Top 10 most watched of the week (sports): NFL, NFL and more NFL

Your 10 most watched programs of the week on Slingbox, sports edition, were as follows. Check after the list for a few quick thoughts on this week’s most watched live sports:

1. NFL: Cowboys vs. Giants
2. NFL: Chiefs vs. Raiders
3. Liga MX soccer
4. NFL: Ravens vs. Saints
5. SportsCenter
6. NFL: Dolphins vs. Broncos
7. NFL: Bengals vs. Texans
8. NFL: Lions vs. Patriots
9. NFL: Cardinals vs. Seahawks
10. NFL: Redskins vs. 49ers

Not a whole lot to say about this one: of the nine non-SportsCenter spots in this weeks list, only one did not go to the NFL. Usually we see enough people watching college football online to push a couple NCAA games onto the list, but not this week: The highest college game this week was USC-UCLA, which came in at No. 11.

But of course, plenty of Slingbox users were watching football anywhere — it just tended to be of the professional variety. The most popular game of the week was the Dallas victory that also featured Odell Beckham Jr.’s amazing TD catch for New York; the second most popular game saw the Raiders finally win their first game of the season. The only non-NFL program on the list this week was Liga MX, coming in at No.3 for the highest ranking for soccer that we’ve seen in a while.

We’ll be back next week with another set of top 10s.

8 of the world’s weirdest airports (to watch your Slingbox in)

7523766532_9392a9e9e6_oOne of the best things about Slingbox is how it lets you watch 100 percent of your sports or TV shows away from home — whether you’re at a friend’s house across town, on a business trip across the country or on vacation on another continent. If you travel a lot for work, the airports in one city or another probably start to all blend together. Visit any one of these, though, and that’s sure to not be the case.

Kansai International Airport – Osaka, Japan

Japan is a notoriously crowded nation, where space is at such a premium that people are employed to “pack” humans into stuffed subway cars. When it came time to build a new airport in Osaka (to relieve crowding from Osaka International Airport), the city sidestepped the land shortage issue in a novel way: They built an artificial island in Osaka Bay just to hold it.


Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport – Savannah, Georgia, United States

Savannah has been called the most haunted city in the U.S. I can’t confirm the presence of ghosts at its airport, but one runway in particular seems to be asking for some paranormal activity.

When the airport was originally built, two 19th century graves of a couple whose headstones said simply “at rest” and “gone home to rest” lay smack dab in the middle of the plan. Rather than disturb the burial sites, the tarmac was simply built right around them. Now the two are “at rest” with 1500-ton aircraft rumbling over them daily.

Gibraltar International Airport – Gibraltar

You know when traffic suddenly comes to standstill due to a train passing by on tracks intersecting the road? A commuter train going at 60 mph is one thing. What if you were idling in front a passenger jet zooming down a runway at takeoff speed of 175 mph or more?


In the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar, that’s exactly what happens every day. Winston Churchill Avenue, a main thoroughfare and the only road connecting Gibraltar to Spain, is closed every time a plane takes off from Gibraltar International’s main runway.

Denver International Airport – Denver, Colorado, United States

When the Colorado capital opened its huge new airport in 1995, it’s unlikely that anyone expected it would become a conspiracy theory hotbed rivaling the JFK assassination or Area 51. But thanks to some creepy murals and statues, masonic references, its remote location and rumors of bunkers buried underneath, that’s exactly what’s happened.

Virtually all of the “evidence” has been debunked — for instance, the Orwellian-sounding “New World Airport Commission” listed on the airport’s capstone was just a group of local businesspeople — but it hasn’t stopped it from being a favorite of conspiracy buffs.

Don Mueang International Airport – Bangkok, Thailand

Or if disturbed graves aren’t your thing, you can always check out the mid-runway offerings at the smaller of Bangkok’s two international airports. Here you’ll find not ghosts, but golf — an 18-hole course is sandwiched right between the two main runways without so much as a fence to separate them. Try not to slice a drive into a plane’s windshield if you can.

Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport – Saba, Netherlands Antilles

If you land at this tiny Caribbean island’s airport, land quickly. It features the shortest commercial runway in the world, at only 1,299 feet. Overshoot it in either direction, and you’ll fall off a cliff into the Atlantic Ocean.


