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CNET First Look
Slingbox 350 and Slingbox 500 stream your TV signal anywhereThe latest Slingbox models offer full HD streaming of your home TV services to a wide variety of devices. The Slingbox 500 adds Wi-Fi, HDMI, and additional media tricks as well.
I'm David Carnoy, Executive Editor for CNET.com and I'm here with the two new Slingbox models. There's the Slingbox 500, which lists for $300 and the Slingbox 350 which lists for $179. They look very different. The Slingbox 350 looks like it could almost be related to the Jawbone JAMBOX, while the 500 has kind of this little wave design. In case you don't know what Slingbox does, it allows you to stream video from a video source such as a cable box or a satellite box or any video source and stream that remotely to a tablet, smartphone, laptop. Of course, how well the stream depends on your internet connection at the source, as well as where you're streaming from but these do work very well as long as you have a decent internet connection. These do stream 1080p signals. The major difference between the two boxes is that the higher end 500 has built-in WiFi. It also has an HDMI pass report that allows you to connect this to your cable or satellite box via HDMI wherein the problems of those boxes often output a signal that is copy protected, which prevents you from actually seeing the video. So Slingbox recommends that you also connect this via component video because the 500 does have that HDMI out and can do the sling projector, it does come with a remote that allows you to control that feature and it control on-screen menus. Both these boxes have built in IR blasters. So if you set them on top of your cable box, they should change the channels remotely. So, the big question is which box should you get and is it worth it to stop up to the 500 model? I would say, for some people, it won't be, we are recommending 300, does everything that the fiber does. However, the one scenario where I think it'd be very important to step up to the fiber is if you do need that WiFi connection. One other small thing worth mentioning, there is a USB port on the back of both of these devices, for the moment anyway, Slingbox hasn't said what that USB port is gonna be used for, but it is reserved for future features, enclosing-- we've been big fans of Slingbox since the beginning and both these boxes taken up a notch particularly with the built-in WiFi on the sling box 500. They're both good devices and they both worked well in our test. Those are the Slingbox 500 and the Slingbox 350. I'm David Carnoy. Thanks for watching.