SlingCatcher Now Shipping?

SlingCatcher pre-orders began about a month ago, and it looks like units may have started shipping – prior to any sort of official announcement. Given my former Sling association, I’ve had a Catcher in my living room nearly a year. And I’m just waiting for clearance to provide more photos and details. Though I can probably begin answering questions in the comments… (via Engadget)

15 thoughts on “SlingCatcher Now Shipping?”

  1. I have a few…

    1. How is the remote lag(same as slings PC software, better, worse?)

    2. If streaming HD content(on a PRO box, so basically just widescreen) to a Sling Catcher hooked up to an SD tv, will it add black bars?

    3. There is no way to use it with Wi-Fi yet is there? Only can do Eth over powerline or direct ?

  2. Ben,
    1. I haven’t computed the lag when controlling a Slingbox – it’s there, but I don’t find it unreasonable. Being on the LAN helps. Of course it could always be faster.
    2. Right now, PRO-HD to Catcher streaming is limited to 640×480. HD streaming was there before, but I guess they’re working out some kinks. Hopefully 720p will be here shortly after launch and I know 1080i is in the works. To address the fundamental question – there are several display modes to choose from.
    3. The Catcher doesn’t have integrated WiFi and Sling isn’t providing an accessory at this time. Though I’ve used a Buffalo wireless bridge in the past and currently swap between an ASUS wireless bridge or SlingLink powerline solutions.

    Sandy, the guy who posted the pictures didn’t say. Which is why I put a question mark in the title. The pics are obviously real – how and where he got the device hasn’t been disclosed though…

  3. I’m most interested in the computer to TV experience. I assume they’ve made it relatively easy to access a certain number of sites, like and, but what about abc or cbs or wb or … can you clarify which sites are explicitly supported so that you can easily access and view them without having to go near your computer?

  4. Glenn, the SlingProjector software is somewhat manual and managed on the computer. Via PC, visit the site you want and select the entire screen, the entire browser, or the video window to stream to the Catcher (along with audio of course). Basically, anything you can view on your PC you can stream. I assume there could be some sites that do or will interfere with this method, but I haven’t hit any yet. ZvBox has a more elegant solution with a two-way remote and custom ‘dashboard’ software interface. Though SlingCatcher will eventually tap directly into for some web video, perhaps partially taking the PC out of the mix.

  5. Does the SlingProjector software do screenscraping or does it do something smarter? Is there any tearing? Are there dropped frames?

    Since it seems it’s content agnostic, I guess that means you wouldn’t be able to do random seeking in Hulu or YouTube videos. Does the SlingCatcher keep a buffer for rewind/instant-replay functionality?

  6. James, haven’t downloaded the Projector software in awhile so I can’t comment on quality at the moment. (Hoping to find some time tomorrow.) I remember it being decent, thought obviously YouTube resolution isn’t going to get any better. Regarding technique, yes it’s essentially screen scraping and I’m not aware of it being buffered for transport controls. Again, Zv handles this better with a dashboard and 2-way remote but the Catcher will ultimately receive a variety of web video direct from

  7. So it only supports screen-scraping? It won’t play arbitrary video directly from my desktop over the network like a popcornhour or XBMC? Oh well.

  8. Rodalpho, the ‘SlingProjector’ software only supports screenscraping. However you can dump tons of arbitrary files on an external hard drive or thumb drive (or use SlingSync transfer software when released) attached to the SlingCatcher. There’s a list of supported file formats at the bottom of this web page

  9. Yes, but that’s not really thrilling. I want to stream from my desktop over SMB like XBMC. Unfortunate.

    I’m looking forward to seeing everybody’s reviews on thursday, anyway.

  10. Rodalpho, I agree and have always pushed for some sort of NAS or desktop streaming. I know they’ve got tons of plans for this platform, and hope this will be one of the post-launch priorities.

  11. I’ll wait for reviews to come in. What I’d like to see most is:
    1) NAS/network streaming – heard it’s eventually coming.
    2) proper (i.e. without running back to PC) interface for web video sites. Is it askingtoo much to have all content accessible through one site instead of being fragmented? :(

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