Monsoon Hava Titanium HD (Verdict: Some Nice Features, But Not a Sling Killer)

Illustration for article titled Monsoon Hava Titanium HD (Verdict: Some Nice Features, But Not a Sling Killer)

The Good: The Hava Titanum HD has component HD support and Wi-Fi via USB dongle out of the box (a must for my Home Theater Setup, where the router is in another room). As a point of comparison, the Sling Pro requires a $50 attachment for HD support and can only communicate wirelessly via power lines. The Hava also allows you to pause, rewind and fast forward, record to your hard disk and burn your recordings to DVD. Video playback is generally smooth and uninterrupted. It supports simultaneous viewing from local (unlimited viewers) and and remote (single viewer) connections. Future expansion possibilities include hard drives and digital tuners.


The Average: Video quality on the Hava Titanium HD is good overall, but the Sling Pro is a little better, with less artifacting than the Hava. Software is adequate on the Hava, but not quite as slick as Sling's interface.

The Bad: The Hava Titanium HD's on screen remote can be unresponsive, at times taking up to 10 seconds to respond to a command (compared to the 1-2 second delay of the Sling). Audio is noticeably inferior on the Hava, sounding tinny and lacking bass. When connections speeds slow, the Hava Titanium will often slow down the voices on screen, making certain females sound like trannies (that one permanently ruined a few fantasies for me). Works with Windows only, leaving Mac users in the cold. It's a bit more expensive than the Sling at $249, but also doesn't require a $50 add-on.

Conclusion: The Hava Titanium HD is an overall decent product, but the price, poor sound quality and lack of Mac support still make the Sling Pro a better deal.


44 in a Row

I've got the Pinnacle PCTV to Go HD Wireless, which is basically a rebranded Monsoon Hava box (I'm not sure if it's this exact one, or an older version), and I have to say, the lack of WiFi on Slingbox is a dealbreaker for me. To get my Slingbox working with my DVR (which is what I want it for, since I travel for business a lot), I'd have to either run wires across my entire apartment, or get a not-inexpensive powerline setup. The Hava/Pinnacle boxes, for all their other failings, work pretty well and without much difficulty over WiFi. Everything I've seen and read indicates that the Slingbox is a superior product, and less expensive to boot, but I don't understand for the life of me why Sling won't introduce a WiFi box.