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Hauppauge TV Anywhere: Slingbox killer?

The Hauppauge TV Anywhere does everything the Slingbox can do and more -- plus it's £50 cheaper. But is it worth it?

Telly addicts rejoice: Hauppauge (pronounced hop-pog, apparently) has just joined the ranks of Sling Media and Sony in making a TV 'place shifting' device. Like the Slingbox and LocationFree, the Hauppauge TV Anywhere package makes it possible to watch your own home television from just about anywhere in the world.

It's not as clever as the Slingbox or the slightly inferior LocationFree. It's basically just an ordinary Hauppauge WinTV-PVR USB2 external TV tuner with Orb software pre-installed. As you may already know, Orb lets you stream the signal from your TV card (any with an MPEG-2 decoder will do) to a second Web-enabled device.

Though it's not as elegant a solution, the TV Anywhere package does some things its rivals can't. The accompanying Orb software lets you view still images, watch stored video, listen to audio and access your bookmarks at home from anywhere.

Our only gripes are that it's slightly more tedious to set up than the Slingbox or LocationFree. Plus the WinTV-PVR USB2 external tuner only lets you access analogue terrestrial TV -- which in this day and age is almost inexcusable: analogue TV won't even exist a few years from now.

It's still a good product though -- and it only costs £99, which is about £80 less than the Slingbox and £130 less than the LocationFree. The TV Anywhere package is available exclusively from PC World. -RR

Update: We now have a full review of the Hauppauge TV Anywhere live in our Reviews channel.