Sling Media Slingbox Pro-HD network TV tuner
Out of tune?
Own the box, not the service
It's the sense that I can do nothing with my purchase without the online intervention of the supplier that irks me - especially when the box doesn't involve the provision of online content. It's a bridge between my network and my set-top boxes. All this should work straight out of the box.
Still a TV streamer at heart
Worse, it doesn't work well. The browser viewer pops up a rudimentary channel changing remote, but it's well laggy. Click a button and the remote's virtual display doesn't update until the channel actually changes. So you don't know whether it's accepted your input or not. And there's no EPG, or any programme infor - or even a channel ident beyond its Freeview number.
As I say, among the set-tops I tested the Slingbox with was the original Apple TV. The virtual remote changes to match the look of Apple's real one, but clicking on many of the buttons had no effect. Sling supplies four infra red transmitters so the Slingbox can control your devices. I tried the lot, but no joy. That doesn't inspire confidence in the Pro HD's ability to handle other, less well-known boxes.
The original Slingbox was created to allow its inventor to watch has favourite TV shows while he was travelling. The Pro-HD still lets you do that, but without Freeview HD the new box is no better to use than the £50 cheaper Pro, though at least all the ports are built in. Yes, you can feed it from HD boxes, and that's handy - so long as no one at home wants to use one while you're away, so long as you lack an HD download service or a stack of files on your Nas box, and so long as you don't mind viewing sub-HD pictures. Sling, this box could have been so much better. ®
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