Set-top boxes have a really hard time. A lot of people will have Sky or Virgin. Most TVs now come with Freeview included. So why do you need a set-top box? Echostar pioneered the hard drive recording technology which we have come to love and use everyday as used in products like Sky+. Echostar and Freesat have worked on creating a product which differentiates itself and provides unique features.
People are becoming more mobile and want more things on the go. The ability to watch TV anywhere on any device is the heart of the Echostar SlingLoaded HDS-600RS. Essentially, it is a Freesat+ HD digital television recorder giving you the choice to watch stored programmes on your iPad, PC, Mac or mobile device. Yes, it is compatible with the iPhone and android devices. Have you ever visited a friend’s house and wanted to show them an episode from your favourite show which have you recorded but it is on your set-top box at home? Or maybe you are overseas and you do not want to miss your must-see show? Eastenders anyone? Well plug in your iPad and voila! The connects to the SlingLoaded HDS-600RS at home and using the App you can control the settop box as if you are on sofa. The App acts like a remote with all the functions you would expect.
Space will not be issue as it has a huge 500GB hard drive to store all the TV and movies you want, up to 100 hours in HD. BBC iPlayer comes with the box on launch. ITV Player and 4onDemand are due to follow suit soon so catch-up will be easy. The box is easy to setup as you connect to your TV and broadband and create a Sling account and you can watch TV anywhere you like in HD. I remember when I first watched SD TV after getting my HDTV. The difference was shocking and I could not believe how much I was missing out! So I find it imperative that this upscales SD TV services. Aesthetically, it has touch controls which are easy to use. It has a sleek look and will suit any living space. It has all the features of a set-top box including TV Guide and 150 channels.
Now here’s the bad news. It costs £349.99 for the box. Viewing on PC, Mac is free. If you wish to watch TV on your iPad, the App costs £19.99. I know! For £349.99 why on earth are you paying for the App? We agree. The App should be free. But apparently it down to the costs of developing the App. There are plenty of cheap set-top boxes but the ability to watch TV anywhere is unique and very convenient. Would I pay £300 extra for the privilege, no. If you like the sound of SlingLoaded, you can preorder it now on Amazon and it will be available on 1st April.