Since 2008, Slingbox has served as media middleman for TV-addicted travelers. Capitalizing on under-used, over-priced cable service was great at first, but standard definition streaming is something not even the lowest rent smartphones do anymore. The Slingbox 350 and 500 ($180+) give you your fix in full 1080p HD.
The Slingbox 350 ($180) is the entry-level DVR hijacker, streaming content from your set-top box to just about anything via a wired connection. Set up is easy: the 350 uses component video cables to carry the HD source signal and an internal IR blaster to remotely control the action. Just log on to your browser-based Slingbox account or tap the SlingPlayer app ($15) on your iOS or Android device and you’re ready to enter a tube-coma (just like you’re on your own couch!). Did we mention it looks like an LED-lit Lego block brought back from LV-223?
The Slingbox 500 ($300) packs all of the features of the 350, with the addition of built-in wi-fi and HDMI connectivity. Be wary of setting up with HDMI only though, as HDCP protections may dam up the stream on your
Salvador Dali artwork Slingbox. You will, however, gain the ability to use SlingProjector, which streams photos directly from users’ handheld devices onto the big screen. Video support on SlingProjector is rumored to be a future firmware update sometime near the holiday season, so you can include those embarrassing home movies in your New Year’s party plan.