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Customer Review

68 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It Even Works on Virgin Cable!, 11 Mar. 2008
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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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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 13 Jul 2008 10:45:04 BDT
Hey! I'm really interested in this product but I just wanted to know one thing, if say the family is watching Channels on the virgin media box downstairs if I am upstairs on the laptop, would I interput their channels e.g. I change a channel upstairs the channel is changed downstairs.
Thanks

Posted on 6 Feb 2010 11:26:16 GMT
Mr. P. Holt says:
I am a firm lover of Slingbox, as I travel abroad a lot and watch UK TV in the hotels via my PC. I also have a home in Malaysia, and with Sling Turbo and Sling Catcher, I can watch UK TV on my 32" Malaysian TV.

The problem arose when I was say in Turkey and wanted to watch BBC1 and my wife was in the UK home wanting to watch ITV1 there would be a fight as I changed the channel and she changed it back.

To overcome the above I rent a second cable box from Virgin Media which is dedicated to Slingbox Clasic.

I decided to experiment with the Sling Media Solo attached to the other Virgin Media (TeleWest) TVDrive cable box.

I have my TV connected to the TVDrive via the HDMI cable. That leaves output available from the TVDrive to the Singbox Solo via the SCART (A/V, SD), S-Video, or Component (SD) outlets, and I spent even more money on more cables to try to get remote viewing via the PC working.

I could obtain a very acceptable video and audio signal on my PC remotely, and from my remote PC, control the cable box back home, i.e. turn the cable box on and off, BUT, there is no text overlay, i.e. menu, information, shown on the PC when hitting the remote control on my PC, YET, the text overlay appears on the TV back at home.

The answer so far is before leaving home switch the output on the TVDrive to SCART, but then my wife complains about the quality of picture she is watching on the home TV.

Result?

Not the answer.

Great product, great service from Sling Media, but I cannot believe I am the first one to have this problem.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 May 2010 13:37:46 BDT
slodown says:
Yes you would change the channel downstairs from upstairs.
Your family could then change it using THEIR remote control
You could go on all night like this!

Posted on 4 May 2010 13:39:28 BDT
slodown says:
Thanks for the tip about Telewest TVdrive
I was pulling my hair out trying to get my Virginmedia V+ Box to work until I read your post
Many thanks!

Posted on 7 Jun 2011 13:20:25 BDT
M. Wharton says:
We have a holiday home in the canaries and are thinking about a sling box so husband can watch the Tour de France while we are away. Our sky box automatically turns off when it hasn't been watched for a while ( say overnight) and we have to turn it on again. How will this affect us as I'm not sure we can turn it on remotely?

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jun 2013 15:40:42 BDT
You don't need all these boxes, just get a divorce.
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