Watch TV Remotely: Slingbox Review

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Man watching TV on computer in bar: Slingbox ReviewsAs technology has advanced it has become commonplace to take tech on the go. Slingbox is another example of this type of mobile technology. Slingbox allows television watchers to stream their programming no matter where they are as long as they have access to the internet. We have compiled Slingbox Reviews of the two types offered.

Who is ‘Slingbox’?

While many people use the term “Slingbox” to refer to a general device, the term is actually a brand name product like Coke or Pepsi. Slingbox is produced by Sling Media, a subsidiary of the EchoStar Corporation out of Foster City, California. Sling Media Inc. focuses on audio and video placeshifting technology and their flagship “Slingbox” was released in to the U.S. market on July 1, 2005. Sling Media Inc. was founded in just 2004 upon an idea formulated when two brothers realized that they needed a solution for catching the 2002 MLB games despite traveling for work. The two brothers, Blake and Jason Krikorian built up their company which was acquired by EchoStar in September of 2007 for around $380 million.

What Exactly is a ‘Slingbox’?

A Slingbox is a brand name of one of two available devices from Sling Media Inc. Both of these devices are designed to allow for users to stream TV media by encoding the video signal. The box encodes video in to VC-1 format so that it can be transmitted over the internet. The box also provides what is referred to as an infrared blaster. This term refers to the ability to autonomously control a device as if by remote control without actually possessing a remote control for it. By encoding this information to allow it to be

Slingbox logo

transmitted over the internet, the Slingbox allows users to view and remotely control their satellite, cable or personal video recording system at home through a computer using a broadband internet connection.

What Does Placeshifting Mean?

Placeshifting is a term commonly referred to when talking about Slingboxes. This term refers to the ability to access content on one particular device through the use of another device located in another location.

What Slingbox Products Are Available?

As of July, 2015 there are four Slingbox products that are on the market: Slingbox M1, Slingbox M2, Slingbox 500 and Slingbox 350. Depending upon what you want to get out of your Slingbox, you may find that you need the upgraded boxes.

Slingbox M1 & M2

Slingbox M1 on Amazon | Slingbox M2 on Amazon

The Slingbox M1 costs $378.00 and the M2 costs $415.99 and has no monthly fees. They work by connecting them to your cable or satellite set-top box and then connecting them to your Internet. You can then watch live or recorded TV on your smartphone, tablet or computer in 1080p HD.

The only big difference between the M1 and M2 is that you no longer have to pay for the Slingplayer app on each of your devices. With the M1 you had to pay $15 a piece. The M2 also lets users shift content from their mobile device to a TV via Apple TV, Chromecast, Fire TV or Roku.

Features

  • Connections: wifi, ethernet, composite and component in/out
  • Works with every satellite and cable provider
  • Watch on a second TV with Roku and Apple TV
  • No blocked shows or games
  • Works anywhere (even overseas)

SlingBox 500 & 350

The SlingBox 500 has the same offerings as the M1 & M2 in addition to more features. It offers YouTube integrations, movies on Blockbuster On Demand and HDMI port. The 350 includes a USB port only. The SlingBox 500 costs $299.99 and the 350 costs $134.99. See the table below for full features.

Common Features with Both Slingbox Options

Both Slingbox options offer a number of common features.

  • Remotely Controlling the Slingbox – Both Slingbox M1 and SlingBox 500 allow users to control programming with an on screen remote control in addition to an on screen electronic program guide.
  • Slingstream Video Technology – Slingstream video technology is designed to ensure that you get the clearest picture possible when viewing programming from any location around the globe.
  • Video Buffer – Slingbox viewers that are using Windows based devices can also enjoy the ability to pause, rewind and fast forward live television through a connected device – even if that device is not a DVR!
  • SlingPlayer Software – Currently SlingPlayer software can be used to access both SlingPlayer devices through compatible iPhones, iPads, Android devices, Blackberry devices, Windows phones, Symbian devices and Palm mobile devices.
  • Mac and Windows Compatibility – Regardless of which of the Slingbox devices you choose to purchase, both of them are completely supported by both Mac and Windows computers.

Slingbox M2 Vs M1 vs SlingBox 500 Comparison Chart

 Slingbox M2Slingbox M1SlingBox 500
Price$99.99$69.97$249.99
Control / Watch Live and Recorded TV from any smartphone, tablet, PC or MacCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Play and Schedule DVR RecordingsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Watch on Second TV with Roku and Apple TVCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Audio PortsCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
USBCheckmark
HDMICheckmark
CompositCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
ComponentCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
30 Day Money Back GuaranteeCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark

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About The Author:

Alex holds BS degrees in Management Science from the University of California at San Diego, and Computer Science from the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He is honored to share his nearly two decades of experience in home security and automation, cybersecurity and identity theft protection with our readers.

He realized it was time for a home security system when his neighbor’s house got broken into. He has tried to stay ahead of the curve by proactively applying security technologies and software that protect not only his home and family but his personal identity, sensitive information and finances.

In his spare time, Alex enjoys playing tennis, going on hikes with his wife and dogs and surfing.

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Ron
A friend of mine just moved to London. He figured with the time difference, it would be pretty rare for us both to be watching TV at the same time. Since I have DISH Network, he said he would like to buy a Slingbox for me, and then he could watch all of my channels while I’m not watching tv. Seems like a good idea on the surface, but I’m concerned this might be against the user agreement. Does anybody have experience with a situation like this? Is it against DISH or Slingbox’s terms of service? If it is, I’m not going to mess with it, but I can’t find any info anywhere.