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Old Jan 30, 07, 10:30 am   #1
 
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What are the cons of slingbox?

I'm sitting and watching the third replay of I Should Not Be Alive on the Discovery Channel in Asia. I'm at the Sheraton Walkerhill and they have limited channels. I can't watch network internet tv because they block you if you are outside the us. I tried using a proxy server but it was too slow. I don't want to pay to watch it on Itunes. Anyway made my decision to buy the slingbox when I get home. What are the cons I need to be aware of?
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Old Jan 30, 07, 4:30 pm   #2
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From what i've heard, the quality is not going to knock your socks off. For a smaller size screen it's decent.
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Old Jan 30, 07, 4:37 pm   #3
 
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The quality depends on 1) the speed of your internet connection at home, and 2) the speed of the internet connection where you're trying to view your slingbox. I've got a fiber connection at home, but have had bad slingbox connections at some hotels that advertise that they have "high speed" internet, but it's really just a bit faster than dial-up. Over all I'm VERY happy with my slingbox.
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Old Jan 30, 07, 4:44 pm   #4
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I love mine too. Biggest downside is when someone is watching the home tv dedicated to the sling, you can get into remote wars from half way around the world.
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Old Jan 30, 07, 4:50 pm   #5
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a
I love mine too. Biggest downside is when someone is watching the home tv dedicated to the sling, you can get into remote wars from half way around the world.
Which can be solved by attaching your Slingbox to a dedicated cable line/box/DVR (not connected to a TV).

I just got a Slingbox Pro and it's great. The picture quality is better with the display minimized and its certainly at the mercy of your internet connections on both ends, but overall, I love it.
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Old Jan 30, 07, 5:16 pm   #6
 
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So...you guys know me, I've always got to take the nerdy way out...
I'm not saying its exactly legit, but I've got a free (as in beer) solution.

You can always download torrents and stream them to yourself. I'm working on a tutorial now on how to do it.

Frankly, and I'm not admitting to anything there, I'm not sure its much different than using a slingbox. You are not stealing the content really b/c you are still going to maintain your cable or satellite subscription (right?) and you'd be watching the show anyway one DVR so its not like you'd see ads... of course by using bittorrent you could be helping people less noble....so its debatable of course.

Never the less, its an elegant solution that I quite like, as long as you dont want to watch live TV (like sports or news)....I'll have more on it later.
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Old Jan 30, 07, 5:23 pm   #7
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So...you guys know me, I've always got to take the nerdy way out...
I'm not saying its exactly legit, but I've got a free (as in beer) solution.

You can always download torrents and stream them to yourself. I'm working on a tutorial now on how to do it.

Frankly, and I'm not admitting to anything there, I'm not sure its much different than using a slingbox. You are not stealing the content really b/c you are still going to maintain your cable or satellite subscription (right?) and you'd be watching the show anyway one DVR so its not like you'd see ads... of course by using bittorrent you could be helping people less noble....so its debatable of course.

Never the less, its an elegant solution that I quite like, as long as you dont want to watch live TV (like sports or news)....I'll have more on it later.
I'm sorry, but downloading a torrent really doesn't even come close to the ease of a Slingbox.
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Old Jan 30, 07, 6:00 pm   #8
 
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I'm sorry, but downloading a torrent really doesn't even come close to the ease of a Slingbox.
Depends on how much effort you put into the initial setup...but I dont want to derail this thread totally.
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Old Jan 30, 07, 6:41 pm   #9
 
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I'm living in Japan now, and absolutely love my slingbox--I don't know what I'd do without it. I think you'll find the quality to be surprisingly good considering it's streaming it over the internet, but it's far from HD.

The slingbox is in my parents house in New York, and I find that from there to my house here, I usually get about 500kbps, and the quality is more than adequate. One of my friends here has fiber, and I tried it in his apartment, and was getting around 900kbps--at that speed it was virtually indistinguishable from an actual TV.

My slingbox is connected to my TIVO, and the biggest downside I've found, is that the remote is very slow to respond. It's generally not a problem, but it's difficult to fast forward through commercials without going too far so I usually just let the commercials play. Other than that, it's great, and I highly recommend it.

Alex
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Old Jan 30, 07, 6:47 pm   #10
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For a show that I really want to see in high quality, I'll VPN and VNC home, transfer the show from my Tivo to one of my home computers, transcode it and then download it to watch on my laptop. For a 1 hour show, depending on my internet connection, this can take up to 8 hours to get to my laptop. For shows whose quality I don't care about, e.g. staying current with the Daily Show and the Colbert Report, I'll use the Slingbox, which is much, much easier. As others have noted, quality depends on the speed of the internet connection, but is never really great. The biggest "con," though of the Slingbox is trying to control a Tivo -- because the Slingbox builds in a delay for its buffer, it's hard to fast forward over commercials, even in "control" mode (which minimized, but doesn't eliminate, the buffer).
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Old Jan 30, 07, 6:53 pm   #11
 
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Originally Posted by SAT Lawyer View Post
Which can be solved by attaching your Slingbox to a dedicated cable line/box/DVR (not connected to a TV).

I just got a Slingbox Pro and it's great. The picture quality is better with the display minimized and its certainly at the mercy of your internet connections on both ends, but overall, I love it.
What would you say would be too slow to be effective?

I have a cable modem at home, but I am frequently forced to use my cell modem to connect to the internet on the road.

The displayed connection speed is 917 kbs, but I have done speed tests which show it to be much less than that.
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Old Jan 30, 07, 7:06 pm   #12
 
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A friend in Thailand just put a splitter on the cable coax coming out of the wall (in the USA). One to the TV and one to the Slingbox. He gets a watchable signal in Thailand independent of the TV being watched (no remote wars).
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Old Jan 30, 07, 9:34 pm   #13
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Originally Posted by SpaceBass View Post
So...you guys know me, I've always got to take the nerdy way out...
I'm not saying its exactly legit, but I've got a free (as in beer) solution.

You can always download torrents and stream them to yourself. I'm working on a tutorial now on how to do it.
Educate me. If you've downloaded the torrent, isn't just easier to put in on your laptop and take it with you?
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Old Jan 30, 07, 11:31 pm   #14
 
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The biggest downside to me is you have to have a fast, reliable internet connection.

Most of the hotels I travel to, you have to shell out too much money for our connection, and half the time it is a wireless-only signal that is poor.

Seems like you'd end up spending a lot of money on fees to get that internet connection you need.
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Old Jan 31, 07, 12:54 am   #15
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Originally Posted by AlexS View Post
My slingbox is connected to my TIVO, and the biggest downside I've found, is that the remote is very slow to respond. It's generally not a problem, but it's difficult to fast forward through commercials without going too far so I usually just let the commercials play. Other than that, it's great, and I highly recommend it.
That's a good point. One notable -- albeit fairly trivial -- disadvantage.
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