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Geek Candy
TV Anywhere with Slingbox
by rob

No matter where you go, you can watch your home TV like you were there. Hotel rooms, stores, laundromats, airports, planes, trains, automobiles... anywhere in the world that you have an internet connection is now a place you can watch TV. How does this magic happen? With a Slingbox – a small device that connects your home theater (basic cable, digital cable, satellite, or DVR) to the Internet.

All you need to access a Slingbox is an internet-connected PC, Mac, Windows Mobile Pocket PC or Smartphone and the free SlingPlayer software.

There are three models in the Slingbox family, optimized for different needs: Slingbox Tuner, Slingbox AV, and the Slingbox Pro.

Slingbox Tuner
Slingbox Tuner

Slingbox AV
Slingbox AV

Slingbox AV
Slingbox Pro
The Slingbox Tuner gives you a simple interface to basic cable, allowing you to change channels remotely and watch whatever is on your home TV at the moment. This is ideal if all you want to do is stream an incoming cable signal to your computer. The only input on the back of the unit is an analog coax cable connection.

The Slingbox AV is for those that have digital cable, satellite, a DVR, DVD player or one of over 5000 compatible devices to control (though you can only connect one at a time). Wiht this version, you can watch live TV as well as stream anything you have recorded on your DVR, playing it back just like if you were sitting in front of your TV at home. This version includes composite video & audio as well as S-video.

The Slingbox Pro is the mother of all Slingboxes. It can do what the others can do while controlling up to four AV components – including one HD video source. The four connections available include:

  • Antenna – coaxial cable for over the air antenna
  • Composite video and audio
  • S-video
  • HD via special dongle (sold separately)

Setting up a Slingbox is easy and only takes a few minutes to connect all the cables. Once it's hooked up, open the SlingPlayer software and configure the settings. You'll be watching your TV in no time.

Just like watching TV at home
Just like watching TV at home
The SlingPlayer interface sports a virtual remote control just like you have at home. Those with DVRs will have the ability to fast-forward, rewind and control previously-recorded programs. You can also create favorite channel shortcuts and control the aspect ratio of the viewing window. The viewing window can be resized or docked to the right or left side of your screen.

One thing to note is that there is no wireless network connectivity built-in to the SlingBox, only an Ethernet connection. You'll need to connect it to a powerline adapter or a wireless bridge to connect it to your network if your cable won't reach your router.

Now you can place-shift your TV watching as well as time-shifting it. A Slingbox is the perfect companion to your home theater system especially if you're constantly on the go.

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