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post #16 of 39 (permalink) Old 2008-09-13, 07:27 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Galiano Island (Southern Gulf Islands), BC
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SlingCatcher Almost Here? - stay tuned, yet again...

SlingCatcher is now taking pre-orders (in the USA, at least, for $299 +). No indication as to when it might be available in Canada, however.

http://www.slingmedia.com/go/slingcatcher-purchase
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post #17 of 39 (permalink) Old 2008-09-13, 09:30 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Regina, SK, CA
Posts: 620
A useful little device.

Incidentally, you can use a real TV without buying a Slingcatcher. You just need a laptop (or desktop, I suppose) with a video connection that will hook up to a television. Many HD televisions have an HDMI port which will work. My laptop has an SVideo out jack that I can connect to my TV (or receiver, which is more convenient in my case).

Sometimes using the computer is preferable. I didn't always have an appropriate TV to use on our European trip, but my 15.4" widescreen laptop was quite up to the task. I even watched the 2007 Rider-Bomber Labour Day game via Sling when I was in London.
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post #18 of 39 (permalink) Old 2008-10-07, 07:39 PM
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Toronto - Davisville Subway
Posts: 1,025
My inital review

Purchased mine from Canada computers yesterday and here's my initial comments:

Well built and packaged unit. Everything is cleanly packaged in the box and individually sealed in bags. The box comes with necessary cables but no software (you need to download from their site, after Oct 9th).

The unit was easy to install and configure. Just make sure you have a long ethernet cable as there's no wi-fi. You could also use other home networking kits, like those that use home power, if you want.

Setup was a breeze. In minutes, I was streaming away... The hardest part was to enter my sling account and password without a keyboard, but you only do this once.

I sling to a slingbox classic (UK) located in France. The uplink is 860kbps. The picture was truly amazing. Almost cable quality! Just ensure you set the resolution to "advanced mode 640 x 240) for better quality. I was watching it on a regular tube TV via composite cables, so I'm sure it would be better via svideo or via HDMI on my HDTV.

Controlling the slingbox is childplay, just use the remote to change channels like you would with your regular TV. It was amazing, I ensded up watching French TV from france all night just as if I was there.

Some bugs with the software though...

1) When switching to "high resolution" (640 x 240), I sometimes get to horizontal bars across the screen. These go away, if I switch back to low res and then back to high res. Stangely enough, I get some when configuring the slingbox via the regular player over there (in France), but never got it remotely.

2) The throughput is usually fine (at 860kbps) until I change channels. then it reduced to 650 and never goes back up. I need to stop and restart the streaming to get the full speed. As well, when in low res, I sometimes get maximum 250kbps...

3) I can't figure out yet how to get access to all the buttons on the remote location's remote control. I'm sure it will be posted on their site after official launch.

The manual is pretty basic, but gets you going at least.

This is an amazing gadget, you won't regret it! Now please bring on the slingbox client for the iphone and we will be all set
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post #19 of 39 (permalink) Old 2008-10-08, 09:25 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Ottawa, Canada (Gatineau area)
Posts: 594
CAN'T WAIT!!!

sweet deal! can't wait to grab mine at futureshop tomorrow morning

djino
"less than 24 hours to go "
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post #20 of 39 (permalink) Old 2008-10-08, 10:29 AM
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 796
I guess I don't understand what this is supposed to do? I have a Slingbox classic and it's a great way to remotely control my PVR.

Does this device do anything I couldn't do by putting a long video cable from my laptop to my TV?
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post #21 of 39 (permalink) Old 2008-10-08, 10:32 AM
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Toronto - Davisville Subway
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It simply allows you to watch a slingbox without a PC. Directly via that box
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post #22 of 39 (permalink) Old 2008-10-08, 10:45 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Ottawa, Canada (Gatineau area)
Posts: 594
also ...able to connect an usb external hdd/key to it.

but for me it will mostly be a sat receiver replacement.

djino
"yup"
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post #23 of 39 (permalink) Old 2008-10-09, 08:21 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Ottawa, Canada (Gatineau area)
Posts: 594
Official Release

The Slingcatcher has finally been released.

Slingprojector software is now available for download http://downloads.slingmedia.com/get/proj-win-ca

djino
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post #24 of 39 (permalink) Old 2008-10-12, 11:24 AM
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Canada
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I set this up to stream content from a satellite reciever to another TV in the house... and it works great. The picture is smooth, and there is no waiting for re-buffering.

The only complaint I have is that the picture is a lot softer on the TV hooked up to the SlingCatcher. I know there are some set up options in the on-screen guide for the SlingCatcher, as well as with the software that comes with the Sling Box Pro HD, but I have tried those, and I cannot seem to make the picture much sharper. I also tried adjusting the TV settings itself, but it is still a little too soft for my liking.

But I cannot wait to try this on the road in a hotel room. No more boring business stayovers for me!
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post #25 of 39 (permalink) Old 2008-10-12, 12:45 PM
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Location: Vancouver, BC
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Not sure if your source is HD, but the SlingCatcher does not stream in HD. It streams, at best, 640x480.

SlingMedia does say they are planning to roll out an upgrade for the SlingCatcher that will stream in HD, but no ETA. Until then, the SlingCatcher is going to provide a lower quality picture than your source.
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post #26 of 39 (permalink) Old 2008-10-12, 04:44 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
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Hey Johnny... I was streaming to a non-HD. I know in the setup the max resolution is 640 by 480. But even streaming non-HD channels to a non-HD, the picture looks a little softer than compared to other sources on the same TV. But it still looks really good, and I am still amazed that I have not seen a single frame drop in over 2 hours of watching the unit now.

Does anyone know if a ethernet bridge can be connected to the back of the unit to communicate to the router, or does it have to be hard wired to the router? I know a wireless USB key is not an option, as the USB ports are only for playback on the unit. Currently, I am connected to the router via the D-Link Powerline connector that works via the home electrical circuit.
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post #27 of 39 (permalink) Old 2008-10-12, 06:13 PM
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I doubt you'll get better throughput from a wireless bridge than from the powerline ehternet. The only problem I had with that D-Link powerline kit was the heat from the adapters, but throughput was everybit as good as wireless N.
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post #28 of 39 (permalink) Old 2008-10-12, 06:41 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Canada
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The D-Link powerline connectors do get very hot. That is one of the reasons why I would like to return them and go with a wireless bridge.

Plus it would just be cooler (pardon the pun) to go with a wireless solution. With the powerline connectors, it is not a true wireless solution. But a bridge requires it to be setup via a computer, right? I am assuming the SlingCatcher will not be able to set this up. Sling Media cannot give me a straight answer still.

Even with a wireless G network, I can stream full video to my laptop via the SlingBox, and also stream full movies (even HD) from my PC to my TV via the D-Link Media Server, so I think the G network is capable in terms of the SlingCatcher.
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post #29 of 39 (permalink) Old 2008-10-18, 10:38 AM
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Gatineau, QC/Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 84
I hope they develop a small portable version of this that you can throw in your luggage for those long nights in your hotel when basic cable just isn't enough.
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post #30 of 39 (permalink) Old 2008-10-18, 03:23 PM
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review from cnet

http://reviews.cnet.com/digital-medi...-32815136.html

Picture quality is HORRIBLE"
by chambcm on September 29, 2008
Pros: Not much; perhaps the remote.
Cons: Terrible picture and sound quality.
Summary: Do not buy this product if your intent is to use outside of the US (and maybe your home). I tried from Europe and was extremely disappointed.
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