Ironic fun fact: The island, which is only 5 square miles in area, also features a mountain that is more than twice as tall as its runway is long. At 2,910 feet tall, Mount Scenery is the highest point in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Qamdo Bamda Airport – Bamda, Tibet, China

On the other side of the spectrum is Qamdo Bamda, which features the world’s longest runway at 18,045 feet, or in other words, almost long enough to have hosted the climactic scene in Fast and Furious 6.

Don’t think that length is to allow pilots to take as leisurely a jaunt down the tarmac as possible though — at an elevation of 14,000 feet, the altitude requires higher takeoff speeds and thus the giant runway.

Gander International Airport – Gander, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada

It used to be that passenger jets didn’t have the fuel capacity to make it from Western Europe to the East Coast of the United States in one go. So a gleaming international terminal was built in Gander, which lies under the most efficient route from London to New York. World leaders and celebrities from Queen Elizabeth II to Ingrid Bergman have passed through. When the Beatles arrived in New York to play the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, they had touched North American soil at Gander first.

Of course, things are different now, but Gander has stayed much the same. Its lounge is a midcentury time capsule with Eames chairs, a geometric-pattern terrazzo floor and a futuristic 72-foot wide mural. The elegance of space age air travel is still there — but the traffic isn’t.

Header image (Miami International Airport) credit: Junior Henry/Flickr

Top 10 most watched of the week (entertainment): award shows & morning shows stay strong

Your 10 most watched programs of the week on Slingbox, non-sports edition, were as follows. Check after the list for a few quick thoughts on this week’s most watched home entertainment:

1. Today
2. Good Morning America
3. The Big Bang Theory
4. SpongeBob SquarePants
5. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
6. 2014 Latin Grammys
7. The O’Reilly Factor
8. Criminal Minds
9. 2014 American Music Awards
10. The Walking Dead

Just like last week, morning shows took the top two spots — an interesting trend that is appearing to not be a fluke. SpongeBob turned in a strong showing again, emphasizing how helpful Slingbox is for watching your kids’ shows (or your shows, no judgement here!). One interesting fact to note in this week’s crop of shows is that, while we know plenty of our customers use Slingbox to watch their cable or satellite, only one program on this week’s top 10 (The Walking Dead, at No. 10) is not accessible on over-the-air TV.

But most notable about this week were how two awards shows made it on — lots of people watched Jorge Drexler and Ana Tijoux’s “Universos Paralelos” win Record of the Year at the Latin Grammys, and lots of people also watched Katy Perry and Juicy J’s “Dark Horse” win the corresponding award at the American Music Awards. We expect award shows to keep popping up on our list as winter continues into spring, as they’re the kind of premier live event that we know of lot of people use Slingbox for — whether it’s accessing shows from a vacation home, at work, on a bus or whatever the case might be.

We’ll be back next week with our sports top 10.

Our latest update brings YouTube to SlingTV/Slingbox 500 in a big way

contextual YouTube screenshotThe enormity of YouTube is difficult to comprehend: On average, 100 hours of video are uploaded to the site every minute. That the service provides you with a wealth of content is an understatement, but its enormity can make it difficult to navigate, and that’s even more true when it comes to watching on a big-screen living room TV.

Apps that deliver YouTube content to that kind of screen have existed before, but we’re confident in saying that here at Slingbox, we’ve developed the best one yet by far. Our latest update to the SlingTV/Slingbox 500 model introduced a suite of YouTube features that will hugely expand our users’ content options. Included in the release were the following ways to watch (all of which open YouTube in full-screen, in resolution of up to 1080p):

  • Contextual YouTube overlay during live TV: No matter what you’re watching, a press of a button can call up a row of relevant YouTube thumbnails while your live TV content keeps playing in the top two-thirds of your screen. You might be watching a Cavs game and pull up a video of LeBron’s career highlights during a timeout; you might be watching Jimmy Fallon do his Neil Young impression and pull up the last time he did it during a commercial; and so on. We like to call this “video snacking” and it delivers a TV experience unlike anything else that’s available. To make this work we’ve partnered with a company called Audible Magic, whose technology “listens” to what’s happening onscreen to connect it to the most relevant YouTube selections.
  • Trending YouTube tab in Gallery View: Alongside the other tabs in Gallery View on Slingbox 500, we now have one for YouTube that displays the top trending videos on YouTube at the moment you look at it. Like Gallery View’s other tabs, the live TV you’re watching at the time continues to play in the background until you choose a video to watch.
  • Standalone YouTube app: Alongside our other currently supported Slingbox 500 apps (Blockbuster and Dishworld), our standalone YouTube app provides a YouTube experience that allows you to navigate through a bevy of genre categories.

