SlingMedia has new wireless competition

I love my Sling Media box. It lets me watch my TV anywhere in the world. So, when Monsoon Multimedia’s Mark Rouchonik, director of IT, called me up and said that I had to see their new HAVA box.

So, I’m sitting here with Mark and Colin Stiles and this thing is very cool.

First, unlike Sling, it doesn’t need to be hooked directly up to your access point via Ethernet. You just need an 802.11g wireless network.

Second, if you’re on your home network the quality is a lot better than my Sling is. A large percentage of the time I’m using Sling I’m just sitting on the couch watching something different than Maryam is watching (hey, sometimes we don’t agree on the shows that we should watch. For instance, I can watch football while she watches old versions of Lost).

Third, it plugs into Microsoft’s Media Center. Which really rocks. Basically it fakes a tuner to Media Center (a large percentage of Media Center machines sold don’t have any tuners, if they have a HAVA box it will extend TV into those machines anywhere in the home that wifi reaches). I’m going to use this on my new Media Center that’ll be in my office upstairs while my satellite TV tuners will be downstairs.

Cost? $249 (there’s a $50 rebate right now until the end of the month). Only available on the Web right now, in retail in US in September, elsewhere around the world like Asia and Europe by the end of the year.

You hook your settop box (TV system) or, really, any video source like a DVD player, into the back. As long as you have an 802.11g network (must be “G”, not just the older “B”) it’ll work fine. You load some software on each client to view the video. Windows only today, but they are working on Macintosh versions. They are also working on mobile versions for Windows Mobile and Symbian (due around September).

Anyway, very cool device. I’m going to get one to compare more fully to my SlingMedia box, but the comparisons I’m seeing here look pretty damn good!

37 thoughts on “SlingMedia has new wireless competition

  1. Wrong !!!! – Monkeyleader, it’s only soccer in the arogant USA where they’ve been trying to reinvent the wheel for eons after the rest of the world already has it, presumably based on the theory: if it’s not made in America, it’s no good. No matter what you call it …. football, futsbal, etc., but please not soccer, it’s the number one game/sport in the world (as we know it), also one of the oldest, and it involves a ball which is played with the feet.

  2. Wrong !!!! – Monkeyleader, it’s only soccer in the arogant USA where they’ve been trying to reinvent the wheel for eons after the rest of the world already has it, presumably based on the theory: if it’s not made in America, it’s no good. No matter what you call it …. football, futsbal, etc., but please not soccer, it’s the number one game/sport in the world (as we know it), also one of the oldest, and it involves a ball which is played with the feet.

  3. Loving my sling box – I travel all the time and this just makes those long nights in the hotel a whole lot more enjoyable. I find around 256k is fine for decent quality, even for football games (err thats soccer right :)

    I also run the Sling recorder which lets me record stuff to my laptop which is kinda cool – it means I can record some stuff to my laptop for viewing when offline – for example on the plane on the way home.

    I just wish the mobile version was available in Europe – i loved watching it on my XDA !

  4. Loving my sling box – I travel all the time and this just makes those long nights in the hotel a whole lot more enjoyable. I find around 256k is fine for decent quality, even for football games (err thats soccer right :)

    I also run the Sling recorder which lets me record stuff to my laptop which is kinda cool – it means I can record some stuff to my laptop for viewing when offline – for example on the plane on the way home.

    I just wish the mobile version was available in Europe – i loved watching it on my XDA !

  5. Ed: I’d expect the Sling to be better because its software is more mature. Also, Sling has its mobile client out while HAVA is still working on it.

    But, it’ll be interesting to try and I’ll report back after I get mine.

  6. Ed: I’d expect the Sling to be better because its software is more mature. Also, Sling has its mobile client out while HAVA is still working on it.

    But, it’ll be interesting to try and I’ll report back after I get mine.

  7. I noticed an improvement with my Slingbox after they did an update in the last few weeks. It really made it better over the wire on a home network, and it also improved over wireless when viewing on my Cingular 8125 phone. I think part of the problem is processor limits on the phone when displaying video and using wireless, etc. I’m not sure, but that would seem like a logical bottleneck there.

  8. I noticed an improvement with my Slingbox after they did an update in the last few weeks. It really made it better over the wire on a home network, and it also improved over wireless when viewing on my Cingular 8125 phone. I think part of the problem is processor limits on the phone when displaying video and using wireless, etc. I’m not sure, but that would seem like a logical bottleneck there.

  9. Looks like a nice alternative to SLING. A big ‘thanks’ for making it compatible with Windows MCE. Although, at $250 one has to ask is HAVA going to be compatible with the Windows Vista MCE edition? Vista is slatted to be released (hopefully) sometime in the next year, this little tidbit of future functionality is important to me and probably other users here.

    In the HAVA forum someone mentioned it will be Vista capable, but I think this needs to be on the front page not tucked away … it looks like that might be the way they’re going.

  10. Looks like a nice alternative to SLING. A big ‘thanks’ for making it compatible with Windows MCE. Although, at $250 one has to ask is HAVA going to be compatible with the Windows Vista MCE edition? Vista is slatted to be released (hopefully) sometime in the next year, this little tidbit of future functionality is important to me and probably other users here.

    In the HAVA forum someone mentioned it will be Vista capable, but I think this needs to be on the front page not tucked away … it looks like that might be the way they’re going.

  11. This infomerical sponsored by…

    Still looks way way nice…but only MPEG2? Will do other codecs?

  12. This infomerical sponsored by…

    Still looks way way nice…but only MPEG2? Will do other codecs?

  13. This looks like exactly what I was looking for, almost. In particular this is cited as a feature: “Store, record and burn TV content onto DVDs using HAVA, enabling the PC to operate as a Personal Video Recorder.”

    Now if only it worked on Windows _and_ OS X, I’d buy it.

  14. This looks like exactly what I was looking for, almost. In particular this is cited as a feature: “Store, record and burn TV content onto DVDs using HAVA, enabling the PC to operate as a Personal Video Recorder.”

    Now if only it worked on Windows _and_ OS X, I’d buy it.

Comments are closed.