I am on the road. A LOT.
The hotels I usually stay at have no variety in television, even though they almost all have the same sattelite provider I do at home (Dish Network). This means I can’t watch things like the Red Sox on NESN. Not any more!
I bought a Slingbox Pro at Best Buy and am still stunned at how good a device this is. It communicates with a private tracker at Sling Media so that any client on the Internet can access it. My networks sit behind 2 firewalls, so pin-holing took me a little time, but there are no changes needed to external machines-even those with personal firewalls on them.
The desktop client is told which model you have, and an exact replica of your remote is put on the screen. Just click the button with your mouse. I only send NTSC now, but I could send s-video or even HD through the box. Right now I’m using a low bandwidth setting to test. Now I watch the Red sox at night with my wife, or news at my desktop at my remote office.
Now the story might be fine as-is, but there’s more. I also have a Treo 700wx that is with me always. There is a for-pay Slingbox client for PPCs that shows a smaller resolution screen, and a rudimentary remote that is not equipment specific. Does this make it suck? No way.
The PPC client allows you to watch 30 fps video, with stereo audio, with as little as about 250kbps! All over the data network of your phone provider. Working in the industry, I hear rumblings that the carriers want to kill it (legally or otherwise), but I haven’t heard more than just rumblings.
Let me tell you… every single person I have shown TV running on my Treo has been amazed. But wait, it actually still gets better. The battery on the Treo does get understandably warm when viewing. I naturally assumed this meant a high battery drain. Last night I think I was proven wrong.
With about a 3/4 charge, my wife & I left Yale New Haven Hospital at right before 7pm. Before we got to our car, I connected to our Sattlelite receiver via the Treo client and Slingbox Pro, thanks to the Verizon network. We caught the last of the pre-game, and the beginning of the game for ONE HOUR while we drove home! And all the while with the volume up loud and the LED brightness at max!
And when we got home, the battery still wasn’t dead… we just switched to the bedroom receiver. It has been a very long time since I’ve been this impressed with not just a technology, but a combination of an innovative technology with innovative, useful equipment.