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


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

Long Awaited SlingCatcher Update Arrives

I’ve been hanging on to the SlingCatcher for the past few months with a view to quickly jumping on an anticipated firmware release which may or may not have incorporated new functionality. The good news is that the latest release, which I earnestly updated the Catcher to last night, includes new functionality.

The bad news is that this new functionality is decidedly thin on the ground compared to the wealth of things users have been clamouring for and, in terms of the long-awaited NAS streaming support, is very poorly implemented.

SlingBox Pro-HD owners will be pleased to know that the Catcher now supports their hardware and offers high definition video streaming.

As for those who’ve been awaiting network streaming, be warned that the SlingCatcher will not only not automatically detect your network shares but also absolutely requires write access in order to function. Wowser! This means that, at the very least, you will have to secure your NAS with a password and laboriously type in the UNC network path, username and password in order to get connected. Fortunately you only have to do this once for each share.

On the bright side its comforting to see any new firmware at all come out of the doors of Sling, it will surely make users feel like at least some of their cries are being heard. However, the Catcher is still laced with bizarre issues which I’ve experienced by, literally, using the device every single day. One of the things I have a habit of doing, to avoid the god-awful power off/on menu, is leaving the SlingCatcher powered on 24/7. It doesn’t like this at all. After a couple of days constant up-time, without a trip to standby playback will start stuttering and seemingly random reboots will occur. Of course, said random reboots have a habit of fixing the stuttering, as does quickly powering on or off the Catcher via the remote. Occasionally, though, I do have to unplug it. It remains to be seen if this new firmware makes a difference, but thus far it’s looking like strictly a feature release. Either that, or the release notes are still somewhat lacking in detail.

Friday, March 20th, 2009, News.