Maybe I can shed some light on the SlingBox issue. I know this post is almost a year old, but I can't help but feel that I am helping people make the right decision. I own one of the original SlingBox devices that was released in late 2006. To this day, it is running strong, with no problems. Well, the only problem I've found is that it was designed with poor cooling. I remedied the cooling issue with a PC case fan mounted to the top of the device with double-sided tape. To answer your question, it is "virtually real-time" streaming video and audio. The stream is delayed by about 15 seconds from live TV. To determine this for myself, I placed my laptop beside my TV to test the delay. But hey, after the Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction at the Superbowl, all Live TV is delayed by at least 1 minuted anyway. SlingMedia does make Sling devices that will connect to Dish Network, Direct TV, etc. and give you access to all the functionality of your DVR, etc. It is digital TV capable. No upgrades or anything required. The devise will only allow one user at a time to access the streaming signal. Installation is easy. Just plug in your cable, a CAT-5 cable to your router, and power pack to the wall. Then go to Slingmedia.com and download the player software. You can watch programs on your PC, or mobile device. The player is free for PC's. The iTunes App store sells the iPhone/iPod Touch player for $29.95. It's worth the money. Here's what clinched my purchase decision for the SlingBox. I'm on the go a lot. I use my laptop everywhere outside of my own home network. SlingMedia allows remote access to the device via the Internet. All you need are a few bits of information about your device, and a username/password. I can watch my TV programs in any country in the world with Internet access. Picture and sound are good. I wouldn't rate it as excellent. But it works well when you need an extra TV in the household and space is limited. I haven't found a way to record programs streaming media from the device yet, but I'm confident there is a way. I highly recommend anyone to get a SlingBox. I don't have anything bad to say about SlingMedia's products. Well, except the cooling issue.