Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Why SlingPlayer and SlingBox is so popular

I have 2 SlingBoxes – one in Europe and one in Dubai, which lets me watch news and other “local” stuff wherever I am – as long as I got a reasonable internet connection. I have ORB and Media Center as well, but for watching live TV, SlingBox can’t be beaten. Of course there are some issues, but they are small.SlingBox Familly

But I started wondering why I like the Live TV on my SlingBox. And one of the things that clearly set SlingBox apart from competition – is that a channel change happens very quickly.

If you try to change channels in ORB, it takes quite a long time before you have a reaction – but on a SlingBox it is close to instant. And as most men.. I’m a zapper – moving from Channel to Channel. So I don’t really like waiting 10 seconds for the stream change to reach me, which is what happens in ORB.

So I was thinking a bit about how SlingBox makes it so instant. And their solution is very smart.

When you start watching a channel – SlingPlayer actually builds up a buffer of 7 seconds video (default), and until the buffer is full, the SlingPlayer actually slow down the program you are watching. Not so much that you notice it – but enough for the buffer to fill up to full 7 seconds. When it reaches 7 Seconds – play speed is set to 100%. Until buffer is full – it floats between 90-93% of normal speed.

Then when you change a channel – the buffer is instantly cleared – and the SlingBox sends you the new stream, first in quite bad quality – and then as the buffer fills towards 7 seconds – the quality slowly increases – and when you reach 100% buffer – your video quality is back at “best possible”SlingPlayer 2

This gives you the almost instant channel changes on SlingBox. Just try it at home if you are using a cable box. Try to change channels on the remote for the box. The channel change will take 7 seconds to show. But if you use SlingPlayer to do the channel change – it takes less than 1 sec.

This is very smart – and makes the Zapping Experience a lot more smooth – and user friendly.

So in my book – this is the reason I use SlingPlayer and not ORB for live TV.

Now we just wait for SlingPlayer 2.0, Sling Catcher and a SlingPlayer mobile client that supports my Nokia E90.


Anonymous said...

Please let me know when they make Slingcatcher for Nokia e90 - sounds good. Any other cool programs you use on your e90?

thanks, Jon

bigredozzie said...

Have they come out with the slingplayer for the e90 yet? Or HD on Macs? What other cool apps do you use on your e90?

Thanks, Jon