To illustrate all the features of SlingTV/Slingbox 500, including the new YouTube ones, we’ve made this explanatory video:

We hope you enjoy the new YouTube features for SlingTV/Slingbox 500!


Top 10 most watched of the week (sports): NASCAR races into the top 10

Your 10 most watched programs of the week on Slingbox, sports edition, were as follows. Check after the list for a few quick thoughts on this week’s most watched live sports:

1. NFL: Patriots vs. Colts
2. NFL: Steelers vs. Titans
3. CFB: Mississippi St. vs. Alabama
4. SportsCenter
5. Liga MX soccer
6. NFL: Eagles vs. Packers
7. CFB: Florida St. vs. Miami
8. NFL: Seahawks vs. Chiefs
9. NASCAR: Ford EcoBoost 400
10. NFL: Broncos vs. Rams

We always tell people that Slingbox is the best way how to watch sports live, and in the fall, that’s certainly represented by how many football games end up on the list. (As well as how consistently people who watch ESPN and SportsCenter show up on the list.) Every week there are tons of Slingbox users who watch the NFL live on their Android phones, watch the NFL live on their iPhones, watch the NFL live on their tablets and watch the NFL live on their laptops. The most popular game this week was the New England-Indianapolis throwdown which resulted in a 42-20 Patriots rout.

What else was notable about this week was the appearance of a sport that we haven’t had on the top 10 in recent memory: auto racing. Specifically, enough Slingbox users watched NASCAR’s Ford EcoBoost 400 to put it at No. 9 on our list. The race, which takes place at Homestead-Miami Speedway in South Florida, is the final date on the Sprint Cup Series calendar, and those who watched saw Kevin Harvick capture his first championship in NASCAR’s premiere circuit.

We’ll be back next week with another set of top 10s.


Top 10 most watched of the week (entertainment): Morning shows take the top two spots

Your 10 most watched programs of the week on Slingbox, non-sports edition, were as follows. Check after the list for a few quick thoughts on this week’s most watched home entertainment:

  1. Today
  2. Good Morning America
  3. The Big Bang Theory
  4. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
  5. SpongeBob SquarePants
  6. The Walking Dead
  7. The Voice
  8. Criminal Minds
  9. Fox and Friends
  10. Modern Family

If you use Slingbox to watch morning shows live online, you and your ilk are well-represented in this week’s edition of our top 10. For the first time in a long time, the top two slots are occupied by that kind of program. Fun fact: Did you know that Today, having been on the air continuously since 1952, is the fifth-longest-running show on American TV? The four that have run for longer are Hallmark Hall of Fame, Music and the Spoken Word (a syndicated radio/TV simulcast featuring the Mormon Tabernacle Choir), CBS Evening News, and Meet the Press (which has been on since 1947).

We’re also seeing SpongeBob SquarePants at its highest spot in a while. Slingbox is certainly a great way to watch kids’ shows on a phone, watch kids’ shows on a tablet, or watch kids’ shows on a computer. Of course you’re more than free to watch SpongeBob via Slingbox if you aren’t a kid, too. Lord knows I have.

We’ll be back with our sports top 10 tomorrow.

Slingbox M1 wins Fierce Innovation Award!

FIERCE-456The publishers of Fierce Wireless, Fierce Telecom and Fierce Cable give out the Fierce Innovation Awards, which honor the best technology solutions introduced in the previous year, annually. The winners of the Telecom edition of the Awards were announced on Wednesday and we’re very happy to announce that our Slingbox M1 was the winner in the “Set-Top Boxes & Related Devices” category!

This certainly isn’t the first award Slingbox has won — past highlights have included a Technology & Engineering Emmy, a Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt Museum product design award, and Engadget’s “Home Entertainment Device of the Year” — but we’re ecstatic that the M1 is being recognized in this way. Thanks to the Fierce Innovation Awards for the honor!