gadg-et-oid [gaj-it-oid]


1. having the characteristics or form of a gadget;
resembling a mechanical contrivance or device.

SlingCatcher Unboxing

Better late than never. After getting back from a month off the grid I’ve got my hands upon a SlingCatcher for review. As an avid fan of the SlingBox, and of convenience, I’ve been waiting for the SlingCatcher for the best part of a year and it’s finally here in all its black, angular glory.

Continue over the fold for arbitrarily-resized, blurry iPhone 3g photos of the unboxing process.

And here it is! In its shiny white outer box.

Which opens up to reveal a shiny black inner box.

Full of lovely goodies packaged in sealed white bags, the typical SlingMedia way.

The SlingCatcher itself is accompanied by A/V leads, the remote and the power supply/batteries. The little blue thing you see is a cap-less SanDisk memory stick, supplied with review SlingCatchers and pre-loaded with demonstration media.

Opening up all the packages reveals the disappointing lack of an HDMI cable and yet another one of those horrible composite to scart adaptors that should be purged from existence along with all scart cables and connectors.

Finally, the remote itself. Its angular style reflects that of Sling products and it’s adorned with a healthy compliment of the most used buttons.

I immediately set up the SlingCatcher. It’s disappointing in the sense that there’s no real opportunity to geek-out with the device, it’s far too simple and easy. Perhaps SlingProjector will prove a little more complicated when I get it set-up on my HTPC.

When first turned on the SlingCatcher connected to my local network and then the internet before grabbing the latest firmware and installing it. This process took about 10 minutes.

To my surprise on the USB stick of random media included for journos who, for some reason or another, can’t scratch together their own content, there was a 720p Windows Media content showcase file which played absolutely flawlessly. The picture was fluid, sharp and beautiful. Interestingly the file was named as the 1080p version, but the resolution under “info” stated it as 720p and I’m inclined to believe the latter.

Connecting to my SlingBox SOLO was also an absolute breeze. All I had to go was supply my password and I was watching Sky+ streamed over the network in moments.

So far, so good. It looks like my plan to purchase a SlingCatcher for use in the bedroom, in place of a whole media center PC, is still set to go ahead.

Friday, December 5th, 2008, Home Entertainment.