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A Simpler Slingbox

Tech  /   /  By Jonathan Millstein

Remember back in the day when phones had QWERTY keyboards? I loved my QWERTY keyboard because I could easily text while driving. Relax, we didn’t know any better back then. You don’t sit shaking your fist at an episode of “Mad Men” do you? I was so in love with this technology that when everyone was getting iPhones I was ordering unlocked Nokia phones from Europe and was lucky enough to have a Slingbox thrown in with one for free. That was many many years ago and I’d forgotten all about the Slingbox until recently when I was reading about their new M1 and had check it out.

I’d heard the new Slingbox M1 was essentially plug and play and I was hesitant about this since the original was a nightmare to hook up, but I trusted it. Anything that allows for me to watch TV easier is a friend to me and you trust your friends. Confident I’d be able to hook it up no problem, I sent it to my 61 year old mother to take a crack at it.

  • Numerous FaceTime calls occur to no avail. I’m now tasked with attempting to walk her through checking her FaceTime settings. We determine her phone is not up to date.
  • We opt to do this over voice. I’m not thrilled.
  • Installation takes hardly anytime and most of the delay comes as a result of us arguing colors and numbers. Correct, the most challenging part revolved around counting cords (composites are one with three ends, but to her are three cords) and colors (white audio appeared gray to her).
  • And that was the installation. Match up the colors of the audio visual cords from the cable box to Slingbox to TV and power on.

What differs drastically from the Sling back in the day is this new model has a built in IR blaster to change the channel and WiFi. These two things used to be strictly external and while they still are an external option the internal setup worked flawlessly.

The rest of the setup occurs through your computer on the same network. A little info from your cable box hooked up to it and about your wireless network and you’re good to go. From the PC I noticed very little lag with the connection while watching which wasn’t the case from the iPad app. The iPad seemed to have more instances of buffering occur via the app, but not even remotely close enough to turn you off to the idea that you’re now watching your TV from anywhere with no monthly cost. What the app does do better is allow you to scroll through the guide more easily with the touch screen than having to use a computer mouse. In fact I found myself tapping my computer screen on one occasion going back and forth.

The app for your mobile devices will set you back $15 a device, but I think well worth it when you’re unwittingly spending who knows what on your Kim K. Superstar addiction since this app is one that serves an actual purpose. If you don’t feel like spending the $15 it’s free on your computer, but if you’re like me you opt for the iPad when traveling so you don’t have to take it out for TSA. That’s all the additional cost you will have, the rest is in a one time fee of $150 for the Slingbox M1. A cost which is well worth it for the ease of installation and the ability to take your TV anywhere.

About the Author

In addition to his work with FactoryTwoFour Jonathan serves as Executive Editor of RIDES magazine, a national print and online custom automotive lifestyle brand.

He attended Southern Methodist University where he graduated with a degree in English and Cinema/TV. Since then Jonathan has put both degrees to work pursuing his two passions: lifestyle and the entertainment industry.

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