Despite my feelings of the device being severely overpriced, tonight I decided to take the plunge and spend $325 on a Slingbox 500. The primary reason for spending $130 more to get Slingbox 500 over the cheaper Slingbox 350 was the wireless functionality (no one likes to have ethernet cables running through the halls of their home). Setup was going smooth until I got to the part where I was prompted to enter my wireless password. My wireless password is 128 bits in length (64 hexadecimal characters). The Slingbox accepted 63 of these characters, but not the final remaining character. I double checked the key I entered and confirmed that the Slingbox only accepts 63 hexadecimal characters making it impossible (by literally 4 bits) to specify a 128 bit encryption key. Clearly an "off by one" error in the firmware. Quality Assurance FAIL!
I contacted Tech Support to report the issue and inquire about any firmware updates that might be available to resolve the problem. The support representative informed me that they were not aware of such an issue and since they handle numerous calls each day and had never heard of the issue it was clearly a problem that was unique to the unit that I purchased. Sorry, it is clearly and off by one bug that affects EVERY Slingbox 500 that ships with the same firmware my Slingbox 500 has. I inquired about submitting a bug to development but the representative didn't seem to interested in handling such either (admittedly, I discovered the issue about 30 minutes to 7pm Pacific time so they were probably just wanting to go home)
I thought I might continue seeking a possible firmware update from a more knowledgeable representative via the 365/7/24 chat functionality that was referenced by the telephone menuing system while waiting on hold to speak with an agent. Unfortunately, the chat functionality informs me "Sorry, we're closed" which boils down to FAIL 2.
At this point, I am not impressed, but thankful I purchased from a local retailer that offers 15-day full refund with no questions asked on returns.
My purpose for expending the energy to post this comment is soley based on the hope that someone at Slingbox will fix the problem so other customers do not encounter it (I wasn't convinced the support person I spoke with on the phone was going to take the time to enter the bug)
Unfortunately, I didn't get to see the device in action to see how it stacks up to the competing placeshifting products I review.
Such is life.