The Slingbox 350, which lets you remotely access your TV set top box from your phone or laptop, has launched in the UK.
Costing £129, the Slingbox 350 works by connecting to your Freeview, Freesat, Sky or Virgin Media box and streaming video to your device over the internet. You then access your box’s programme guide through a mobile (iOS, Android, Windows Phone) or desktop app (Windows Vista, 7, 8 and OS X 10.6.x and above) provided you’ve got adequate mobile signal or WiFi and the connection you’re using can support streaming.
Slingbox products have been around in several shapes and forms for a while now, but the Slingbox 350 is the first box where extra attention has been paid to design. The 350 features a snazzy exterior with a diamond pattern.
Michael Hawkey, Sling Media’s vice president and general manager says: “We’ve redesigned Slingbox from the ground up, creating one of the highest performing products on the market. With this new product introduction, Sling Media continues to evolve and disrupt the category we created.”
The Slingbox 350 supports HD streaming (Full 1080p) on speeds of over 2Mbps on fixed connections. SD streams require speeds of at least 600kbps and mobile streams will work on speeds of 250kbps. HD streams are supported on mobile devices too, but watch your data if you’re not on an unlimited plan.
The desktop apps are free to download but the mobile apps cost around £10 each to download.
On one hand, Slingbox offers services like Sky Go and Virgin TV Anywhere already do, but arguably to a greater extent, as Slingbox gives you access to all of the channels on your box. The flipside is that of course you need to invest in extra hardware, set it up and if you want to watch on your phone and tablet, pay again, whereas the Sky Go and Virgin TV Anywhere apps are free. But for Freeview and Freesat customers, who don’t have access to such services, Slingbox offers a solution for second screen salvation.
The Slingbox 350 goes on sale in the UK today. You can shop around in the high street or pick one up from Slingbox’s website. Download SlingPlayer apps for iOS, Android phones, tablets, Amazon Kindle Fire and Windows Phone here.