3 Replies Latest reply: Aug 5, 2014 10:32 PM by OvCollyer RSS

    UK Slingboxes - Dated or what?

    jelockwood

      I am interested in buying a Slingbox and live in the UK, I therefore have visited the UK Slingbox website to see what products are available. According to the UK website there are two models currently available the 350 which is described as 'new' and the Slingbox Pro-HD.

       

      In reality both these products are clearly extremely dated in specficiation and to a large extent even verge on being guilty of 'false avertising'. This is because both are described as HD capable products. Unfortunately the reality is that for the overwhelming majority of people in the UK neither is capable of doing HD.

       

      The Pro-HD (UK model) has a built in DVB-T tuner, this is the first problem, DVB-T tuners in the UK are not capable of doing HD TV. DVB-T2 was launched way back in 2009 as the UK (and other countries) standard for over-the-air HD broadcasts. Pretty much 100% of new TVs and set-top boxes sold in the UK now have DVB-T2. Secondly the Pro-HD (UK model) has no HDMI in/out connectors, it only has component video connectors. This is the second problem, the leading pay-TV platform in the UK is Sky a satellite TV service. The Sky-HD box no longer has component video connectors and I believe even old units have had their component connectors disabled in software, the only way therefore to get HD from the Sky-HD box is via HDMI which the Pro-HD (UK model) does not support.

       

      The other Slingbox model listed on the UK website is the 350 which is described as 'new'. This is a bad joke, how can a product be described as new when it has actually been discontinued and replaced in the USA? Even if one were to consider it, it is even more limited than the Pro-HD (UK model) as it still has no HDMI in/out connectors, and does not even have a DVB-T tuner never mind DVB-T2.

       

      So the UK has effectively no HD capable Slingbox despite what the website claims.

       

      What really rubs salt in to the wound is that the US website lists a Slingbox M1 and a Sling TV. The Slingbox M1 is described as the replacement for the discontinued Slingbox 350 which remember the UK website describes as 'new'. While it does have superior features to the discontinued 350 it still from a UK perspective would not support HD TV. The other US model is the Sling TV, this does have HDMI in/out connectors and hence would support HD even for us poor neglected UK residents if only Sling would let us buy it!

       

      The final insult is that the US used to have a Slingbox Pro-HD which is discontinued and replaced by the Sling TV. Remember like the discontinued 350 the UK is still being fobbed off with the equally obsolete Pro-HD.

       

      Are there any plans to remedy this egrecious situation?

        • Re: UK Slingboxes - Dated or what?
          AndyK Newbie

          B&H Photos is your answer.

          • Re: UK Slingboxes - Dated or what?
            alanrichey42 Master

            You might not be aware, but the Sling TV is simply a Slingbox 500 that has been updated with new firmware.  As such, many of us in the UK do have that model and it works well, although will not stream HDMI from a Sky Box.

             

            And I think you are being slightly unfair about the 350/M1 situation.  In fact the 350 has only been available for a few months and the M1 was only released in the USA a couple of weeks ago.  So for rest of the world it is probably fair to describe the 350 as 'new'. (although I confess that like you I am totally at a loss when it comes to understand Sling's marketing strategy)

             

            You are correct that no Slingbox will support HD, but I don't think you can really blame Sling Media for that.  The reason that no Slingbox can stream HD via HDMI Is because TV Providers are all implementing HDCP to prevent HD Content being recorded or streamed using third-party devices.  In the USA you can often get around this by disconnecting the HDMI lead and just using component video from the AV Device to the Slingbox and from there to the TV.  But as you correctly say, Sky have gone one step further and removed the component output altogether, so that option is not available to us in the UK.  But you cannot really blame Sling Media for that.  The fault lies fairly and squarely on the TV providers and the box manufactures for building in this limitation.  I cannot see how Sling Media can do anything about it.  Or do you have any ideas ?

             

            I am as frustrated as you, although in my case my BT upload speed is only 350K so any talk of HD Streaming to a remote location is a bit academic  

             

             

            • Re: UK Slingboxes - Dated or what?
              OvCollyer Apprentice

              Import a Slingbox 500/TV and buy a $99 HDCP stripping device from HDFury and you'll be able to stream HDMI/HD from your Sky box.

               

              Or, buy the 350/M1 and buy a more expensive HDMI to component device. Again I suggest HDFury for that, they have a range of such devices that are known to work. I've used them myself.

               

              Essentially, without a component output on your Sky box you need to spend extra money on an adaptor.

               

              If you have the upload bandwidth though, and are prepared to spend the cash, the results are well worth it.