My Slingbox Died, And It Wasn

Warning! I’m getting my “geek” on in this post! This is mainly to vent, as well as for search engines to index so that people who ended up in the same boat as I did know what is going on. Yeah, I’m that pissed!

A few years ago (maybe circa 2007?) John got me a Slingbox for Christmas. Now this isn’t something dirty! You connect it to your cable or tivo and then to your internet and it lets you watch TV on any computer/laptop wherever you are. Neat I know.

Well I went to use it yesterday to watch “Big Brother After Dark” on my Mac, which I tivo’d the night before. I had been ignoring a message to update my player software for awhile and finally did it. Then I was told I needed to update the firmware for the player for this software to run. That basically killed my Slingbox. My remote control in the software was useless, all I could do was watch whatever was on TV, not control it (making it pointless if you are away from home obviously). Well upon trying to reset the whole thing up, it told me “This Slingbox was not manufactured for use in the USA” or some nonesense like that.

It only took a quick google to find posts on forums all over that I was not alone in this. Tons of people had their Slingboxes killed by the required software/firmware upgrade. Worse yet, many of us are over our one year warranty. I was told by support that I could pay 30 dollars to talk to a technician about this issue. Again from googling I found out I would most likely be offered a 99$ refurbishment to my Slingbox to fix this issue.

Now $99+$30 is $129 bucks. A brand new Slingplayer is about $179, though $299 for the Pro-HD version they’ve released since mine was introduced. (Post Note: I had the old Slingbox Pro, which you had to add an HD attachment too, so I’d have to shell out 299 to replace what I lost) Hmmm, pay all this money to get mine fixed . . . buy a new one . . . buy a Hava Titanium HD which you can get right now at for 87 dollars with free shipping?

Sorry Slingmedia, but you screwed up and are screwing your customers. Had I broken my Slingbox, or had it just gone kaput on its own is one thing. To have it rendered useless by your software and firmware upgrade which I was nagged and then forced to do is another thing (firmware was not optional once you downloaded their new software). To make matters worse, they do not provide anyway to download older firmware and software to replace it to working order. You killed my box, you should have to pay for it. If you don’t want to fix it free of charge, I’m moving on. I ordered the Hava player and it should be here shortly. The only downside is they have yet to implement Mac support, though they claim it is coming, along with iPhone app. The pros are that it’s not only HD, but a PVR! I can record video not only to my PC, but there are USB attachments you can attach a portable hard drive to and record right to it! SWEET! I am hoping I can stick a memory stick in it and use it instead.

If you got here from googling the problem I had . . . hate to tell you that you are SOL. Maybe one day Sling will offer a fix to the many customers they screwed, but not right now it seems.

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