By now I’m sure you have heard about the Slingbox 500. It’s a neat gadget that goes about $300 USD (mostly under that) and it lets you do some pretty cool things like watch live television from your cable box (yes even HBO stuff like True Blood and Game of Thrones) on your phone or tablet while you are out of the house. Outside of this purpose it does a few more gimmicky things like show some pictures from your phone (jump through a few setup hoops first) but nothing worth mentioning.
The key thing here is two fold: 1) You can watch live tv which is a big deal. I can already stream my entire 2500 movie collection to my truck’s radio now when I’m on the road anyone else (myself excluded of course) can watch that content with Playon. That said, what I can’t do is watch live television. Sometimes that’s what I want to do. I’ll be in a doctor’s office waiting forever, or waiting for my wife to get out of an appointment, or maybe I’m just on the train to Chicago. Whatever it is, I sometimes (more often than not) would rather watch live TV. [pullquote align="right"]For the love of God run out and get him one and show him you are sorry for putting him through all the crap you did when you were a teenager and thought he was a moron![/pullquote]So that’s what the Slingbox 500 does, and it does it well. 2) The second part is the most important part. There is no ongoing monthly fee. I can’t tell you how sick of monthly little service fees. “It’s just 7 bucks”, “it’s just 3 bucks”… that stuff adds up and it’s annoying as heck to remember all of it without putting it on an automated billing plan and then you are locked in because you will likely forget about the fact that you are paying for it long after you stopped using the service. No… I like to keep my buying bead on things that don’t have a monthly fee associated with them, and the Slingbox 500 is one of those cool gadgets that give you a lot for a little.
Yes, $260-$300 is a lot of money to simply watch television where-ever you are. But if you factor in that cost is really the total cost of ownership it now becomes an issue of a one time payment to have a luxury/treat yourself. That’s where the father’s day thing comes into play. This is an excellent Father’s Day gift idea because it is _just_ the kind of luxury that your dad might not be willing to splurge on but really wants.
I’d give the Slingbox 500 4 out of 5 stars. It’s a good solid piece of gadgetry and a worthy addition to anyone’s life style.