No time for original content today as I’m on my way to Syracuse for a girls’ basketball doubleheader. So here’s our third guest review: Louis Milman with a look at something called a Slingbox. This is going to be the most Consumer Reports-esque blog ever on this site.
We’ve all been there. Your favorite TV show, sporting event, award show, is on television RIGHT NOW, and for whatever reason you can’t watch. Whether you’re not at home, someone else is monopolizing the remote, or you’ve broken your TV by throwing things at it after Whitney Cummings appeared on your screen, all you want is the ability to watch the live television stream.
Now, sure, there are ways around most of these things. You can find a pirated sports stream (shh, don’t tell the government!), you might be placated by watching award shows via Twitter (Don’t be), or you can simply DVR your show and watch it later. Well, what if I told you that there was another way, and all you need is a computer (preferably a laptop), and internet connection, and some money, and you can legally watch anything you might want?
Now, I think it’s a pretty darn fair assumption that anyone reading this internet-only blog thing probably has access to a computer with internet access. That just leaves some money and a desire to watch what you want, when you want.
I guess that 200 words in would be a good time to actually name the product I’m talking about. Slingbox. Basically, you hook up this doohickey to your cable/satellite/tv receiver and an internet router. Also, you have to plug it in, but since I don’t think any Mennonites are reading this, that’s probably not an issue. From there, you simply follow the very basic web setup, and you’re ready to roll.
Once setup, you simply go to http://www.slingbox.com, click “Watch,” and log in. From there, you can stream live television, or anything you’ve DVR’d. You can essentially control your TV/Receiver remotely. Even better than that, you needn’t leave your TV or receiver powered on 24/7, Slingbox can actually power your receiver on remotely. Also, when you’re watching online, your TV doesn’t actually turn on, thus saving money on your power bill…and unless you’re some super wealthy jerk, that’s important to you.
For the love of Tebow, why wouldn’t you buy this?! The downside, Slingbox isn’t cheap. At $179.99 for the Standard Definition box and $299.99 for the HD box, the price seems steep. However, there’s no subscription necessary and the one-time fee is actually fairly reasonable.
You’re at work late and Jeremy Lin is playing? Slingbox. The Dark Knight on TV but you have to go to class? Slingbox. Your roommate hogging the TV and you want to watch Glee live? …Well, in that case, your roommate would be doing you a favor by keeping you from watching that, but I guess you could still Slingbox.
Obligatory Grade: B+
Final Analysis: A bit pricey, but totally worth it the first time you absolutely NEED to see something live and can’t get to a TV.