Mobile-Friendly Gift Idea #3: Watch Live TV with a Slingbox
There are a couple of ways to watch Live TV on your WinMo device. Two that come to mind is that you could use a subscription service like Sprint TV (which is powered by mobitv), or you could get a Slingbox from Sling Media that will stream your own live TV lineup to any internet connected device, including your phone.
The Slingbox connects to your A/V components, like your cable box, DVD player, DVR, or CD player. Then, after connecting the Slingbox to the internet and going through a setup procedure, you’re ready to stream TV. The Slingbox includes a device to send an IR signal to your components, meaning that from your phone or laptop/desktop, you can control your components. This allows you to view your on-screen-guide, watch recorded DVR content, or scan through all of your channels, as if you were on your couch and using your remote.
There are two Slingboxes that you can get. The top model, the PRO-HD at $244.99 is overkill for most people – it allow for streaming HD content, but only for the desktop client. Also, the PRO-HD has a built in digital tuner and allows you to control multiple A/V sources, which most people really don’t need. I have this model and wish I had gone with the less expensive Slingbox.
The less expensive model, the SOLO for $129.95, is a better bet for most people that want to stream content from a TiVO or cable box from the cable company.
Currently, the mobile client, which has a one-time fee of around $30, can only support QVGA streaming video plus has a pretty drab interface, though someone from the company has informed us that they’re working on new version which will bump up the streaming resolution and clean up the interface, come early next year.