Monday, December 07, 2009

Slingbox

Lynne wanted a little better TV accessibility at several of Morty's stops recently -- programs like Buckeye football, or the cable news shows. She asked about those satellite dishes some RVers put out but was a little put off by the cost [up to $5000] and hassel factors. So we decided to ask Santa for a suggestion and he came up with a Slingbox. This is a little box that sits between the cable box outputs and the TV. It also attaches to the Internet and sends the TV program or recording out to our computer wherever it is. It also sends commands from the computer back to control the cable box. Pretty awesome technology, and it's available for around $130.



Since we would need time to get it set up in advance of our next departure right after Christmas, an early opening was requested and approved. Good thing too, because I got the wires crossed and for the first day it was sending only a blue, out-of-sync picture that was barely acceptable. I tried to call customer support but couldn't get through so I had to use text-chat on the computer. You would have thought that a simple problem  like crossed inputs would have been easy enough to diagnose and solve, but it was a very difficult problem for the tech. After a couple of sessions spread out over a couple of days, I decided to just start over, and found the problem on my own. Now it's sending a great picture and sound. The only remaining challenge will be to see how well it works when we don't have WiFi and try to connect on the much slower cell phone.
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