Apple TV: Still a $300 Boat Anchor

 

Yet another reason that Apple's handicapped Apple TV box is an expensive boat anchor (okay, an anchor for a rubber raft, maybe): Sling Media has just released its place-shifting software for the Mac.

For those unfamiliar with Sling Media's Slingbox and accompanying software, the Slingbox attaches to your home TV and cable/satellite box. You install the software on your computer and then via any high-speed Internet connection you can control your home television–no matter where you are–and watch programs beamed from your living room over the Net on your computer.

The typical scenario involves being stuck in a hotel room halfway around the world. You're desperate to see the Yankees game (yeah, yeah, or Red Sox game), but it's not on TV in Tokyo. So you plug your laptop into the Internet, log onto your Slingbox (which is sitting at your home in New York), and start watching the game on your laptop screen. Now Mac users can perform the same trick with Sling's latest software release

Oddly, Sling is pitching the new software release as complimentary to Apple TV, but with the software and a laptop, why bother with Apple's crippled media adapter? True, you can control an Apple TV box remotely using the Slingbox and Sling software…but you can't download anything to the Apple TV remotely and you can't use the Apple device as a digital video recorder (DVR).

My advice is to stick with a cable box DVR or Tivo and add a Slingbox.

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About jquain

Technology reporter, writer, and television correspondent, JQ has been covering the computer, communications, and consumer electronics industries for more than 25 years.A contributor to The New York Times, Popular Mechanics, PC Magazine, U.S. News & World Report and many other publications, JQ appears on CBS News television program Up to the Minute and on Fox Business.
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