View Full Version : SlingBox - the next DVR?

02-19-2007, 12:45 PM
Check it out:



What if you were able to watch live television wherever you go? The World Series in your cube. MSNBC breaking news at the coffeeshop. Your local news station halfway around the world. Lost in Hawaii. Emeril Live in your kitchen.
Now what if we told you that you could do that without having to lug a television, a cable box, a satellite dish, or a subscription along with you? In fact, you don’t need anything besides your laptop (which is attached to your hip already).
That’s because back home, you have a Slingbox sitting on top of your television. The simple silver device looks suspiciously like a gigantic chocolate bar, but the technology inside is truly sweet. This award-winning gadget is a breakthrough device that enables you to watch and control your living room television programming from anywhere by turning any Internet-connected laptop, desktop, PDA, or smartphone into a personal television.
With a wave of a virtual magic wand, Slingbox placeshifts the television signal from your source device to your PC – located at home or 3,000 miles away – via the Internet. Thanks to the Slingbox, you can enjoy your home TV programming wherever you are – the office, a hotel room, your garden, even the bathroom – anywhere there is an Internet connection. You truly can watch and control your television anytime, anywhere – the power is in your hands.
The SlingPlayer software works hand-in-hand with the hardware in the Slingbox to allow you to watch and control your TV on your computer.http://ca.slingmedia.com/docs/CP/414/personalization_animated_sm.gif SlingRemote™ in SlingPlayer (http://www.slingmedia.com/us/slingbox/slingplayer.php) gives you full control over virtually any A/V device, from changing channels and viewing recorded content to fast-forwarding or setting up a season pass. So while your TV and Slingbox sit at home, you can be out and about with SlingPlayer.

We believe that watching your TV is about, well, you. That’s why your remote control is your own, your favorite channels are your own, and your video signal is just the way you like it.

Best of all, your Slingbox works seamlessly with your existing home theater setup and PC technologies – no new cables required!

We support literally thousands of devices. Slingbox is compatible with TiVo's DVR, Comcast's Motorola DVR, Replay TV, Ultimate TV, DISH, DirecTV, and more. Whatever you’ve got, we’re sure the Slingbox can handle it!

You must have...

TV Source (antenna, cable, satellite, DVR, DVD, or video camera)
Ethernet Connection from your Slingbox to your (wired or wireless) router via

Ethernet cable or jack
Wireless game adapter or bridge
Powerline ethernet bridge

Laptop or desktop PC with Microsoft Windows 2000 or XP
Broadband Internet Connection (required for remote use only)

Note: I am not in anyway benefiting from posting this. I'm just posting it because it's kind of cool.

Sorry Bob - no Mac support.:smileywac I think you have to wait for the rumored AppleTV version of this thing.

02-19-2007, 04:36 PM
I looked at it pretty close, and near as I can figure out, each person who wants to use it must have a dedicated TV at home that no one else will use. Otherwise, the person watching the TV at home may get a little upset if you change the channel from your computer in another location.

02-19-2007, 05:31 PM
You have to wonder how hard they made it to re-broadcast to other people.

Personally, I think I want to get a friend on the East Coast to hook one up for me so I can watch all the late night shows three hours earlier.

I can see it now. SlingBox hosting services where you can rent a slingbox in your chosen time zone or country and then stream the content to your home.

I could see a server room full of Slingboxes serving up BBC to Brits living in the US.

Anyone got a few extra million lying around for some venture capital?

02-19-2007, 11:11 PM
That might actually work. A roomful of bare bones TV tuners with a remote receiver and a slingshot on each woudn't be as expensive as a roomful of servers. Each subscriber could have a dedicated TV server. The technology of streaming the signals to the internet is more or less trivial. The only problem I can see is obtaining a source of unlimited input signals legally. It would have to be something like a private cable company with the signal being broadcast over the internet instead of cable. The subscription fee should cover the cost of obtaining the signals, just like it does for a cable company.

How much would you pay to have your TV signal follow you around on your laptop?

Remember that every individual who wants to watch a different program would have to have an account with their own deidcated server. That sounds expensive, but is it really any different than each person paying more for a dedicated phone line (cellular) than a whole family paid for a land line?

Personally, what I'm waiting for is a private distribution setup that would allow me to have one satellite or cable signal, much like I have one internet connection, then share that conection wirelessly to my own TV intranet, using standard TV's as the receiver. Think of it like a private apartment building or RV park setup, except that the cost would be for just one subscriber. I can carry a portable TV with me anywhere and watch unlimited antenna-based broadcasts; I want to be able to do the same thing on my own property with a satellite signal.

My understanding is that RV park and other such systems use a bank of rack-mounted receivers, one for each subscriber. That seems so primitive. What I want is a wireless router with DHCP services except for TV signals rather than internet signals, so any TV can receive them.

I just think it would be cool to be able to position a TV anywhere in the house, patio, yard or barn without having to hook up a cable, and get full satellite or cable services. We no longer need cables for phones or computers; why require one for TV?

02-20-2007, 09:44 AM
I think the Broadcast companies have a pretty good lock on prosecuting anyone that re-broadcasts a signal to multiple recievers so that is why the RV Parks have to run the rack mounted receivers.

It would be interesting to see if people would want to "virtualize" their TV reception. No more hassles with systems or vendor lock-in. The hosting provider would own the receivers and the broadcast would only be sent to a single "subscriber".

I suspect you would need a well versed lawyer to review the contracts and government regulations to see if it is viable over the long term.