Alan Wallace's Blog

Thoughts… Rants… Rave's – mostly on Tech

The most exciting TV product @ CES 2011 was not a 3D TV

So while at CES surrounded by a sea of 3D TV’s and frankly I don’t get it – 3D TV bores me. But there is a TV technology that I find truly revolutionary and while it’s been around for a couple of years what I have since learned is what I have been missing.

Slingbox (www.slingbox.com) allows you to connect your TV and other media sources for streaming online and to other applications for iOS platforms as well as the Android.

I’m a bit of a TV junkie, news mostly, but I have 3 DirecTV units – living room, bedroom and home office and also run a whole home network for DirecTV. I also connected one of my old school AppleTV units. My internet is provided via DSL and is supposed to be the 20Mbps package. My cellphone is a DroidX on the Verizon Network and normally see’s Verizon’s 3G network. My IPad accesses online by WiFi only. I tested on PC’s and Mac both wired and wireless as well as my IPad and Droid. Connections included Home, Starbucks and GoGo InFlight and I have been actively using for 2 weeks.

First, I’m a former broadcaster and I also have worked in the streaming industry as well (Live365) so I know how hard it is to stream audio and video and that the biggest issues all streamers have is bandwidth. So in part SlingBox is either an amazing experience or not depending on the connection experience but those are the same issues you would experience with Hulu, Netflix or other video streaming solutions. Given that, I have been nothing less than blown away with how completely cool SlingBox is!

With SlingBox you purchase the software and hardware this is a one-time fee. This allows you all of your content with no additional fee. So if it’s on your cable or satellite box it’s there, if it’s in your iTunes collection it’s there, if it’s the camera you connect to see what the kids are doing with the sitter – well, it’s there too.

The only places I have had trouble getting optimized performance has been while on a plane using GoGo Inflight for bandwidth reasons or in trying to view on my IPad in HD via a hotspot connection using my DroidX – but standard worked fine. But at home or Starbucks my Laptop or IPad look great and the Droid App is very solid – sure the screen is smaller but the experience is delivered well.

It’s rare when I can’t find a way to improve a product but this is one of those issues. The only thing slowing SlingBox down is the connection speed and this is up to your ISP. Certainly upload speed is important as well as download but SlingBox was easy to setup, is easy to use and it performs amazingly well.

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Filed under: Must Have Tech Gadgets

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