UK SlingBox – Mini Review

Submission by: Philip Coombes – Here’s one of the first mini-reviews of the UK SlingBox, the device which can stream your TV over your home LAN and the Internet! Complete with photos, it shows the unit setup with the Sky+ system.

“I picked one up yesterday from PC World (£179.99), which hadn’t been showing any stock all of last week but suddenly got some in and now everywhere seems to have them.

I have to say I am rather impressed. It was easy to set up with Sky+ and supports pretty much all the functionality via the remote. Most of the config is a case of just choosing from presets so for me it was more or less a case of choosing UK -> DVR -> Sky+ and job done. I was a bit concerned that if someone else was watching Sky then it would be a bit useless but you can also configure the built in digital tuner and use that as a source as well, though you have to rerun the setup wizard to do so which results in having to re-enter some info twice. Not having a freeview box or anything I was also surprised by the range and quality of the channels it picked up there.

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The streaming quality is not at all bad, I think it was about 1000-1400 Kbps at home, the only negatives being that I don’t think the audio is perfectly sync’d to the video sometimes. I’ve just tried it for the first time outside of home and I’m getting 300-350 Kbps here. It stutters slightly now and again, especially when changing channels or using the remote but other than that it is perfectly watchable at quite large resolutions and way way better than the sort of streaming video you get from ‘live’ websites, which was sort of what I was expecting. I would imagine it will take a major hit if the kids are at home downloading music etc but so far so good.

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If you’re looking for something you can stick on at work to keep an eye on the cricket or football over the next few weeks I would thoroughly recommend it! Now to see if I can get it running on my phone!”

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