); 1080p is not supported.

Watching TV over mobile Internet (using TATA Photon Connection) was a good experience as we dint experience any connection errors and the Stream was also of good quality.

We just wished that the Mobile SlingPlayer software would be available for free so that we do not have to pay extra for installing it! (we did not use it, so we cannot comment on the quality of stream on the phone!)

The best part which we found was that different people are able to watch different TV channels at the same time (connected to the Same Slingbox) We shared the same password with 4 different users and all of us were able to watch the TV transmitted by the same source (even though doing this is not allowed, we had fun!)

Price

The SlingBox Pro-HD priced at Rs. 14,999 seems to provide value-for-money!

Conclusion

Even though, we would have loved an addition video recording feature in the Slingbox Pro-HD, we would give an overall 3.5/5 to this product.

It seems to be a very good option for Travelling individuals to stay in touch with their Home TV. It also seems to be a good option for people with large home and don’t want to clutter their space with multiple TV systems.