68 of 70 people found the following review helpful
It Even Works on Virgin Cable!
, 11 Mar. 2008
This review is from: Sling Media - SlingBox Solo (Electronics)
I bought one of these just before Christmas as we were off to the in-laws in Spain for New Year, and I wanted to be able to watch our TV there (they only have basic Sky and I didn't want to miss the football!)
I spent a while playing about with Orb (a piece of freeware software that does the same thing) on my Media Cente PC, but I couldn't get it to work properly with my tuner card and Virgin V+ box. My brother in law (who works for a company that installs expensive AV kit in expensive houses), recommended Slingbox as they had one.
I decided to bite the bullet and got one, and, I have to say, I wish I had done before.
It litterally took 10 minutes to get working and it was very easy. You connect the Slingbox video input to the SCART output of the cable box - it comes with all the cables included. You can then connect your TV to the Slingbox video output sockets or to the thru SCART connector on the cable they supply.
It also has inputs (and outputs) on the Pro box for component video and I hear HDMI is coming too (but wasn't on mine).
You need to connect the Slingbox to your home network using a RJ45 cable - be careful because even though the spiel on the box implies the Slingbox is wireless, it's not unless you buy the additional wireless bit.
There is a little remote control sender thing that you need to put near the remote receiver of your cable / satelite box - this is how you change the channels from the PC.
You then download the software from their website onto your PC or laptop, it finds the Slingbox on your network and configures it - mine required a firmware update which it did itself. You need to tell it what type of satelite or cable TV receiver you have and make sure it emulates the remote control properly - it's all a breeze.
Then you just start watching - it fully supports all the NTL, Telewest and Virgin cable TV boxes so as long as you tell it the correct set top box, you get the correct virtual remote control on the PC screen (for the black V+ box you need to choose Telewest TVDrive).
The picture quality on my home network is amazing - I can't wait for the new Slingcatcher box to come out so I can connect my bedroom TV to one and watch all my cable channels upstairs (and more).
The best bit is watching over the net. Even out in Spain, on a 512MB ADSL connection being used by other people, the picture was very watchable, but on a small screen like a mobile or PDA, it looks crystal clear (the mobile / PDA software is an extra cost download from their website).
Personally, I can't recommend this highly enough - from what I have seen of Sonys Location Free Player (which I did fancy because I'm a bit of a Sony fan), this wipes the floor with it.
My only gripe is that, because Virgin disable the SCART sockets on the V+ box when you use HDMI to your TV (like we normally do), it means I have to manually switch the Virgin box back to SCART everytime I want to use the Slingbox. I'm told Virgin will be fixing this in the next release of the V+ software due any day now.
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