Slingbox PRO-HD review

The lack of HDMI for this Slingbox limits its usefulness, and makes it firmly a last-generation product Tested at £250.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Although useful for some people, the PRO-HD’s last-gen spec means its appeal is limited


  • +

    Access home devices from anywhere

  • +

    any internet-connected computer works

  • +

    capable HD


  • -

    No HDMI

  • -

    only one component socket

  • -

    1080i only

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    Freeview tuner is standard-def

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The Slingbox PRO-HD connects to your video devices at home and pumps the content out via Ethernet, allowing it to be viewed from any computer, whether it's in your bedroom or a coffee shop in Sydney.

There's even now an application that allows you to access your content on a smartphone. All good, but there are some drawbacks.

It's disappointing that although this is called the PRO-HD, the onboard Freeview tuner is standard-def. What's more, the maximum resolution it can handle is 1080i rather than 1080p. And you can only connect a single HD source (as well as two SD ones).

No HDMI connections
But what's really disappointing is that the only HD input is component. That's a big concern when you consider that devices such as Apple TV and Sky+ HD 1TB don't have it, and that many sources with both HDMI and component can only use one at a time, which means you'd have to downgrade from HDMI at home to incorporate the Slingbox.

Of course, if you do have a source that outputs through both simultaneously, like a standard Sky+ HD box, the Slingbox can be very useful.

There's nothing quite like being able to control and access saved telly to improve a dull business trip, and the video quality, though dependant on the monitor you're using, is generally crisp and controlled.

Unfortunately, the lack of HDMI limits its usefulness, and that's only going to get worse. That makes £250 seem pricey, especially when you have to pay £18 for the iPhone app.

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What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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