Feeds
90%
sling media slingbox back

Sling Media SlingBox networkable TV tuner

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Review One day, the world's broadcasters will make all their programming available across the internet. But at least it's possible to watch any show transmitted to your home from anywhere else on the planet without having to worry about whether your hotel has the right cable deal. Enter Sling Media's SlingBox, in which a TV tuner is connected directly to an internet video streaming engine. You can even use it for multi-room viewing in your own home...

Having seen piccies of the SlingBox, I'd always imagined a solid, machined-metal unit, so it's somewhat disappointing to find it fabricated from cheap-feeling lightweight plastic. I'm not a fan of the device's styling, but it has a certain high-end AV look about it that's spoiled only, as I say, by the materials it's made from.

sling media slingbox front

The unit's slab-of-chocolate design makes for easy stacking if you decide you need more than one, though doing so will obstruct the top-surface air vents on the lower-stacked boxes. The vents have been cunningly disguised as text telling you some of the device you can hook up to the SlingBox and have beamed "anywhere". Stacking is an issue, as the box gets mighty hot during operation, but more of that later.

The SlingBox's front sports just three lights: one for power, one for network activity and the third, the 'n' of manufacturer Sling Media's logo, which indicates the box's state. The rear is the business end, with the power connector; Ethernet port; s-video and composite-video input and output ports; co-ax aerial input and pass-through; and the connector for the infrared controller, used to simulate the remote controls that come with your other AV devices.

Alas, there's no WLAN support, so you'll need a direct connection to your broadband box or a network link. I used a pair of Devolo MicroLink dLAN powerline Ethernet adaptors to bridge the gap between my router in the spare room and the SlingBox in my living room. The bottom line: if your broadband connection isn't near your TV - and why should it be - you'll need extra cabling or a wireless bridge to connect SlingBox.

Broadband, incidentally, is essential, not only at the SlingBox end, but also wherever the SlingPlayer's host PC is connected. Is 3G mobile phone connectivity up to scratch? I can't say, not having suitable playback software to hand, but this is something Reg Hardware hopes to return to in due course.

With the box connected to the network, the mains and your aerial - passed through to your usual set-top box and/or TV - you're ready to go. Sling Media thoughtfully includes a set of cables to get you started. Install SlingPlayer software on the first PC you'll be viewing stream content on and you're ready to configure the box.

sling media slingbox back

Assuming you've got a network connection, SlingPlayer will locate your SlingBox and take you through the set-up process. The SlingBox has its own Freeview digital tuner so you can skip the more complicated aspects of the set-up process, designed to allow the unit to talk to something like a Sky+ box and get its input signal from there. I stuck with the Freeview receiver and allowed SlingPlayer to scan the airwaves for digital channels.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.