Slingbox performs brilliantly on the other side of the world

Posted on by Mike Evans

My current visit to Australia has provided a hard testing ground for the Slingbox Pro that I installed at MacOldie Towers in London a couple of months ago. It has performed brilliantly, enabling me to watch British television while in Sydney and Melbourne although, admittedly, the 11-hour time warp doesn't help. All the good evening programmes are breakfast fodder in Oz.  More useful, though, has been the ability to control my video recorder. I can remotely set up recording schedules, watch pre-recorded programmes and do general housekeeping, such as deleting watched stuff. The commands have a very small time-lag, so you need to take care to wait for the action, but the level of control is excellent.

Picture quality has varied, but I have had very presentable results using the Vodafone Australia 3G card in my MiFi personal network. The picture is never unwatchable, but quality is compromised when bandwidth is low. This is deliberate and is more sensible than good-quality but jerky performance. Sometimes, the results over the cellular network have been better than on hotel or cafe wifi, which is very encouraging. Last year I was paying £7 a month for a proxy server which allowed me to log on to, say, BBC iPlayer while abroad. But there is limited choice of shows and the performance is not always good. Now, having invested £150 in the Slingbox Pro, I have free service for the future. This is an excellent product and is reliable and completely troublefree as far as I have been able to tell. 

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