Feeds
85%

Slingbox Solo TV-over-the-net device

Slingbox pared back to basics

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

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.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
End of buttons? Apple looks to patent animating iPhone sidewalls
Filing suggests handset with display strips
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Reg man looks through a Glass, darkly: Google's toy ploy or killer tech specs?
Tip: Put the shades on and you'll look less of a spanner
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup
Learn why inSync received the highest overall rating from Druva and is the top choice for the mobile workforce.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.