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Published 05-15-11
Have you ever been traveling on the road and stopped at a hotel or motel to spend the night and wished you could watch something on your home DVR or cable TV rather than watching whatever the motel was serving up at that particular time? You spend 20 minutes just trying to find your favorite channels only to discover your favorite programming is already over! Or you are trying hard to get settled in before the Mavericks playoff starts only to discover the motel you selected does not even broadcast TNT!!
If you are a traveling salesman, how nice would it be to get comfortable in your motel bed and set your laptop on the bedside table and watch anything you would normally watch while you are at home?
Do you have a "child" in college who wants to have access to cable TV in his or her dorm but its not possible? Or its just too expensive?
Do you find yourself sitting in airports or other waiting areas trying to kill time and wishing you could do more than just log onto Facebook on your smart phone or laptop to pass the time? Would you like to be able to watch anything you normally view on you home cable box while you wait?
There is a relatively inexpensive device that makes this all possible. The Slingbox (click here for picture) is a device that connects to both your input device (DVR, cable box, Uverse box, etc.) and your local network to transmit the audio and video signals over the internet to your computer or smartphone, where ever you are! And you will see an on-screen remote that looks exactly like the one on your coffee table at home so you can play recorded programs, fast forward, pause, change channels, etc., just like you do at home! And the volume on both your laptop and your smartphone will be sufficient so you won't be forced to use headphones.
Once you purchase the hardware, which costs approximately $160 at the time this article was published (May 2011), connect it to your home system and configure it, you only need to create an account and then log onto to control your home cable TV box or DVR as if you were at home!! And you can purchase an app that will enable you to view your home TV on your iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, etc., but only over a WiFi connection (3G is not supported). Click here for more information. Keep in mind, you must use the virtual remote control to use the Slingbox on your mobile device and the small size of the smartphone makes this very difficult. The remote is much easier to use on a tablet such as the iPad or on a laptop or netbook.
If you purchase the device and are told you can configure it yourself in about 30 minutes, don't believe it! It took me about 2 hours to get it working! There is no phone number anywhere I could find for tech support, so I had to work through each network issue on my own. Having done that, I can probably get your system installed and working in an hour or less unless you have other problems with your network.
The Slingbox Solo is the least expensive model and will allow you to connect a single device to the internet for viewing. If you wish to connect additional devices such as a VCR, security cameras, etc. you will need the Slingbox Pro which costs approximately $100 more than the Solo.
The device is available at many local retailers, including Best Buy, Frys, Walmart, etc.
Please contact me by sending an email or calling the number below if you have questions or need assistance.

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2011 K.I.T.