Hoo-hoo webmates, yours truly is no longer bound by the measly 6 channels of programming the Armed Forces Network pipes out to off-base residents here in Japan (via a very sketchy satellite by the way.).
The Reason? This little puppy:
The Slingbox Pro. I had my dad in Delaware go to the local Best Buy and buy all the necessary gear (Slingbox and a router). Then Comcast provided an extra HD Set-top Tuner (for use in the den, where the folks don't have a TV, but you don't need a TV for Slingbox to work!), just the cable, tuner, slingbox and way to connect to the internet (high-speed connection highly recommended).
Well anyway, I don't my dad, Don't muck with it, just hire the guys from Geek Squad to come out and hook everything up and get it running like it should. It may have cost me a little more up front, but it was SO worth the hassle-free installation and set-up, which no doubt would've derailed the experiment for a several hours (The folks aren't too tech-savvy).
Well anyway, got back from the PT test this morning and had a message on our Vonage (got a stateside number for easy access...god I love the Internet). It was the 'rents. The Slingbox was hooked up and ready to stream.
And the best part: all I needed to do was go to Slingmedia.com, click the support tab and download the SlingPlayer! I figured I'd need the disk mailed out to me or something weird like that. I was NOT expecting it to be this EASY. And our timing couldn't have better. Sling now support Macs, so Christina can (and did) download the player and watch on her laptop (heck she had is up and running faster than I did).
In less than a minute. A minute: I had the program installed (ok, it took about 3-4 minutes to download over the Fiber Optic line) and has tuned in the Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia and was watching Harry Kalas call the 7th inning of the Phillies 6-2 win over the Brewers.
Hell, it was so cool I forgot all about my general disdain for baseball. This was HARRY KALAS, you know how long its been since I've heard Harry Kalas call a Phillies game??? Has to be 10 years....man....this frickin' thing is sweet! There plenty of features on here as well, favorite channels (which helps, because Comcast streams hundreds of channels). '
So what about the quality? Its pretty damn good, let me tell you that. Its got great quality at a relatively small size (say 640 x 480 size screen)....I mean its just like having a TV on about a quarter of my monitor screen. I can blow it all the up and show it over my rather large 26" widescreen monitor, but the quality degrades quite a bit. Still on any size, I can read the tickers along the bottom of the screen and all that jazz.
IF you want a taste of hometown TV, or just want to be able to keep up with your team on the road. The Slingbox is SO simple...its simply unbeatable....go get one!