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CNET First Look
Sling Media SlingCatcherIn addition to delivering solid sonics, the Zvox Z-Base 550 sets itself apart from competing single-speaker units with the unique capability to double as a stand for your TV.
>> John Falcone: I'm John Falcone from CNET.com, and we're taking an in-depth look at the Sling Media Slingcatcher. ^M00:00:05 [music] ^M00:00:13 >> John Falcone: Unlike most digital media adapters, the Slingcatcher has three distinct ways it can deliver digital video to your TV. The first is via a hard driver. Use the included Sling Sync software to convert and copy your digital videos to a USB hard drive or flash drive, and then you can watch them on your big screen TV. That includes a wide variety of media formats including ripped DVD's. The future firmware update will also allow you to access files on a network-attached storage drive without the need to plug in a USB drive. The second thing the Slingcatcher can do is access video from a Sling Box. The Sling Box can be attached to a DVR, cable, or satellite box, anywhere in the world. Accessing a remote Sling Box of enet [phonetic] will generally result in choppy YouTube-styled video. However, accessing a Sling Box located elsewhere in your home can deliver a superb picture that's nearly indistinguishable from the original HD programming. You can even use the Slingcatcher remote to change the channel and control the DVR. That means that you can begin watching a movie in the living room, then move to a Slingcatcher-equipped bedroom to finish viewing it remotely. The third and most intriguing feature of the Slingcatcher uses screen scraping technology to mirror anything on your PC screen over to your TV. That means you can go to any video website, things like Hulu, TV.com, and ABC.com, and watch those videos on your TV. Just use the included Sling Projector software to select which portion of your computer screen you want to send to your TV. The Sling Projector can also send anything else. Things like PowerPoint slides, photos, or whatever else you got. While it's got all the AV outputs we'd expect including HDMI, there's no built-in WiFi so you're limited to wired network connections. The Sling Sync and Sling Projector software is currently windows only. So the [inaudible] isn't fully useful for Mac users. And unlike the Rocu [phonetic] digital video player, there's currently no third-party video on demand support from providers like Amazon or Netflix on the box itself. You can access them, but you'll need to fall back on the Sling Project method. Still, the Slingcatcher does deliver a unique approach to getting digital video on your TV. We're hoping for additional improvements via firmware updates, but now the price has been cut to $200, the Slingcatcher is a good option for fans of online video. I'm John Falcone for CNET, and this is the Sling Media Slingcatcher. [ Music ] ^M00:02:46