We’ve covered the Slingbox many times here at Tech Digest, usually with the line "heading for the UK". Well, the wait is over, Sling Media’s location-free TV system is now available in the UK, just in time for the World Cup.
The European version of the Slingbox is tailored for the UK market, featuring an integrated PAL analogue/digital tuner with DVB-T support, giving access to Freeview programming, as well as the ability to connect to digital cable, Sky boxes or a PVR/VCR. It uses the ethernet port to connect to a router or broadband modem to transmit out across the net, with signals accessed by a PC or Windows Mobile device running the Slingbox software. Which means you have control over your home TV wherever you are – as long as you’re online. There’s also a remote to control the Slingbox’s tuner and other connected devices.
Sling Media is also releasing a new version of the SlingPlayer PC software in conjunction with the Slingbox hardware, which supports 16:9 widescreen video, enhanced favourite channels organisation features and the ability to customise the look and feel of the software with a range of pre-installed or user-created skins. At around £180, it’s considerably cheaper than Sony’s LocationFree TV – but the Sony system is wireless and isn’t limited to just one remote user, which is the case for the Slingbox.
The Slingbox is available exclusively through PC World, then Currys and Currys.digital stores in the next four to six weeks. A Mac version is planned for later in the year.
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