post #1 of 1
Thread Starter 
Slingbox 350 and 500 will officially launch on October 14 and CNET had a chance to give the Slingbox 500 a first look...
Quote:
Both new Slingbox models add full 1080p video streaming, upping the lesser VGA and 720p resolutions found on the now-discontinued, 2008-era Slingbox Solo and Slingbox Pro-HD, respectively. They also include IR blasters built into the body of the device, so external cable boxes and DVRs can be remotely controlled without the need for those pesky wired IR blasters. (Sling Media still throws a wired blaster in the box just in case, but company reps told me they think most normal setups -- with the Slingbox sitting atop the DVR -- will work fine as is.)

The $180 Slingbox 350 is the basic model, with wired Ethernet for streaming (no Wi-Fi), and is capable of streaming from composite video (standard-definition) or component video sources (high-def, up to full 1080p). Except for the built-in IR blaster and upgraded video resolution, it's very similar to the Solo model it replaces. While it loses the trapezoidal shape of the Solo, it adds a dimpled finish; personally, I found it rather gaudy, but some of my co-workers thought it looked cool.

While you can always access your DVR or cable box electronic programming guide (EPG) via the Slingbox, the company includes its own EPG as well. You can also set reminders for your favorite programs.

In addition to the IR and streaming features the Slingbox 350 has, the $300 Slingbox 500 adds some unique new features. It's the first Slingbox to offer built-in Wi-Fi (finally!). It's also the first to offer HDMI support (again: finally!), albeit with the usual caveat: if the broadcaster uses the most aggressive digital "flag," that channel or program won't be streamable via HDMI. For that reason, Sling recommends still connecting the component video input as well -- a "belt and suspenders" approach, a company rep told me.

On to the hardware...
Quote:
Both new Slingbox models add full 1080p video streaming, upping the lesser VGA and 720p resolutions found on the now-discontinued, 2008-era Slingbox Solo and Slingbox Pro-HD, respectively. They also include IR blasters built into the body of the device, so external cable boxes and DVRs can be remotely controlled without the need for those pesky wired IR blasters. (Sling Media still throws a wired blaster in the box just in case, but company reps told me they think most normal setups -- with the Slingbox sitting atop the DVR -- will work fine as is.)

The $180 Slingbox 350 is the basic model, with wired Ethernet for streaming (no Wi-Fi), and is capable of streaming from composite video (standard-definition) or component video sources (high-def, up to full 1080p). Except for the built-in IR blaster and upgraded video resolution, it's very similar to the Solo model it replaces. While it loses the trapezoidal shape of the Solo, it adds a dimpled finish; personally, I found it rather gaudy, but some of my co-workers thought it looked cool.

While you can always access your DVR or cable box electronic programming guide (EPG) via the Slingbox, the company includes its own EPG as well. You can also set reminders for your favorite programs.

In addition to the IR and streaming features the Slingbox 350 has, the $300 Slingbox 500 adds some unique new features. It's the first Slingbox to offer built-in Wi-Fi (finally!). It's also the first to offer HDMI support (again: finally!), albeit with the usual caveat: if the broadcaster uses the most aggressive digital "flag," that channel or program won't be streamable via HDMI. For that reason, Sling recommends still connecting the component video input as well -- a "belt and suspenders" approach, a company rep told me.

Even more outputs...


Quote:
The Slingbox 500 also has an HDMI output, and that's where things get interesting. The 500 will offer an AirPlay-like functionality the company calls SlingProjector, which makes it possible for iOS devices and Android phones to stream photos from the handheld to the TV screen at the touch of a button. And because the Slingbox uses HDMI passthrough, it can share an input on your TV -- so if you activate the SlingProjector from your phone, the Slingbox "hijacks" the DVR input for the duration of your presentation, and then just flips back to the original programming when you're done.

Ending note...
Quote:
Sling's value proposition is more straightforward: if you can watch it on your TV -- any channel, any DVR recording, any pay-per-view option -- you can also watch it remotely. Still, Sling has its own caveats: you need plenty of downstream and, especially, upstream bandwidth, you need to invest in pricey viewing apps, and no one can watch anything else on your home TV if you're streaming it remotely. But the Slingbox 500 ups the ante, with new SlingProjector and personal media-streaming options to boot.

[Source]