It started in the 1970’s with the cool electronics invention of the VCR - where you could record your favorite TV programs and play them back when you wanted to watch.

That led to TiVo and Replay TV which replaced tape media with a hard drive so you could record and do tricks like replay, slo-mo, etc., to increase your viewing pleasure. More cool electronics.
But, you were still tied to your TV set. Now there is a move to change all that.

Slingbox Personal Broadcaster is a new cool electronics - a little silver box that sits with your TV and cable or satellite box - and streams it’s programming in real time to your personal PC - wherever you are - even China.

You can tune in to your home system as long as you have mounted the SlingPlayer viewing software on your PC, and have access to a broadband Internet connection and watch home programs, your DVR’s, anywhere in the world.

Now that's pretty cool electronics.

One other requirement is that your computer be running Windows XP or Windows 2000 (boo hiss hiss).

The physical setup is pretty easy - you simply hook the video source of your system (cable box, satellite box, DVR, and the like) to the Slingbox through composite, S-Video, or RF cable inputs; place the IR blaster; and then connect the device to your home network's router with an Ethernet cable, and off you go. There is no major re-wiring.

The next step is to install the viewing software on a PC, which is wizard controlled and should only take a few minutes (at least that’s what they say - I haven’t had luck with any MS product that was very easy).

Once you are up and installed you get a window that is similar to Quicktime or Windows Media Player with channel changing controls.

If you have hooked up to a DVR or even a DVD recorder, you also get controls for pause, rewind, fast-forward, etc.

The picture isn’t HDTV (yet), and it is limited by the band width of your connection, but you can see most of the picture. Some of the fine print may be missed - but who watches commercials anyway?

Some of the advantages of the Slingbox:

  •   Relatively affordable price ($249 list)

  •   Easy install

  •   high compatibility

  •    and you don’t have to have a source PC

  •    No subscription fees or additional service fees

    So hook up and enjoy your home TV - whether you are in your bedroom, across town, or sitting in the airport in London - as long as you have access to a broadband Internet connection - wi-fi okay.

    Slingbox is available at many national retailers - and you can purchase online at: