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Old 07-01-2005, 02:02 PM   #31 (Print)
windracer
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Imagine fighting with your spouse/SA for the remote control now.

Now imagine fighting for control when one of you is in a different country and you're trying to watch the same TV.

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Old 07-01-2005, 02:54 PM   #32 (Print)
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He/ She could just walk up and remove the IR blaster and that fight would be over.

Dan

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Old 07-01-2005, 04:04 PM   #33 (Print)
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Taken form http://www.slingbox411.com/

"OK, so it also came with a pair of Netgear Powerline Ethernet adaptors. They recommend that set up if you are NOT using a wired Ethernet connection. "
Looks like wireless would cause greater compression as it gets slower the furter away you are from the access point. The powerline adapters are a better option as they maintain speed. And you must have a plug next to the TiVo and the wireless router.

Edit: I just read waht is included in the package and these are not listed.

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Old 07-01-2005, 07:52 PM   #34 (Print)
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The streams dynamically throttle back and increase compression given the network conditions. (see "SlingStream" section on webpage here)

That would explain why the review Dan read said the PQ sucked, whereas another reviewer raved about it.

So let's consider how this scales. When everbody comes home and watches their space shifted video, or at events like the Olympics or the Superbowl when you really want to use this guess what happens to bandwidth on the net. That's right. It goes into the toilet and everyone gets a crappy picture. As soon as the bandwidth in your area gets doubled, twice as many people buy this box and plunge the bandwidth back into the toilet until such time as the system is saturated with spare bandwidth for all such real time bandwidth sucking needs.

Until we are saturated with sufficient bandwidth during prime time peak utilization periods, we are going to need time shifted recording mechanisms.

Of course, if you have a tiny screen like on your phone, watch or PDA, you may have sufficient bandwidth. But then you have to pay the phone company for the download. No thanks- a Tiny Hitachi HD is the way to go for portable video.

Once we have much more robust Broadband where you can get at least 800Kbits per second reliably anytime, I think there will be a lot of complaints about this providing unreliable picture quality when you want it the most.
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Old 07-01-2005, 08:19 PM   #35 (Print)
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Slingbox - early review

I picked up a Slingbox at CompUSA today. So far I'm impressed.

The unit comes with pretty well everything you need. It supports composite, S-video, and RF inputs, though it's quite a pain to switch between them. There's just one set of audio inputs.

TiVo remote control emulation works well.

Some earlier notes on this forum asked about passthrough video. It's supported for composite and S-video as well as audio.

The device is pretty clever about buffering: it slowly builds up a buffer of about 7 seconds (by default), but will clear the buffer and use a lower-quality real-time display if you start interacting with the remote control. The result is that the remote control is fairly responsive (OK but not great) and you still have the benefit of buffered video. Video quality is good for the amount of bandwidth it's using.

In summary: it works just as promised. I'd recommend it.

Phil
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Old 07-02-2005, 11:09 AM   #36 (Print)
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My co-worker and I went to CompUSA and I had one of these in my hand (there were 5 left on display). He bought one and I couldn't bring myself to pay "full-price" for one. I do intend to get one but I wanted to 1) wait to see how he likes it and 2) wait until more reviews come in and 3) figure out a way to get a bigger discount.
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Old 07-02-2005, 01:46 PM   #37 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kensteele
My co-worker and I went to CompUSA and I had one of these in my hand (there were 5 left on display). He bought one and I couldn't bring myself to pay "full-price" for one. I do intend to get one but I wanted to 1) wait to see how he likes it and 2) wait until more reviews come in and 3) figure out a way to get a bigger discount.


it looks like they got a pretty good product out the door and are avoiding overhyping the thing which is itself unusual in the typical new technology release.

but thinking of Play Station 1 or original game boy I am looking forward to what slingBox two is capable of. I encourage everyone to buy one now so they have more R&D money for the delivery of slingbox 2


but man I am so tempted to try one out against my smartphone and see what it is like. UMF is strong with this one.
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Old 07-02-2005, 03:24 PM   #38 (Print)
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Anyone know how much upstream bandwith you need to stream over the internet?

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Old 07-02-2005, 06:43 PM   #39 (Print)
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Slingbox says they are using Microsoft codecs, and MS says they need 700kbitspersecond for SD quality video.

