Pros Very clear and super fast and easy to connect
Installation was easy
Built in wifi is great
Cons Setup was simple, but there is no way to customize network settings
Summary I've been a Slingbox owner since day 1. I had the first Slingbox with Comcast and a FTA satellite receiver (coolsat 5000 and 8000). Loved it immensely. Then came the Slingbox HD used both with Comcast and for DirectTV. Slingbox HD worked great with the iOS apps and the Apps have been updated with new features. I love how the remotes show up on the iPad version of the apps.
Now the Slingbox 500, built in wifi is great, i no longer need to power my powerline adapter as the wifi is now included. Really easy to setup with my DirecTV HR21-100 receiver. I have Comcast high speed internet with an Airport Extreme. I can pull up the DVR menu easily with the on screen remotes as they are exactly the same as the real life remotes.
HBO seems to kick up HDCP copy protection over HDMI so make sure you run component cables from the DirectTV box to the slingbox to avoid issues. This is not the fault of the Slingbox. I know HBO GO app is a nice solution for the TV shows and movies but being able to watch live boxing events away from home really helps. Going to a friends house who doesn't have HBO and hooking up my ipad to their TV brings fight night with me.
Yes the apps for the tablets and phones have to be purchased separately(unless you buy the iPhone version which works on the iPad but stretched) but people that 'ding the review' the product because they have to pay for the app should be ashamed of themselves.. Sling has made consistent improvements with the apps over time.
Make sure you have unlimited data if you use it over 3G/ 4G LTE connections or be on wifi, if you use it on a tablet or smartphone.
You can find best deal of the Slingbox 500 at: Multiroomdigitalmusicsystemreviewsbuy.com/buy-slingbox-500/
I like the built in IR blaster as I no longer have to run the wires for the IR blaster anymore.
Pros The product does allow you to place shift as advertised
Cons Once you purchase a Slingbox, you're at the mercy of Sling Media's software updates. Once your unit is out of warranty, you'll get a software update that causes your product to stop working, and you'll be expected to pay $29.95 for tech support.
Summary If you are considering buying a Slingbox PLEASE do your research before you buy!! A good place to start is slingbox's own answer forums (http://answers.slingbox.com/index.jspa ). Search for "firmware update" or "software update" and you'll find dozens of instances of updates causing product failure. Sling Media (the company that manufactures/sells Slingbox hardware) has a habit of sending out what they call "firmware updates", basically new software, 1-6 months after the warranty expires. After these updates a large number of Slingbox owners have found their units cease to work. Upon calling for support Slingbox owners/users are told they must pay $29.95 for technical support. Sling Media explicitly states that while the technical support may or may not fix the problem, the fee is NON refundable regardless of the outcome.
Additionally, Sling Media says in their own Software License Agreement that software downloads are warranted for 90 days, however when owners have asked Sling Media to honor this policy, Sling Media refuses.
While I cannot be proven that Sling Media intentionally send out faulty software (perhaps someone with more experience reading/writing computer code could), it cannot be denied that Sling Media does have motive to send firmware updates that cause out of warranty units to stop performing correctly. 1) Anyone who owns an out of warranty slingbox is a potential revenue stream for Sling Media. 2) Sling media controls the frequency of software updates, and in theory could release another flawed "update" as often as they want and generate additional troubleshooting fees. 3) Multiple users have reported their slingbox units worked up until the release of a software update, lending credibility to the idea that the updates are causing Slingbox units to stop working.
I encourage anyone who has had a similar experience to respond to this blog, to follow @slingboxscam and search #slingboxscam on twitter.
Pros none, yet. It's been weeks phone calls, 2 sling boxes (neither of which work) and a major hassle with customer service.
Cons Everything. after $300, 1 month, and many hours on the telephone with their customer service, I still don't have a functioning unit.
Summary I thought a sling box might be handy as I travel overseas a lot and like to watch a bit of soccer and football. I ordered the 500 because I need the wifi capability for my location. It arrived and I went to set it up, but the remote control didn't work -- I could never get past the 'welcome to sling box - click here to start' page, because for whatever reason, nothing happened when I clicked.
1st call to customer service -- 6pm on a Thursday evening (they're open until 7pm according to their website PST) I called, the phone was answered and I was put on hold. I put my phone on speaker and did some other work while waiting for an answer. Finally at 7pm the phone hung up on me -- customer service was closed. The first inkling that I had spent $300 for a lame product from a lame company.
2nd call to customer service -- I made the call from work on a break -- they couldn't do anything since I 'wasn't in front of the box'. I could answer all their questions, and I had already tried everything they had said (changing batteries in the remote, hitting the 'reset button', etc.
3rd call to customer service -- a belligerent guy answered and spoke to me in a condescending way, like I am an idiot who forgot to plug it in, or something. Finally got through all of his protocols, and he brilliantly announced what I already knew. The unit isn't working. Wow, glad they're hiring such smart folks. he said they would send a new box and it would be there in 3-5 business days. "probably by Wednesday, but at the latest by Friday." 11 days later the unit finally arrived.
and then, when I plugged it in, it didn't work and had exactly the same problem.
4th call to customer service -- went through the same protocols (at least this C.S. rep was polite) and the lady told me what I'm guessing - that she thinks the remote doesn't work -- but since they didn't send a remote with the second unit, they are going to send one of those. After asking if they can expedite it she said it would be 3-5 days -- wait, haven't I heard that before?
So far I've wasted time and money on this piece of junk from a company slow to try to help, who leaves customers on hold and then hangs up, and who don't seem to care once they have their $. we'll see if the thing works after the new remote comes -- Maybe I'll update the review if it arrives before 2017.
Based on my experience, I'd encourage you to find a different option and save your time and money.
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