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Slingbox M1

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When the first Slingbox was introduced in 2005, it was the ideal piece of technology for people who wanted to watch television on their mobile devices. The technology was fairly simple to set up: Customers would plug Slingbox into their cable boxes, install its video player on their laptops and, almost immediately, they could start streaming live television and digitally recorded video content over the Internet.

Since then, the Internet--and how people use it--has changed. Many television shows and sports games can be streamed or downloaded directly on a computer or mobile device. In most cases, watching TV on an iPad doesn't require a cable box at all (e.g. HBOGo). But for sports fans, in particular, having a lifeline to a cable box is still a necessity--and it's largely for them, and other television-bound media enthusiasts, that the Slingbox M1 was developed.

The M1 ($150) sports a faster connection and a two-way Wi-Fi connection, meaning it doesn't need an ethernet cable to connect the box to a router. The mobile apps are streamlined, meaning faster, smoother viewing on tablets and phones--perfect for the Red Sox or Academy Awards fan.