More box clever stuff from the Sultans of Sling
A couple of years ago, Sling Media surprised us with a nifty little device called the Slingbox, which was capable of beaming whatever was on your TV at home to any internet-connected PC in the world.
The company’s latest product, the Slingcatcher, has a number of functions, one of which is to act as a kind of Slingbox in reverse. A Slingbox transmits video over a network, while the Slingcatcher receives video and allows you to view it on a TV set.
It works best where there's a Slingbox in situ since the Slingcatcher can act as a bridge between the Slingbox and another TV set. At home this could make it possible to extend your satellite or cable TV box or your DVD player to another room over the home network, so you could watch movies, programmes you’ve recorded or exclusive satellite channels on, for example, the bedroom television set.
Away from home, the Slingcatcher is small and light enough to take with you on holiday or on a business trip, theoretically allowing you to effectively convert any television set in the world into your TV at home, as long as there’s a broadband connection available. On top of that, the Slingcatcher can play music, movies and photos stored on a USB memory key as well as stream content from your PC.
There are, however, some major snags. For a start, the device requires a wired network connection – it won’t work over a wireless network at all. Also, the PC streaming function doesn’t work as we had hoped.
A utility called Sling Projector essentially reproduces your PC’s desktop on your TV screen, from where you can access media via your usual media player. While this makes it possible to watch online content such as the BBC iPlayer on your TV, the system is far from perfect.
We’re hoping that Sling Media will issue a software update for the device that will allow for straightforward network media playback at some point soon.
The biggest drawback of all, though, is the cost – the Slingcatcher is nearly £200 itself, but is fairly useless without a Slingbox, which costs £130 for the cheapest model.
Read more reviews
Another ingenious product from Sling Media, but the Slingcatcher is not without its fair share of flaws Good points Great way to get more from your Slingbox; comes with remote control handset Bad points Pricey; lacks direct PC media streaming; no wireless network support
Updating your subscription status