I reviewed the place-shifting Slingbox device/service a year ago (here and here), and concluded that it was a cool idea, but not quite ready for prime time. That having been said, I took the box (now called "classic") out of the closet 2 weeks ago since we were heading to the mountains with no cable TV service, and I wanted to watch some NFL games over the Holiday week, as I am going to do today as well. I downloaded the significantly revised software and attached it to my much simpler TV set-up on our 2nd floor, avoiding the Comcast DVR and more complex sound system downstairs.
The results were really good. It's a much better experience than I first encountered (even with the same hardware), and I can now really recommend it for occasions where you emphasize access and mobility over quality. It's like the rise of MP3's in digital music - enthusiasts argue that the sound quality is lower than either albums or CD's, and that the lack of the album diminishes the overall experience, but the other 99% of the population is willing to make that trade-off. The Sling access opportunity totally trumps the quality issue now that quality in my set-up has reached a high enough level.
I have a good Comcast network at home in SF, and a decent wireless one in Tahoe, and overall result when I ran the laptop through the TV was pretty good, especially from 10 feet away, and that's a much tougher test than just seeing it on the laptop. It occasionally cut out, and the channel switching is still painful, but I ran the box for hours each day and my entire extended family thought it was a big win over having to go down to the local bar to watch the games. Definitely go get a SlingBox if you want more access to the content you already pay for.
Of course, if Senators Feinstein and Graham get their way with their wonderfully titled PERFORM Act, then it's likely that Sling's service will be in jeopardy once they get around to including broadcast...