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SlingBox Pro

During Thanksgiving weekend, I picked up a SlingBox Pro. If you do not know what it is, let me give you a quick explanation of what it is and what it can be used for.

It is essentially a hardware that you can hook up to your media center, that would allow you to watch your tv/setup box/dvd player over the net. What's really good about is that it does have support for hight definition content. Though, you need to buy a separate connector cable from Sling Media which I bought with my unit.

The set up of
SlingBox Pro was not difficult at all. In my case, I ended up hooking up to my HD cable setup box unit. I used the connector cable to connect my SlingBox Pro to my cable setup box. I used a component cable to do this. That is the only cable format supported with this connector cable. This connector cable has input and output ports. You can actually connect it to your TV as well which would allow you to watch TV while you are using SingBox Pro. Once you have it hooked up, all you need to do is download a program to your computer. This is actually the program that connects to your SlingBox Pro and let's you control your TV or you connected device. You just need to make sure that you install and run the set up program within the same network your SlingBox Pro is available. Durning the installation and set up process, a unique id will be created for your unit. You can use this id to install the same program on the other computers that are not within the same network as your SlingBox Pro. You also will be creating an administrator username and password. You would need to keep these at a safe place since you will need them to make configuration changes.Once all this was set up I was able to watch my TV on my computer. The picture quality was great. It was streaming at a blazing speed of 3880 Kb/s.

My media center also consists of many other HD devices. As I mentioned earlier, my cable unit is hd and hooked up through an HDMI cable. I also have a surround sound system which is connected through an HDMI cable. When I turned my TV on with an HD channel while I was watching TV on my new SlingMedia Player, I lost all signal on my computer. I got in touch with SlingMedia support regarding this issue. They basically told me that HDMI port was taking up all the signal and component port was starving. They said that is why the connector cable has output so the signal can go through the SlingBox Pro to your connected hardware. This was not really a show stopper for me but I thought I mentioned here. Since I have and HDMI switch, It forces me to switch the input on my TV. I have to select component if I want to watch TV on my computer while TV is on.

The other short coming that I found was the simultaneous access by multiple users/computers. It turns out only one computer can watch TV at a time. When the second SlingMedia Player tries to make a connection to your SlingBox Pro, you are notified that it is already being used and you can use your administrator username and password to disconnect the other connection and open up a new connection with the computer you are on.
If you can live with these short comings, I really recommend that you get a SlingBox Pro. I now use my laptop to watch TV everywhere in my house. This is great since there is not much space at my home to buy TVs.