Boxee Adds a Video Sling
So in addition to using a Slingbox (the Solo or Pro-HD models) to place-shift TV programming to tablets, PCs and smartphones, it can also be used to sling TV programming to ... another TV.
It's a interesting move with some novel use-cases. The most obvious one is to sling programming from a traditional set-top to a Boxee box that's connected to the home network and another TV. Like any other Slingbox scenario, using it in this fashion essentially hijacks the TV connected to the regular cable box, but it does add some value to Boxee's $179 device.
This video demonstration of the Boxee-SlingPlayer set-up also gets into another, I think, more interesting scenario -- a kid goes off to college and uses his Boxee box to access his parents' video subscription via the Intertubes without having to pay for a separate video subscription or set-top box. The cash-strapped student in question would just need a decent broadband connection.
I'm drawn to this idea because it harkens back to a personal experience that's sort of similar. I recently moved away from Denver to the Philly area, so one of my last acts before the big move was to install my Slingbox on a little-used TV in my parents' house so I could watch Denver Broncos games that aren't nationally televised, which is to say, most of them.
I'd rather watch the games while kicking back on the couch, but I am perfectly happy viewing them on my laptop or iPad over a three-hour stint. The quality, though a far cry from HD, has been plenty good enough to follow the action, and it beats catching glimpses of the game on the NFL RedZone channel. And it definitely beats another option -- becoming an insufferable Eagles fan.
The Boxee implementation could give me another way to do all this, though I wonder how a Sling stream sent over the public Internet will look on a big TV screen. I'm guessing it will be a pixel-feast.
But I'm not yet in the market to buy another broadband video device to find out. For now, I'll hold out hope that Roku Inc. will come through and add a SlingPlayer app of its own because I've already got one of those boxes installed and ready to go.
It's wishful thinking, but hey, the high and mighty Tim Tebow's controlling the reins of my team's offense these days, so perhaps another prayer will be answered soon enough.
— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable