Money is not the real issue ... The quetion is the quality of SD streaming over the internet.
I recommend you go with the Pro HD. I've watched SD, configured and helped friends install and troubleshoot a number of Solo and Pro HD units. From my experience and observations, I can't see any difference between the two when it comes to SD streaming given the same conditions.
Pro-HD video tends to get choppy at low internet rates. Is that true?
It can be, but bad video over a less than ideal internet connection affects all Slingboxes in the same way.
The most significant influence to overall viewing quality is the upload speed at the Slingbox. More = Better. If you can sustain 700 kbps transfer rates, SD video will look quite good. 1 Mbps or higher and SD is fantastic. It's certainly possible to stream SD over 600 kbps or less, but you will notice the drop off in picture quality.
Second major influence is the stability of the connection. If your transfer rates are fluctuating rapidly between slow and fast, it can confuse the automatic monitors that adjust the streaming parameters. Those can be adjusted along with other steps to improve things. What can not be easily adjusted is your network performance over the internet. This will affect all Slingboxes equally.
Choppy video, as in start-stop stuttering of the video frames- is often caused by these fluctuations. I would not expect the Solo to outperform the Pro HD in this area.
Other notes and observations:
- Pro HD has more input flexibility. I like having an on-board tuner.
- I like the overall build quality of the Pro HD better. That's subjective, of course.
- You may wish to use HD streaming in the future. Pro HD will be ready.
- I've encountered far fewer "Help !!!" questions from my friends and others who own a Pro HD.
I don't have any information handy about the technical differences/specifications of SD streaming on the two units, so most of this comes down to simple opinion. Perhaps someone else can offer a more technical comparison.
The Pro HD is what I recommend to friends and family looking to buy a new Slingbox, it's what I'll buy when it's time to upgrade, I think they are better units.
Hope this helps,
Just would like to say I had a solo and it does a fine job for me, an picture quality lost will be due to Internet connection more than anything else. I would also like to point out that the solo can intact broadcast hd footage (if you have the Internet connection for that) that only difference is that the pro HD can connect up to 4 (I think) different devices where as the solo (as the name suggests) just one. Both use the only composite cables for hd rather than a more simple HDMI. These are just some points I though should be added through research I had done of my own. Just to add, though my eyes may be tuned to the quality of HD these days as our now standard deft I can push 700kps and get reasonable picture quality though for that connection speed I would have though to be getting near on sd rather than half the deff.
These are just a few point I had to make to anyone researching getting one of these but I do have to say I love mine and I wish I had an iPad to use it on too. It's a great product and I think for what it gives you is worth the cost all day long.
Actually, you can connect two devices to the Slingbox SOLO. I have my cable box connected with component cables and my ROKU connected with a composite cable. You have to use splitters to merge the audio cables into one pair for the R/L audio connection. When watching my ROKU, I have to silence the cable box first.