The compression is variable, and so you would need more for action movies or sports, and less for talking heads.
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Old 07-02-2005, 06:56 PM   #40 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rangers4me
It is so expensive. Go to orb.com and get a similar functionality with a tv tuner card, for free.



Clearly you are not familar with the product.

I don't own one, but I have had the opportunity to remotely use one with a tivo and I was very impressed by its overall performance.

I will be getting one as soon as the opportunity presents itself. I don't have a strong need for one at present, but I am in the process of creating one.
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Old 07-02-2005, 07:02 PM   #41 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeoTiVo
think about the fact that the slingbox is trying to STREAM data in realtime. a wireless connection could have interference and require stopping to resend packets. it could slow things down and thus induce the slingbox to higher compression and lower quality video.

do a search on MRV and wireless in these forums. People have widely varying results with wireless and copying shows from one TiVo to another.



Actually it was optimized for this purpose. The box has no problem streaming over even 802.11b.

Seriously, this is a slick product. I was very skeptical at first, as anyone who lives on the technology bleeding edge is going to be.

But I wasn't sure TiVo was going to be all it was cracked up to be when I first got it some 6 years ago.

Like I said, I don't have one, but have a chance to see one via a guinea pig friend, and all I can say is I am impressed. Does it do every possible thing you could ever want? Probably not...

But imagine this little device as part of a future TiVo. That would be a nice package.

And I do get a kick out of hearing the beeps and noises from a TiVo 60 miles away play on my computer screen.

These things tend to improve over time. I just think they have started from a very good space, which means some interesting things in the future. It is not like they have 2 years of work to make it a good and useful product, it is there now, and is only likely to get better.
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Old 07-02-2005, 07:27 PM   #42 (Print)
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By the way here is a quote from one of the developers and a link to it on the AVS forums:

Quote:
Good answers Jeff. You are totally right.

Hey Drew: regarding your question about streaming on a LAN...we have first focused on making sure video streaming works great on ANY in-home wireless networking including 802.11b (of course we stream outside the home as well). As you know, that goes against convential wisdom...you shouldn't be able to stream reliably (e.g. smooth stream without rebuffering) on 802.11b...using SlingStream optimization technology, the video stream coming off of a Slingbox will dynamic adjust it's parameters in real time to stay within the bandwidth available...that means a smooth video stream to the consumer.

Currently, with the first version of software (firmware on the slingbox and SlingPlayer on your PC), you will likely see a maximum of a 1Mbps stream (even if you have a hardwired ethernet connection in your home). We are working on improving the video quality across the board (all bit rates), but one area we are prioritizing is streaming at even higher bit rates if you have the bandwidth available....obviously, higher bit rates means better quality.

Since the Slingbox is built on a DSP, everything (including our audio/video encoder) is developed in software. That way, we can easily update the firmware with new and improved codecs/functionality over time...there is no such thing as full-blown future proofing, but this about as close as it gets to that holy grail. In fact, if you end up buying a Slingbox in the coming weeks, you will see that there is already a new version of software available for dowload. We will continue to make the product better and better...feedback from you guys will be great as it will help us prioritize which things to tackle first.


http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/show...3&&#post5819253
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Old 07-02-2005, 07:55 PM   #43 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Thyme
Slingbox says they are using Microsoft codecs, and MS says they need 700kbitspersecond for SD quality video.

The compression is variable, and so you would need more for action movies or sports, and less for talking heads.


700 sounds like an awful lot for the average home user, any idea what it does when this isn't available, drop frames lower the compression quality?

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Old 07-02-2005, 08:22 PM   #44 (Print)
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From their web site:
It is recommend that you have a minimum upstream bandwidth of 256 Kbps. Higher upstream means better viewing quality.

I picked one up today. I couldn't get my DSR6000 to work, but my HDVR2 works great!
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Old 07-02-2005, 08:54 PM   #45 (Print)
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All this talk is making me tech-horny, now I want one. I really need a Win2K client for work though...

By the way, I dig the non-traditional case - that gold bar (or is it Hershey's?) form factor is sharp. (I could do without that quantity of engraved text.)
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Old 07-02-2005, 08:58 PM   #46 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marksman
But imagine this little device as part of a future TiVo. That would be a nice package.

