Thursday, June 30, 2005

The Slingbox

More than likely, this is the first place you will learn about a new device called a "slingbox" which I hope to have by nightfall. As I understand it, you take your $250 to Best Buy and get the little silver box which allows you to control your home TV and digital recorder from anywhere you can get on the internet. It sits between your cable receiver and your home broadband internet connection and then it pumps your TV programs out via the internet. It works with standard Windows PCs running Windows XP. There are no monthly fees or hookup fees of any kind. What is the virtue you might ask? Well, if you are traveling you can get online and watch shows you have recorded on you DVR or you can watch live shows with all the ease of sitting on you sofa at home with the TV remote. Now when I get stuck in a casino hotel which wants you playing slot machines rather than watching Fox News or golf, I can just use my laptop to turn on my home TV. If I am sitting in an airport, I can log on to the WiFi network and watch CNBC live to keep up with the markets. As I understand it, however, things can get sticky if someone is at home watching TV and you start changing channels from afar. Another problem I see is cruise ships don't yet have broadband access and TV on dial-ups at 60 cents per minute would not be satisfactory. Otherwise, count me in.

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