One of the final things I did in NJ before I moved to Atlanta three years ago was install a Slingbox in my parents house. It is one of the best investments I have ever made.
I have never used NHL Game Center but I did subscribe to MLB.tv last year so this comparison is based on that...
- I just have an SD Slingbox and the PQ on MLB.tv was superior. Not that Slingbox PQ was awful but MLB.tv was better
- You need strong upload speed from the source. My parents have FiOS so that's not a problem but as the upload speed goes down the PQ degrades quickly.
- No built in wireless. So you either need to be able to connect it to your host network via ethernet or invest in a wireless-ethernet bridge.
- The clients for iOS and Android cost $30. That seems like a ripoff to me. That said there are uhhh ways to get around the fee but I know nothing about it.
- Their Mac client is garbage. When I first moved here I used a Mini as an HTPC. It was brutal. I have not tried in over a year so it may have improved.
The advantages are clear. No blackouts. Pre and Post game shows. Access to channels you may not get on your current cable/sat system (oh, hello NFL Redzone channel...)
You also might want to take a look at Hava. Their boxes are better in low upload speed situations, their mobile clients are cheaper and they have additional features (Built in wireless, DVR, connections to Windows Media Center, etc) that you may find compelling.
Sure you could save cash by using only web streams. But they are hit and miss and leagues are cracking down more and more.
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