Placeshifting: Slingbox vs. ...

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by roland.g, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    I am looking to get into Placeshifting. Mainly to watch my TV in my home office while I am working. I have laptop and a desktop, so I can use one for my office tv and the other to work on. I also would like to watch DVR'd content and get to content via iPhone or iPad remotely.

    Anyone using either a

    1. new Slingbox 350 or 500 or
    2. Monsoon Vulkano or HAVA or
    3. Belkin @TV Plus

    who can comment on what works best, advantages/disadvantages, issues/great features.

    BTW, I have DirecTV satellite with whole home, 2 HD DVRs and an HD receiver. Yes, I have three TVs set up in my house. One in the basement that is not an option for most of my viewing in this situation. One in my master bedroom, which we don't use that much because it is too loud when the kids are sleeping, and the main family room TV, which is not viewable from my home office and is often in use by the wife/kids.

  2. Pyromonkey83 macrumors 6502

    May 24, 2009
    I just got the Slingbox 350 for Christmas and love the thing! Works fantastically whether on 3G/4G/LTE/Wifi on my iPhone 5. Quality is always good and looks great even when projecting back onto an ATV (If I am at a friends house for example). It even looks good when in the SD quality setting (if your bandwidth is low for example). I have found that the minimum for HD quality streaming is 4 bars of 3G service on AT&T. My friend on Verizon has some minor buffering issues when on 3G HD, but streams perfectly fine on SD. On LTE there are 0 issues on both HD or SD regardless of reception. Only downside IMO is the price when you consider you have to pay an extra $15 for EACH app. I will say, however, that I put the iPhone app on my iPad 4th gen and it looks perfectly fine when the resolution is doubled. It isn't quite as great as the iPad version (which my friend has) but it is more than adequate for me.

    I have seen (but do not own) the Belkin @TV and it seems alright, but it is nowhere near as full-featured as the Slingbox, and their codec leaves quite a bit to be desired when watching high action shows (sports especially) in SD. We attempted to watch a football game while streaming and could hardly see a thing, it just looked like a bunch of blobs moving in circles. As a comparison, the Slingbox looked great in SD (not perfect) and the picture was more than clear enough to see exactly which payer was running, catching, blocking, or whatever. When in HD things cleared up significantly, but I have found it uses nearly twice the bitrate as the Slingbox does to run without buffering issues. With a Slingbox, I can watch HD on my iPhone for approximately an hour or so on a cell connection and only use about 100MB of data, whereas the Belkin takes closer to 180MB of data per hour. This is fine when on Wifi, but not ideal for capped (or throttled) data plans.

    Also, as an FYI, I have no regrets over not having the Slingbox 500. The only slight benefit I could see is having Wifi built in, but I wired Cat-6 throughout my whole home last year, and therefore doesn't really affect me. Having HDMI input doesn't bother me either, since my cable box (Comcast) only does 1080i, and not 1080p (and I highly doubt I could tell a difference on a 5" or 10" screen). On the 350, the built-in IR blaster also works perfectly when stacked on top of the Cable Box. I expected there to be an issue since the IR blaster was not directed at the IR receiver, but it worked perfectly! Just my 2 cents!
  3. arholmes macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2008
    I also have the Slingbox 350 and like the previous poster I love this thing. I have a DVR in my office but not the bedroom but I have an Apple Tv in the bedroom and with the Slingbox app on my Iphone all I have to do is use the airplay feature on the Apple Tv and I now can watch anything from the DVR on the bedroom TV. The picture quality is great if I am using wi fi at home or using my cell phone outside of the house. Highly recommended. Check Amazon sometimes they have a lower price than Best Buy.
  4. boston04and07 macrumors 65816


    May 13, 2008
    Old thread I know but I have a question - is it possible for someone streaming from a slingbox to watch a different station than what is being watched by someone on the TV at home? I might be moving in with some roommates soon so if that's the case it would justify me having some sort of cable streamer, as using my iPad as a TV in the bedroom would be a lot cheaper than getting another cable box in there. I can't seem to find an answer to this question so any help is appreciated!
  5. d21mike macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2007
    Torrance, CA
    No. It. Is like a passthru. Whatever is on the cable box is what you get.
  6. noisycats macrumors 6502a


    Jun 1, 2010
    The 'ham. Alabama.
    Small anecdotal response....

    I played with both slingbox and @tv this summer and went with the @tv.

    Neither was perfect in all instances, but I found picture quality slightly better on @tv. The big deciding factor was I could "download" or store shows on the @tv which enabled non-streaming viewing (subway, airplane, etc) and since downloaded--no buffering or stuttering.

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