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The Challenge: Find a Way to Watch Yesterday's Mets Game

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Yesterday was a trying day as a Mets fan, if for no other reason than figuring out how to watch the game while still:

a) keeping my job
b) keeping my appointments

With a little help from my Moto Q and a Slingbox, I was able to watch pretty much the whole game while at work, on the road, getting my haircut, and driving home. It was modern technology put to practical use (for me at least), and I was proud to be a participant in the information age.

They key to the whole thing was the Slingbox, which is a device that interfaces with your cable or satellite box and your home network to stream video and audio to you wherever you want. I have it hooked up to my cable box, and with the included SlingPlayer software, was able to watch the game on my computer at the office. The initial setup takes about 20 minutes before you're up and running. I should tell you that the setup requires some tinkering with your router (if you use one) to make the Slingbox accessible remotely, but the setup wizard is helpful and there's always tech support should you run into any problems.

The beauty of the Slingbox is that, in addition to being able to watch what is currently on your cable box (or other device), it also allows you to remotely control what the cable box is showing. Via infrared sensors that you mount on top of the cable box, the Slingbox is able to remotely transmit commands as if you had pressed them on the remote control. In fact, the SlingPlayer software even includes an interactive version of your remote control which you can use to change channels, access DVR functions, etc. When yesterday's game was pushed to ESPN2 as a result of the A's/Twins game running long, I was able to switch over to the Deuce and then back to ESPN again when the broadcast moved channels.

Even my boss was impressed. Impressed enough not to fire me, apparently.

My Motorola Q smartphone played an integral part in the exercise, too. I had the office covered, but I also had a 6:30 haircut appointment to get to. Fortunately, SlingMedia, the vendor for the Slingbox, makes a mobile version of their SlingPlayer that works with Windows-based smartphones like mine. With this software I was able to watch the Mets game in the car en route to the haircut and, amid more-than-cursory glances from other salon patrons, was able to watch the Mets' late-inning rally to retake the lead from the Dodgers.

The Q kept me going through the ride home, and I burst through my front door just in time to see Wagner's final pitch to get Nomar Garciaparra swinging in the top of the ninth. Mets game watched, crisis averted. Thank you Slingbox.