I recently purchased an SB500 to upgrade from a three year old SB300 to connect the HDMI and not have 10 cables plus the ir and power cable protruding out of the back. Well I was disappointed to find that the quick start guide recommended hooking up your component along with the HDMI to receive "all of your channels". At that point I was aggravated enough to just get an RMA from Newegg and send it back. Incidentally, they charged me a 15% re-stocking fee for the return and shipping was an additional $13 so I ended up paying $58 for the return.
After sending it back I saw the SB500 was stocked at FRY's and I know they allow 100% refund for any reason within 14 days so I decided to give it another shot and hook up the component cables along with the HDMI.
Upon first powering up the box it takes you through an on screen setup menu, connecting to your network, selecting your cable guide, remote, etc etc.
Then it checks for an update, which it found and updated the box. I noticed it didn't have any video from the component input even though it was connected.
After the setup was finished I selected Live TV and the picture came up and everything appeared normal, the same as if the SB300 was connected.
Then the problem, as soon as you connect with a computer or iphone a window shows up on the screen saying your TV doesn't support HDCP. This appears on both on the tv and the iphone. When I disconnected the remote device, in this case an iphone 5, the picture came back.
I tried this on two Comcast cable boxes with the same result.
Scientific Atlanta 8300HD
Cisco RNG 150
Neither outputs component video when an HDMI cable is connected.
My thoughts are this:
If the slingbox is not HDCP 2.0 compliant and it only works with some of the cable boxes, it seems satellite boxes are more likely to work, then why don't they just state that in the description of the device so people with Comcast don't order this thing thinking they will be able to connect a component cable , an HDMI cable input and a HDMI output to their TV and it work?
From what I understand, analog component cable connections will eventually be phased out by cable companies.
If you are required to connect component cable input and the HDMI output doesn't work then you are forced to disconnect the HDMI cables and only have component cables connected. Then you ask,,,,,what's the difference between the SB300-100 and the SB500-100.
1.) Video quality is the same compared to the SB300-100 when I connect both devices via component cable in and out I can't tell any difference viewing on both a boxee box I have connected to a projector in my garage and an iphone 5.
2.) the SB500 has built in wifil which isn't worth that much when you consider you can buy a network bridge for about $50, which is how I currently have my SB300 connected.
3.) Onscreen menu setup. This is a tossup... the onscreen menu is ok but I can actually set up my SB300 faster through a computer than trying to use a remote to type in letters via the setup menu. Also, I don't see a place to change the output port, this could be an issue with some service providers.
If you don't have a slingbox and you don't mind using component cables to make the connection to your TV then the SB500 will work for you.
However, if you have a SB300-100 and you read HDMI and think you're going to make an upgrade, save your money or buy at place like Frys or Bestbuy that offers a 14 day full refund policy for any reason without a re-stocking fee so you can bring it back if it doesn't work..