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SlingCatcher Review: Ready For Prime Time?

Move Any Video To Any TV?

The big-screen TV. The comfy couch. The surround sound. The universal remote control. The set-top box, Blu-ray player, PVR and even the TV aerial cable. There are plenty of reasons why you sit in front of your TV to watch your favorite programming. But suppose you want to finish watching the late-night movie on the TV in your bedroom, or the den – or your hotel room? Sling Media’s Slingbox is a great way to take anything you can see on your TV and watch it on a PC, or even a mobile phone, but that’s not always what you want. The long-awaited SlingCatcher is the next logical step: it lets you watch what you’d normally see on one TV - on another TV screen.

You need a Slingbox (at least $180) as well as a SlingCatcher ($300) to move video from one TV to another, without using a PC at any point. Alternatively, the SlingCatcher can also serve the function of putting content from your PC onto the TV screen – over a network or from a USB drive. You can ‘project’ the whole screen (handy for doing presentations in a boardroom that has a TV but no projector) , or pick an area to show, so you can see a YouTube video without all the clutter on the Web page around it, or get rid of the QuickTime frame around a movie trailer. You can sit on the couch with your notebook on your lap and show your photos on the TV full screen but still have the forward and back buttons showing on your PC so it’s easy to use the controls.

SlingCatcher takes anything you can see on one TV and plays it on another.

SlingCatcher takes anything you can see on one TV and plays it on another.

For some people, this may sound like the ideal way to distribute video around your home (or even to a friend’s house) , without paying double for a second set-top box and subscription that you’ll only use occasionally. But while the Slingbox produces an image that looks good in a window on your PC, is it up to full-screen video on another (perhaps HD) TV?   Is the SlingCatcher a combination of the best features for moving video between devices or yet another quirky digital media adapter?