Holiday Buyer's Guide 2007, Part 2

Slingbox Solo : Take Your TV With You

By Sean Michael Kerner

You're paying for a gazillion channels in your fully decked-out home theater setup, and you get every program you want. The only problem is that, right now, you're not at home. So how do you get at your content?

That's where the Slingbox comes in. With a Slingbox sitting between your TV content and your connection to the wider world through the Internet, all the TV goodies you have at home (at least in terms of content) can also be yours on the road. The Slingbox Solo takes your TV inputs (S-Video, Component or Composite/RCA) and shoots out IP-ready television over wired Ethernet. It doesn't support HDMI or wireless connectivity, but hey, you can plug in your digital cable, satellite, DVR, or DVD player easily enough using the inputs that it does include.

Look at all the ports on the back of the Slingbox Solo! From right to left, power, network and USB, plus inputs (above) and outputs (below) for stereo audio, component video, S-Video, and component video.

At the other end, using the slick Sling player on your PC or mobile device (Windows Mobile, Palm OS, or Symbian) you'll finally escape the shackles of your home TV.

The Solo controls just one TV as opposed to the multiples that the more expensive Slingbox Pro handles. Also, with the Solo, you end up taking control of the TV to which you connect. Thus, if you've got family at home, they're going to be stuck watching whatever it is you're viewing on your Sling player away from home.

For road warriors, or just plain TV junkies who just can't log enough couch time, Slingbox Solo is a must-have for this year's gift list. After all, what TV lover doesn't want access to all their content, all the time, from wherever they happen to be?

Ed Tittel

Ed Tittel is a long-time IT writer, researcher and consultant, and occasional contributor to Tom’s Hardware. A Windows Insider MVP since 2018, he likes to cover OS-related driver, troubleshooting, and security topics.