Slingbox devices have become quite popular, for good reasons. With a Slingbox unit, you can broadcast your TV channels through the Internet so that you can watch them from any device whenever and wherever you want. In this article, we will discuss the comparison between Slingbox 350 vs 500, two models that look quite similar yet with several distinctive features.
Continue reading below to learn more about:
– The maximum video quality of each model
– The connectivity options of Slingbox 350 vs 500
– The distinctive features and capabilities of each model
– The desktop and mobile apps that work with these devices
– The design and dimensions of each model
– Which model that is generally more recommended
Maximum Video Quality
First of all, although these two models do support Full HD content, their maximum input frame rates differ. They can work just fine with most televisions. The difference becomes important when you want to use a content source whose frame rate is higher than the standard frame rate used in most television channels. See also: Slingbox M2 vs 500.
Slingbox 350 supports a maximum input resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels (Full HD) at 30 fps. Since most televisions and channels work between 24 fps and 25 fps, it is fine.Slingbox 350 is already able to work with most sources. In addition, Slingbox 350 also supports the 1920 x 1080 interlaced resolution at 60 fps, but this setting generally has lower sharpness and detail than the real Full HD.
On the other hand, Slingbox 500 supports a maximum input resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels (Full HD) at 60 fps. So, this device can work with various sources and content types. The higher frame rate will allow visually smoother movements.
Both models have the same maximum output resolution, which is 1920 x 1080 pixels (Full HD) at 30 fps. Slingbox 350 supports an additional output option which is 1920 x 1080 interlaced resolution at 60 fps. Meanwhile, Slingbox 500 only has the Full HD output option.
One of the main differences between Slingbox 350 vs 500 is the connectivity options. They have standard audio and video ports that allow them to connect with your television. They each also have an Ethernet port to connect to your modem for Internet access.
However, Slingbox 350 is very basic in terms of connectivity. Those are the only available ports. It does not have Wi-Fi, so you can’t connect it wirelessly to your home network. There is a USB port on the rear, right beside the Ethernet port, but this USB port is currently only useful for charging a mobile device.
Meanwhile, Slingbox 500 comes with robust connectivity. In addition to the standard audio and video ports, it also has an HDMI port which allows you to connect the unit to your television easily and enables the on-screen user interface. It comes with built-in Wi-Fi, so you can connect it wirelessly to you home network. Last but not least, it comes with a USB 2.0 port for an external storage device where you can store recorded films and TV shows.
There are several features that set Slingbox 350 vs 500 apart. You can say that Slingbox 350 is the most basic version of the device that gives you the core functionality, whereas Slingbox 500 is loaded with some additional capabilities.
Slingbox 350 does not have an on-screen user interface. So, the television should be controlled manually. Slingbox 350 can’t take content from other devices besides the television. You can only access the things that are available on your television when you open the desktop or mobile app.
Slingbox 500 has an on-screen user interface when connected to the TV via HDMI. It comes with its own remote control so that you can interact with the user interface easily. It can show the available TV programs and films with thumbnails and in grids. You can adjust the settings of the device through this user interface as well.
In addition, Slingbox 500 allows you to add your own content from a connected laptop, smartphone, or tablet through the My Media section. It also has Blockbuster On Demand, which allows you to rent and stream a variety of movies.
This model supports simultaneous inputs, so you can let the TV connection and the computer connection stay on the device without having to plug and unplug. You can choose which input to use through the user interface. So, you are not limited to just your television here. You can take content from other sources.
Desktop and Mobile Apps
The desktop apps for Slingbox 350 and Slingbox 500 are completely available for free. They have absolutely no fees. The desktop apps are available for Windows and macOS. So, with either device, you can watch your TV through your PC or laptop.
On the other hand, the mobile apps should be bought separately. If you want to watch your TV on your smartphone, you need a suitable mobile app. The mobile apps are available for iPad, iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, Windows Tablet, Fire Phone, and Fire Tablet. There are actually free versions available, but these free versions have ads. Meanwhile, the premium versions cost some money.
Design and Dimensions
Last but not least, the difference between these two models is their designs and dimensions. Make sure that you have enough room near your television. Make sure that you don’t put any object on the top of your Slingbox device to avoid overheating.
Slingbox 350 is quite smaller and lighter. It is very easy to place. However, it doesn’t look really cool. It has a simple rectangular shape with textured surfaces.
Slingbox 500 is larger and wider. It may be a bit trickier to place due to the design. Nevertheless, it is much more elegant and stylish. It has a curved top surface, which adds a nice touch of modern style to the overall appearance while at the same time discouraging people from putting anything there.
Slingbox 350 vs 500
You should choose Slingbox 500. This model comes with much better features and capabilities. It supports higher input quality, is able to take content from multiple devices, and records into a USB flash drive. It has Wi-Fi and Blockbuster On Demand. It also has a much better design.