Let's also blend in some Akimbo for downloadable content. We can call it SlingAkimbTivUberBox-o. And to satisfy everyone it should support all OSes and have builtin wireless-G with WAP. And dual HD tuners that make soy lattes with no monthly fees.
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Old 07-02-2005, 11:45 PM   #47 (Print)
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Hi from Sling Media

Quote:
Originally Posted by W Auggie H
I agree, in that situation TiVoToGo is well suited. There is much power in the ability to control my TiVo remotely. If I understand it correctly you will be able to navigate your TiVo box just as if you were there....
]


Hey guys,
DaveZatz just told me about this thread...just joined the forum tonight...

Just started to read this thread, but obviously part of the theme here is slingbox vs. tivo to go. so wanted to provide a couple quick comments:

1) i am an AVID Tivo user... and many of us over at Sling Media are as well.

2) here's how i see it: TivoToGo and Slingbox are totally complimentary...they address two different use cases:

TivoToGo is obviously utilized for transferring recorded shows to your PC or personal device.
(+) great for archiving
(+) great for watching on pc/device, without the need for a broadband connection (e.g. airplane...at least for now)
(+) good for video quality (though it bugs me that i can't go full screen...we're talking multiple Mbps MPEG-2 here...what's the deal with that? let me go fullscreen man...don't protect me from myself...maybe the newer version solves this...haven't had time to check it out)

(-) takes f-o-r-e-v-e-r to move stuff over
(-) need to plan ahead (i wish there was some batch autodownload feature...again, maybe there is now)
(-) only applies to standalone series 2 :-( (this kills me the most...all my main tivo's are directv ones)


Slingbox is great for controlling and watching LIVE / recorded content off your Tivo in real time:
(+) instantaneous access (no need to plan ahead)
(+) great for watching live programming
(+) great for accessing your tivo on your wireless laptop, even in another room in the house (as i am typing this, i am lying in bed and watching my living room tivo)
(+) great for access to LIVE tv content
(+) works on ANY tivo (including DirecTV ones)

(-) video quality is not as good as high bit rate MPEG2 taken straight off of TV hard drive (like TivoToGo)...though hopefully you will be pleasantly surprised with the video quality.
(-) if you don't have a broadband connection, you are SOL


...just because i have only 2 negatives for slingbox vs. 3 for tivotogo, does not mean i think slingbox is better

I actually think it would be pretty cool to be able to play my TivoToGo content directly in my SlingPlayer (or vice versa)...why have to have 2 different apps?

i'm sure i am missing some stuff here. but wanted to give my quick stream of consc.

One more thing:
we are really excited to have gotten the first Slingbox to the market. And based on the early reports, we are so happy (maybe relieved is more like it) most customers seem to really dig it.

The best thing is that now we can get real feedback from all of you and work to make the product better and better. So many things we still want to do...and room for improvement. But you guys can help us determine how we priortize the improvements.


cheers,
Blake
co-founder/CEO, Sling Media
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Old 07-02-2005, 11:48 PM   #48 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TreborPugly
Well, you can set up a line split or use different outputs to get both the TV and the Slingbox working, even if there isn't a pass through. The image from their web site sure looks like they are indicating either/or connection... (No line from the Slingbox to the TV, just a ghosted line from the DVR to the TV)


We allow either...
If you have an available set of outputs, then you can plug them directly into the Slingbox. That way, you don't have to unplug anything to set it up.

If you do not have an available set of outputs, then you can use the pass-thru on the slingbox
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Old 07-02-2005, 11:59 PM   #49 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan203
Not that it really matters with a TiVo since they have two outputs anyway.

I read a review of this thing in PC Magazine and they said that the quality of the video was very poor.

Dan



Dan, i think you should revisit those reviews....including Walt Mossberg's in the Wall Street Journal and also read the responses from real life customers on avsforum...


also, the here's a video of a review from Jim Louderback (editor-in-chief of Ziff Davis Media/PC Mag...
(click on "see the slingbox in action" half way down on the right hand side

you can also read at Jim Louderback's blog: (can't post any url's since i just joined this forum :-(

Amazing New Box Delivers TiVo/DVR Video Anywhere

I loved it when I saw the prototype and I love it even more now. It's called the Slingbox, and it does an amazing thing -- it lets you control and stream anything from your TiVo or DVR to any PC around your house ... or around the world. Setup is a snap, and the quality is pretty good too. If you'd like to extend your TiVo without buying another one, or if you'd like to watch your TiVo while traveling, this is the box for you! Check out our review for more details, and watch the video of the Slingbox in action.
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Old 07-03-2005, 12:09 AM   #50 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan203
Maybe it was PC World. I can't remember I get a dozen or so tech magazines.

