How Do I Access My Satellite TV Service When I'm Away From Home?by Tim Plaehn
You have several options to view your satellite TV signal away from home. After you have a system set up with your satellite TV feed and a connection to the Internet, you can access your satellite from any computer with high-speed Internet access. Select the option that best meets your requirements or technical knowledge.
The best known option for watching your TV anywhere is Slingbox. Slingbox is a hardware device that connects your satellite TV box to your Internet network or modem. The Slingbox software can then be installed on any computer and the Slingbox will stream live TV from the satellite box to the computer. After it is installed, the software allows you to control all of the functions of your satellite TV box from the computer, including changing channels and accessing a DVR. The Slingbox works with Windows and Mac computers. Special software is also available for many mobile devices, such as PDAs and cell phones. The biggest drawback to the Slingbox system is the requirement to hardwire the Slingbox to the satellite box and the Internet modem. Slingbox models start at about $180 (as of 2010) and there are no ongoing subscription fees.
Monsoon Multimedia Hava
The Hava line of TV shifters from Monsoon Multimedia is a direct competitor to the products from Slingbox. Hava takes a big step ahead of Slingbox by offering models with wireless connectivity. Another feature of the Hava is the capability to watch TV content on several computers at the same time. According to an article from MaximumPC, the Hava is behind the Slingbox in ease of set up and lack of support for handheld video devices. The HD Wireless Hava is also priced at about $180.
Orb is a free software and Internet service system that allows media streaming to any device connected to the Internet. The MyTV service allows you to connect your satellite TV box to a computer which then allows the TV signal to be accessed by other computers or handheld devices. To allow Orb to stream satellite television, a TV tuner card needs to be installed on the host PC. Using Orb also requires the connected computer to be running all of the time. The Orb TV sharing setup may be best for someone with a TV card already installed in a computer and who wants to share other media, such as music and video files, from the computer hard drive.