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Archive | November 10, 2011

Slingbox Pro-HD Review SB300-100 – Watch Live TV on your PC, iPhone, iPad, WP7 and other Android smartphones and tablets

As the number of mobile devices in our house increased, our reliance on them also increased. Both me and my wife barely touch our PCs anymore (maybe when we do a quick Age of Empires III showdown on our home network, but with two kids, those days are fewer and long in between).

Our family also cut the cable cord quite a while ago, when the Dish Network wanted to increase our bill yet again. While we don’t have a full fledged cable subscription anymore, having Internet service from Time Warner comes with some perks, most notable the free included digital local channels (clear QAM), PBS and a bunch of other free channels as well including NBC sports.As part of my TV watching setup, I am using my Windows Media Center 7 as a local DVR, a number of XBOX 360 consoles as DVR clients to access the live/recorded TV around the house and the only thing missing would be the access of the same channels live and mobile, both from around the house and during my daily 1.5 hours train commute, via my tablet/smartphone over a 3G connections. What to do?

Well, let me tell you I have long searched for a cheap/good software only streaming solution since I already have my MCE server chugging quietly 24/7. I tried ORB and several other solutions that claim to be able to stream Live TV over the internet, but all the solutions found share one major caveat – they don’t work with digital TV tuners. Why? I have no idea, but that’s the way it is. I started to look around and the only reasonable priced solution came from Sling Media (now belonging to Dish Network) and their Slingbox Pro-HD SB300-100, their only model with an embedded ATSC/NTSC/QAM tuner. I built an entire ecosystem around it, streaming to PC, notebooks, iPhone / iPad / Nook Color / HP TouchPad running Android CM7, HTC Vivid and Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket both on my home network and away, and the result of this comprehensive experience is detailed in this review.

1. Slingbox Pro-HD box content

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