Dan


ah, yeah i think you may be somewhat right here Dan. PC World had some comments a couple weeks back, but it sure wasn't based on any review unit. No one had a review unit until last week.

to be totally accurate, i just went back and looked at that article. the writer says:

"Judging from what I saw, the result is not that great. It's fine for watching news shows or other talking heads, but not movies or sports."

Dan, that is obviously far from "very poor". And again, he did not even have a review unit (which he really should have disclosed in his article, imho).

'nuff said.

Don't mean to be disrespectful at all Dan...i just take feedback very seriously (though honestly, what actual customers say is way more important to me).

Thanks,

Blake
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Old 07-03-2005, 12:18 AM   #51 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GBaz
...
Looks like wireless would cause greater compression as it gets slower the furter away you are from the access point. The powerline adapters are a better option as they maintain speed. And you must have a plug next to the TiVo and the wireless router...



Actually GBaz, the main reason we recommend powerline is for ease-of-setup...the wireless bridges can be kinda tricky if you have wep/wpa encryption turned on.

actually, i have personally found in my house that a wireless bridge gives me better performance from a video stream perspective...but on average, video quality is about the same with both approaches.
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Old 07-03-2005, 03:51 AM   #52 (Print)
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This is a ffing incredible product.

The lamp in my Samsung DLP died, and it takes days to get another lamp for the damn TV. Supposedly I'll get a lamp on Tuesday or Wednesday in the mail. I went out and bought the Slingbox Saturday night so I can control the Tivo and maybe watch some of the shows I taped. I have a two year old daughter that is screaming that she wants to watch Elmo on the TV, as we have a bunch of Sesame Street episodes recorded. I watched the Formula One qualifying session that I Tivoed (via CAT5 connection to my laptop) and it was a very good picture for streaming video. The Slingplayer showed it pumping out about 920 kbps.

Next, I connected with my Verizon Wireless PC card. I got a connection at 100-220 kbps, and the picture still appears to be better than most streaming video. The F1 qualifying was a little blurry in the fast scenes, but it was never choppy and never lost the audio. I could definitely watch the F1 race while traveling using this product.

I watched an entire episode of Third Watch on the Verizon card while checking my email, and the picture was good enough that I wasn't tempted to disconnect the Verizon card and plug the CAT5 back in to get the 990k connection. I was watching it in a 5x5 inch wide window on a Dell widescreen laptop.

I'm almost thinking I should go back to CompUSA, buy out the remaining inventory, and sell them for a profit on Ebay in a week or so after everyone realizes how cool this product is.....heh....

-Doug

Buy it now before the masses find out about it

Last edited by Doug Hayashi : 07-03-2005 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 07-03-2005, 08:26 AM   #53 (Print)
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Thanks for dropping by Blake!

Is the only interface to the SlingBox via PC - is there any type of remote? I was thinking since you have an analog tuner builtin, and presumably some sort of storage for caching video (flash? HD?), wouldn't it be cool if I could rw, fw, and pause live cable TV through the SlingBox in my living room. I'm not saying replace Tivo functionality, but it would be super cool to add those basics. Though, I bet ReplayTV is for sale if you guys have the money... How about "SlingBox with ReplayTV" $450 with no monthly fees! I'm all about consolidation - I want fewer boxes that do more stuff.

And as soon as you have that working Win2K client, I'm a customer.
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Old 07-03-2005, 08:52 AM   #54 (Print)
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This thing is sweet. It peobably needs 768k upload for a good connection, but for a smartphone or small laptop 384 would porbably do. Why are you arguing about Slingbox vs. TTG. They are two different things, get both, so then you can have one one time and another another time. While Slingbox can't operate where there is no broadband, TTG can't get you a live (or 10minute delayed) sports event 3000 miles away.

The IR blaserters are the only way to control a DVR, and they are OK, as if they misfire once in a while, you just resend the command. A TiVo controlling a digicable box does not have that luxury.

Using a WIFI bridge should be fine, as long as you have a good signal strength. Although it would have been preferable to have a USB option, not having ethernet would have been the worst. Just look at TiVo with its supported and not supported adapters. Also, it can share a bridge with the TiVo, an XBOX, MCE PC ETC, assuming the bridge supports a hub behind it. The most braindead move I ever saw was a high end audio reciever with a jukebox built in that had ONLY HPNA, so ethernet users had to have an adapter back to ethernet right behind the unit.

