Lost in the excitement of the Texas Women’s Volleyball team claiming their first national title in 24 years, the Men’s Basketball sqaud was also in action Saturday night, snapping their two game losing streak with a 75-63 win over Texas State. The Horns shot a meager 39% from the floor and held just a four point lead with six minutes to play, but got a career-high 20 points from freshman Javan Felix and a double-double (14 points, 10 boards) from sophomore Jonathan Holmes to ultimately separate from the Bobcats.
Beyond the fact that this game was going head to head with UT’s championship volleyball match, and beyond the fact that it featured a young, struggling Horns team without its best player, it was also broadcast on the Longhorn Network, meaning that if you weren’t one of the 42 cable subscribers who actually gets the channel, you weren’t even given the opportunity to flip away from it. Lucky for me, my parents are among those fortunate few, and with an assist from one genius invention—and one thoughtful father—I was able to watch it.
Invented by a sports fan whose constant traveling made following his team difficult, Slingbox allows you to watch your own TV—the very one that’s in your house—from anywhere in the world. It’s a small, simple device that connects to your home internet, and once it’s hooked up, wherever you can get online, you can watch your TV.
My dad had gotten his a few years ago as a fun tech toy, but because he ultimately had little use for it, it never actually got set up. When the Longhorn Network came into existence, though, and he realized how much access to 24-7 UT coverage would mean to me, he thankfully decided to install it.
Now, despite being over 1,500 miles away, I’m constantly taking command of my parents’ remote control. And with the network’s coverage of early season basketball and exclusive programming like the Hard Knocks-esque All-Access (along with Homeland and Dexter, arguably the greatest hour on TV), Slingbox has been an absolute godsend. The only hitch is that, because I’m controlling the actual TV that sits in my parents’ living room, I have to be respectful of their daily viewing habits. To be safe, I typically record what I want to see—yep, Slingbox gives you access to your DVR—then wait for my parents to go to bed to watch it. It translates to a lot of late nights and early mornings, but as sweet as my mom is, nothing good would ever come from interrupting an episode of Young and the Restless.
So if you’re looking for an innovative gift idea this holiday season, look no further than Slingbox. In fact, if UT were smart, they’d buy one for every Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-verse subscriber. It could be the most efficient and cost-effective way to distribute the Longhorn Network.
Up next for the Horns: North Carolina on Wednesday night. The game tips at 8pm CST, and will be broadcast on ESPN2.
You can contact Brent Stoller at [email protected]