Sling Media Slingbox Pro-HD
Business travelers are watching more video on more types of screens, including television, laptops, desktops, and mobile devices every day but traditional TV still wins out in terms of popularity.
The Wherever TV receiver (reviewed here) allows the business traveler to watch TV from around the world in his home; the Slingbox, on the other hand, allows him to watch his TV remotely from anywhere in the world.
The Slingbox Pro-HD streams home TV and other video sources to practically any device the business traveler might have along for the trip, including a Windows or Mac laptop, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Palm OS, and Symbian mobile devices. Almost all cable and satellite set-top boxes and DVRs are supported and HD video is supported if bandwidth obliges.
Setting up the Slingbox is a simple affair. Sling includes every cable needed for the installation. The device does not support Wi-Fi so a wired Ethernet connection is required.
Part two of the installation, which takes only minutes, is installing viewing software on a computer or mobile device.
The software gives you an onscreen version of your remote control; if you can use the remote at home, you can use the Slingbox. SlingStream, an algorithm, automatically optimizes viewing quality based on available network bandwidth. On your home network, the picture should be stunning; when you are 5,000 kilometers away in a hotel room, it will still be better than the TV in your room. I also tested the Slingbox using a BlackBerry Bold and, despite the small image size, the viewing experience was remarkably pleasant.
For the business traveler who would prefer to take his DVR on the road with him, or for those who want to keep up with news and programming in the U.S. while abroad, the Slingbox will give you your fix.
–Jonathan B. Spira is the Editor of Executive Road Warrior and Chief Analyst at Basex, a knowledge economy research firm.