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PC Video on TV with SlingProjector

SlingCatcher Review: Ready For Prime Time?
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To watch video that’s currently on your PC on a TV screen, you don’t need a Slingbox but you do need to install the SlingProjector software , currently in beta, on a PC (running Vistaor XP) . This lets you project either your whole PC screen – up to 1024 by 768, although you’ll need a powerful PC to get a good image at above 800 by 600 – or a specific area.

The SlingProjector control is an odd circular window that can be difficult to move, but you can use function key shortcuts to pick what to project. The highlighting around the projected area on screen is also quite distracting if you’re trying select the next video to watch, and unless you choose to project the full screen, you need to make sure the SlingProjector control window isn’t on top of the video or you’ll either get a black square around it on the TV or the video window will shrink to avoid it.

You can also turn off the sound on your PC automatically while projecting - and the SlingCatcher remote can control Windows Media Player and some other media players, so you can pause without running back to the PC.

Set up SlingProjector to stop your PC being distracting while you watch TV.Set up SlingProjector to stop your PC being distracting while you watch TV.
The quality of the video you’ll see with SlingProjector is hugely dependent on the quality of the video you’re playing on your PC; with a low-quality video what you see will be slow, jerky, low-res, occasionally pixilated and probably unwatchable. But with a quality video like an official movie trailer, the video quality is excellent, even driving the SlingCatcher from an elderly 3GHz Pentium IV. The only irritation is that although SlingProjector detects even embedded video player areas reliably, the area it picks automatically often includes the controls. If the player doesn’t automatically hide these, you need to click on the edge of the highlighted area and re-size it by hand.

Once you get the controls hidden, this is an excellent way to enjoy Internet content on your TV; even a Media Center PC can’t always get rid of all player controls and other distractions and setting up the SlingCatcher is much simpler than trying to connect a PC directly to most TVs.

On Web pages, SlingProjector spots the video area but you have to clip out the controls by hand.On Web pages, SlingProjector spots the video area but you have to clip out the controls by hand.If you want to concentrate on a video, everything else on your PC is a distraction; note that SlingProjector switches off Aero glass.If you want to concentrate on a video, everything else on your PC is a distraction; note that SlingProjector switches off Aero glass.

SlingProjector preserves most of the detail from the video, even when the PC is only connected over Wi-Fi.SlingProjector preserves most of the detail from the video, even when the PC is only connected over Wi-Fi.A medium-quality movie trailer from MSN, playing on TV.A medium-quality movie trailer from MSN, playing on TV.

If a YouTube video isn’t high quality to start with, SlingCatcher can’t improve it.If a YouTube video isn’t high quality to start with, SlingCatcher can’t improve it.

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    Anonymous , December 10, 2008 10:25 AM
    I'd love a SlingCatcher but it's a bit too pricey at $300. I love my little $100 Netflix/Roku box and it seems like the SlingCatcher is a slightly more sophisticated version of it. So I'd expect the Sling to be around $150.....

    Also, if the Roku/Netflix can do *pretty* good video over WiFi, I can't see why the Sling doesn't support it -- even at a lower resolution. It makes the unit much less attractive.

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    Anonymous , December 11, 2008 6:33 PM
    I have a SlingCatcher on a bedroom TV which USED to have a subscription cable box and at home it works GREAT...and will indeed pay for itself eventually. I travel alot though and my original intent was to take it on the road. One thing people seem to forget (Sling included) is that you almost always have to click through an I-WILL-NOT-ABUSE-YOUR-NETWORK agreement on hotel networks before being allowed to access the internet. The SlingCatcher gives you no way of doing this so there's no way to get a useable IP address assigned to it from most hotels. Mini-browser please! :D 
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