Wednesday, November 01, 2006

SlingPlayer for Mac

My favorite gadget, the Slingbox, is finally Mac-friendly! The public beta of the SlingPlayer for Mac, long and eagerly awaited, is finally available for download, and IMHO it is even better than the PC version. Worth the wait.


howard said...

I finally read -- on Amazon-- what and how this thing works. WOW! Absolutely brilliant!! I'm not exactly sure WHY I would need this, but part of me can't live without it. How (and where) do you use yours, Mike?

Michael Markowitz said...

Hey, H!

The intended use is to "place-shift"... For example, when I'm traveling I can watch my TiVo at home, which is very handy for me since access to a TiVo on the road is rare. And for people who travel to other countries it's a godsend. Can you imagine having to be out of the country for a few months and missing The Amazing Race or Lost??

I also use it locally, for a break at Starbucks, or when I have time to kill between appointments. And it's also fun to sit outside on a nice day or a cool evening and watch.

It's great to use it inside the house, too. For example, sometimes you just don't want to watch TV in the room the TV is in. Sometimes, for whatever reason, you're comfortable right where you are (like, for instance, when a cat is sleeping on your chest), so it's nice to be able to watch, say, the bedroom TV in a room with no TV. (Hard to believe, but I do have some!)

And it has one more TiVo-related great use. You can obviously use it to program your TiVo. TiVo has online scheduling, of course, but it needs some advance notice or it can't guarantee results. But when your show starts in two minutes, it's great to grab your laptop, hook up to your TiVo and set it to record. Or just check your To Do list to make sure everything is AOK.

And one more use, which is "off-label" as it were. You don't have to connect the Slingbox to a TiVo. You can connect it, obviously, to a cable box or a DVD player... or...

I have a lot of trouble with webcam programs. Some of them are too complicated to set up and maintain. So I have one Slingbox that is connected to a surveillance camera, so I can check in on a particular view of the house wherever I am.

I'm sure there are a million other uses, too. Fortunately at the Slingmedia site there's a robust forum.

I've said it before: this thing rocks. And by the way, I've heard the Hava from is great, too. I have one, but haven't had time to hook up the room it's intended for.