July 2, 2005
If buzz is enough to make you rich, then the folks at Slingbox are due quite a payday (despite having one of the more grotesque case designs I’ve seen in ages).
There’s a lot of talk about Slingbox right now, but I’m getting mighty frustrated about what’s not being said, namely a list of equipment and players that they thing is known to work correctly with.
At least there appears to be a general concensus about what it is and does.
In short, this box sits in front of a video source, encodes the video and audio, and “slings” it to a remote browser. The idea being that you can watch video from a source in your living room on the other side of the house, or even on the other side of the planet. You can even control the video source device from the keyboard of the remote browser, with commands being relayed to the video source via an IR blaster. Inputs are composite or svideo and stereo audio in (or analog RF, via an imbedded tuner), the output is digital video on ethernet.
They’re trying to baptize the whole concept as “Placeshifting” (as opposed to timeshifting), which is as good a term as any, I suppose.
So, that’s all great. Early reports are it even does the job quite well. I’ve read reviews of people using it with a Tivo, and people using it with an OTA signal source.
But what else does it talk to? It’s nice that they’ve mapped out the Tivo remote functions (apparently), but will it work with my Dishnetwork PVR? Or a Windows MCE box? Does it train from an IR remote?
Beats me, which is no doubt going to keep me from being an early adopter (No big loss — it’s not like I go anywhere anyway; I can stay home and watch stuff.)
If you’re intruiged, here are a couple of the better early reviews: