|For over a year we had
been considering purchasing a Slingbox Pro HD, but delayed
because Dish/Echostar had indicated a "Sling equipped" ViP922DVR
would be released "soon." But the "perfect storm" of
circumstances came together Friday, March 19, 2010 that caused
us to proceed to purchase a Pro HD:
- The price on the
Slingbox Pro HD in our Amazon shopping cart dropped to
$229.99 for a day.
- All indications are
that a ViP922DVR will sell for $450.00±.
- Like all Dish
Network ViP DVR releases, we expect the 922 will be in
effect in Beta-Testing-By-Customer mode for at least six
- Should we want to
acquire a 922 we can use the Pro HD with our ViP612DVR.
Our Pro HD arrived
Tuesday. Physical setup was simple.
- I unplugged the
cable from our ViP722DVR component output and plugged them
into the Pro HD component output (if you are using an HDMI
connection to your TV, you will skip that step). I then
plugged the component cable that came with the Pro HD into
the ViP722DVR component output and into the Pro HD component
- I plugged the RCA
audio cable into the ViP722DVR audio output and into the Pro
HD audio input.
- I plugged the
infrared remote control cable into the Pro HD outlet and
stuck one of the emitters onto the top of the ViP722DVR with
the end sticking out over the DVR's IR receiver.
- I plugged the RJ45
plug from a network cable connected to our home network
- Finally, I plugged
in the power cord and our Pro HD powered up.
The software setup was a
bit more complicated. Using my desktop computer and my
Firefox browser, I went to setup.slingbox.com, set up a new
account, and followed the instructions. It first downloaded to
the Slingbox updated software, which took some time. It also
downloaded the necessary add-on for the browser. And I had to
step-by-step change some settings on my router. But it all came
together without too much confusion. It then connected to the
Slingbox displaying the 722's standby screen and bringing up a
separate image of its remote control. Clicking on the remote's
buttons as if it were the remote gave me full control (albeit a
little delayed) of the 722.
On my HP Pavilion
Elite e9280t with its Intel i7-920, 9GB of RAM, and a ATI Radeon
HD 4650 video card with 1 GB of RAM, the HD picture displayed
flawlessly on my 25" HP 2509m monitor. I then signed out of my
So I proceeded to set up
our family room's HP Pavilion HDX9010NR 20" Notebook PC using
Internet Explorer with a home WiFi connection. I signed into our
account that I had created and clicked on "Watch." The add-on
for IE installed effortlessly following the instructions and
again I ended up with an HD picture displayed flawlessly on the
notebooks 20" display even though it is only equipped with a
Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T7500, 2 GB RAM, and Intel graphics.
I then signed out.
Moving on to our recently
acquired HP Pavilion DV6-2162NR 15.6-Inch laptop with its Intel
Core i3-350M processor with 4 GB RAM and Intel graphics, I used
IE to set it up via WiFi. Naturally, I had a glitch at the end
with a cross-hair cursor when watching which prevented access to
the controls. So following instructions to reload the add-on, I
had to reset settings in IE, and then get the add-on all over
again. It then worked beautifully. Since I hadn't really set
custom settings on IE on that computer, the reset wasn't a big
deal, but it could have been which was going through my mind as
I signed off to move on to my wife's computer which is in the
office with mine.
My wife's desktop
computer is the same exact system as mine except she uses some
different software which makes it essential that she use IE. So
I set up the Sling add-on on her computer and it worked nearly
perfectly. For some reason, when you press the ESC key to get
out of full screen it doesn't "take" and requires multiple
presses of the key. Oh well, it works fine otherwise and I would
not reset her IE settings.
One observation - the
speed of our internet connection was showing on the screen which
turns out to be part of the program's operation. It concerned me
that even though I was using the computers inside my home that I
might actually be streaming into and out from the internet using
my ISP, Comcast, which has set a usage limit. . In an online
chat with a Sling technical support representative, I was
advised that "This is what is called the loop-back effect. The
information touches the router and bounces back to your
computer." So apparently Comcast will not be sending me a nasty
letter due to overuse of my connection unless I watch too much
TV on the road, I guess.
So that's where
everything stands today, March 24, 2010. I'll be testing our
laptop when out of town later this month to see how well the
system works over the internet.
Out of Town Use:
We tried the Slingbox access via our notebook from our hotel 160
miles from home. It worked flawlessly except the hotel's
internet speed was painfully slow. That limited viewing to SD
and sometimes with quality problems. So make sure your hotel
offers good high speed internet service.