Slingbox 350 and 500 review: Sling Media finally upgrades its line of media streamers
The 500 costs as much as the older Slingbox Pro-HD, but doesn't do much more, save for streaming over WiFi. Most users would be fine with the cheaper Slingbox 350 instead.
- 1080p streamingBuilt-in WiFiPlanned software updates will add functionality
- HDCP makes HDMI inputs less than usefulNo integrated ATSC or QAM tunerOnly integrates via IR
It's hard to believe that the Slingbox has been around for seven years, but that only makes it harder to accept these are the first retail models that have been released since 2008. That finally changes today, though: Sling Media just introduced two new place-shifters: the Slingbox 500 and 350 (pictured). Available on October 14th for $299 and $179, respectively, these new set-top boxes replace the Solo and Pro-HD. While the 350 simply adds 1080p streaming for the same price, the 500 adds SlingProjector, a feature that lets you take photos stored on your iOS or Android device and send them to your television (video streaming will soon be supported as well). The Slingbox 500 will also soon be able to play content on USB-attached storage, but that will come in a future software update. The SlingPlayer apps get a refresh as well, adding reminders and an easier way to share your Slingbox with friends. What we set out to determine in this review -- and what you'll discover if you click through -- is how big of an upgrade this really is. Is it worth chucking your old hardware for one of these boxes? What if you're thinking of getting your first media streamer? We'll delve into all that after the break.
How It Stacks Up
Shield Android TV
Smart Media Player GX-SM530CF
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