Feeds
85%

Slingbox Solo TV-over-the-net device

Slingbox pared back to basics

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Review Sling Media's Slingbox Solo is for all those folk who already have a digital TV set-top box and don't fancy forking out for a local network and internet video streaming gadget that has an on-board tuner of its own.

Sling Media Slingbox Solo
Sling's Slingbox Solo: tuner-less

The Solo sports the usual truncated triangle look of all previous Slingboxes, but this time it's kitted out in shiny black plastic with a similarly coloured metal mesh on top to aid cooling. The front's home to just power and network activity indicator LEDs because the back is the business end. Here, you'll find a 10/100Mbps Ethernet port, a non-functioning USB connector - "reserved for future use", Sling ominously states - and an array of RCA stereo, composite-video, s-video and component input ports, mirrored by an identical set of outputs to provide pass-through to your TV.

Sling bundles a pass-through Scart adaptor in the box which connects up to the Solo's composite ports. You also get composite-video and stereo audio cables, but there are no component or s-video leads. The packaging does include an Ethernet cord and the infrared transmitter the Solo uses to control your video source.

The key fact is there's no aerial socket because the Solo expects that to be handled by one of the other devices in your living room. In our case, we hooked it up to a Humax PVR-9200T, but it's ready to accept feeds from Sky HD boxes, Apple TV units, DVD players, whatever. The only limitation: you can only activate one set of inputs at a time.

That choice is applied during the set-up phase, which is just a matter of connecting the Solo to your router - wired only; this is not a wireless-friendly product - and installing the playback software on your computer, be it a Mac or a PC. Just check that you're computer's firewall is open on the TCP and UDP ports - 5001 - that the Sling system uses.

Slingbox Solo
Sling's Slingbox Solo: a plethora of inputs and outputs, but you can only use one set

And if your router's not set to operate using the UPnP protocol, you may need to tweak its settings to expose the Solo to the outside world - but only if you want to view its signal beyond the reaches of your own, local network.

Incidentally, if, like us, your broadband connection or your router isn't plumbed into the living room, the Slingbox - of any type - is an ideal application for Powerline Ethernet networking-over-the-mains technology. We used a Netgear XEPS103 four-port powerline adaptor - reviewed here - and a Devolo dLAN Microlink adaptor - reviewed here - to bridge the gap between Solo and router, and Sling Media has its own Sling Link adaptor which does the same job. All of these are based on the 85Mbps HomePlug powerline standard.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Hi-torque tank engines: EXTREME car hacking with The Register
Bentley found in a hedge gets WW2 lump insertion
What's MISSING on Amazon Fire Phone... and why it WON'T set the world alight
You fought hard and you saved and earned. But all of it's going to burn...
Trousers down for six of the best affordable Androids
Stylish Googlephones for not-so-deep pockets
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
prev story

Whitepapers

Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
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.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.