And for fighting over the unit, just get another TiVo, so there is one for Slingbox. Not cheap at $400 for the TiVo and $5/mo for the mirroring fee for the satellite receiver, but it is still the only true solution.

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Old 07-03-2005, 09:30 AM   #55 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blake_k
Actually GBaz, the main reason we recommend powerline is for ease-of-setup...the wireless bridges can be kinda tricky if you have wep/wpa encryption turned on.

actually, i have personally found in my house that a wireless bridge gives me better performance from a video stream perspective...but on average, video quality is about the same with both approaches.



can you speak to two points please.

1. could you speak to any differences you perceive between wired and wireless and where the future best quality will be. The use of DSP chips is great leveraging of technology and if updates can greatly enhance the product then there is no need to wait for the slingbox 2 as it will come to the current hardware much like TiVo does within the series 2.

2. would you ever include a coax or other type of out on a slingbox ? having a passthrough so you could see a directTiVo on any TV in the house would be a GREAT enhancement. I currently use an RF modulator product AVcast that does this functionality but I would happily replace that fucntion with a slingbox. Of course there would have to be a way to pass remote commands back from the other TV areas to the slingbox and then the device being "streamed"


PS - for Stand Alone series 2 - there is a product that allows for automated batch download of shows - it is called Galleon and works via the HME interface. it essentially is a replacement for TiVodesktop save for decrypting .tivo files.

you should look into the TiVo HME apps area - could be a great marketing synergy there. Since HME apps are currently not video oriented - streaming them like you do the menus would work with perhaps a lttle tweaking for games.
- now people can check the local weather - a winner of the dev contest was controlling security cams (still shots sent as jpeg) and other house features from the TiVo. add in the slingbox to do it remotley and you really have something extra than just the watching of TV shows
this is the big UMF for me on the slingbox (UMF - unseen Magical Force that attracts us TiVo heads to various products)
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Old 07-03-2005, 09:38 AM   #56 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigg
This thing is sweet. It peobably needs 768k upload for a good connection, but for a smartphone or small <a href='http://consumeralertsystem.com/cas/zx-hclick.php?hid=190' target='_blank'>laptop</a> 384 would porbably do.


maybe blake_k would take to the idea of offering a demo via smartphone . Just give me the client to load on my phone and a way to point it to a demo unit. I think smartphones can be a great market for this. given decent quality on my audiovox SMT5600 smartphone I would stream vs the hassle of loading the shows up ahead of time. But I would not buy a slingbox until I could ascertain the quality of the video is good enough. TiVoToGo - then to mepg-AVI and my betaplayer in full screen with skip ahead does give me a quality of video experience that is extremely good.
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Old 07-03-2005, 10:57 AM   #57 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeoTiVo
But I would not buy a slingbox until I could ascertain the quality of the video is good enough.


All the first-hand reports I've read suggest at the very least it's GoodEnough(tm) and probably even better than that. Blake did mention setting up a sample feed of non-copyrighted video so people can test the software before purchasing. This would allow you to determine if your work firewall is going to let video through and so you can check out video quality, etc. I hear Business Week is researching the potential lost hours of productivity due to SlingBox in the work-place.
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Old 07-03-2005, 11:04 AM   #58 (Print)
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Early reviews have made me quite excited to check out the Slingbox.....now where's that Mac OS X client

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Old 07-03-2005, 04:35 PM   #59 (Print)
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This thing seems totally cool. A friend of mine is moving from the states to Japan for a couple years, but will be keeping his house here. We've been trying to work out the best way for his TiVo to stay here (state-side) and transfer programs to Japan, but this seems like the perfect solution for him! He was going to go to CompUSA yesterday to pick one up ... I'm anxious to see it.

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Old 07-03-2005, 07:53 PM   #60 (Print)
ZeoTiVo
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 7,704
Quote:
Originally Posted by davezatz
All the first-hand reports I've read suggest at the very least it's GoodEnough(tm) and probably even better than that.


Ah, but GoodEnough(tm) is the thing. Slingbox is working through some big time tech issues when you talk streaming. I have really good video now with TiVoToGo with just a moderate amount of effort and planning ahead.
I like the idea of losing the preplanning and effort and just have the video stream when I want it but I ma not willing to give up a lot of qualityand it is at the final level a subjective call by the individual
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