past days my girlfriend and I were off for some vacation which we spent in
Mallorca again. And as good as
the weather was during the day, in the night it became too cold to sit
outside and therefore we spent some good time in the evening either in the bar
or in the hotel room. Not bad at all, since
we still had some TV recordings we wanted to watch anyway.
Thankfully our favorite hotel in Mallorca has free in-room Internet and with a
downstream of roughly measured 3000 Kbps, the speed is quite decent for
streaming. At least it's good enough to watch TV from the
Slingbox at home, especially because I have an
upstream of 2048 Kbps which means the result was quite sufficient.
Furthermore, our hotel has LCD TVs which allows to connect Notebooks
and therefore I've connected my Notebook to the TV to watch the Slingbox stream on a wider screen. So far so good except one problem: If I wanted to control
my Slingbox, doesn't matter if I wanted to change the live program, the recording or
pause/continue the recording, I had to stand up from the bed which isn't convenient at all. I
thought about this problem for some time already and finally I came to the
solution which is - what else - my Windows Mobile smartphone.
As always, if I travel, I have my
Apple Airport Express router with me,
a nice little router, which
provides wireless coverage, if the hotel room has CAT5 LAN only. So the Internet
access was provided by the AirPort Express router which my Notebook connected to
as well as my Windows Mobile smartphones:
And as I said earlier, the Notebook was connected to the LCD screen to output the received SlingStream.
So far so good and a pretty common setup.
However, now it became a little bit tricky. My Slingbox is connected to two
A/V sources - the raw DVB-T antenna signal and my Windows Vista (Ultimate) Media
Center which I use for live TV as well but also as my digital video recorder (DVR).
For sure, my Windows Vista Media Center also runs
several reasons, for instance to access the MCE remotely, from my Windows Mobile
smartphone, to program recordings) and now comes the neat feature of WebGuide4:
The mobile interface also provides a remote control functionality which emulates
a Media Center remote control (see
the previous WebGuide4 review here):
took my WiFi equipped Windows Mobile Pocket PC (in this case an
O2 Xda nova since
it supports WiFi and the touchscreen can be nicely used as a remote control), connected it to the AirPort
Express as well, logged-in to my Windows Vista Media Center at home, using
WebGuide4 et voila, I was able to remote control the Media Center over the air
from the bed where I got the results back on the TV in front of the bed:
Now that's a nice combination of input and output and another example how
different utilities and technologies can and should work together. For instance
I was often asked why I use WebGuide4 in addition to my Slingbox and above you
get a real reason why both together makes real sense, if a Slingbox is connected
to a Windows Media Center PC.
And since both, the Notebook as well as the Pocket PC were connected over WiFi,
I hadn't pay a single Cent for International Data Roaming; thanks to the
Internet connected hotel.
Cheers ~ Arne