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Old 02-16-2009, 09:08 PM   #1
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Default Slingbox

Have been reading about Slingbox - it is a box that connects your home cable or satellite system to the internet. You can be anywhere with a fast wifi connection and get your cable programs on your computer. It seems to be around $200 with no subscription fee. I wonder how many campsites have a wifi connection that would be adequate if there were 50 campers doing that, it is probably quite bandwidth intensive. http://www.slingmedia.com/
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Old 02-26-2009, 11:14 AM   #2
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Default Re: Slingbox

I've heard of it (but don't know much about it) from another web forum in England
some time ago. My internet and TV are both on cable. Is it a "bridge" between
them, then? Then you access it by setting up some sort of remote id and
file sharing? I went to their website but couldn't find a good layman's explanation
of how it works.
I seem to recall some of the members of the other forum used it on their wireless laptops
from different rooms in their own houses to give them more TV connections.
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Old 02-01-2014, 09:10 AM   #3
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Default Re: Slingbox

A Slingbox connects to your router, your cable or satellite box, and then to your TV. It allows you to watch the TV programming that you've already paid for on your computer, laptop, tablet or smart phone anywhere that you have a fast Internet connection. There are no subscription fees for the Slingbox or for the service.

How you view your TV programs depends on the platform. Computers and laptops generally can use a web page. You log in using a username and password that you create. For tablets and smartphones, there is special software that's available separately for a fee. You use the same username and password to log in, no matter what platform you're using.

The Slingbox contains special software that can automatically adjust to the varying speeds of the Internet so you don't get the stopped screen and "spinning beachball" that you see on YouTube. You can also adjust the size of the image and/or picture quality, if you wish, to reduce the bandwidth.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

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Old 02-01-2014, 01:40 PM   #4
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Default Re: Slingbox

How much streaming data would Slingbox buffer for Netflix shows? Netflix currently will continue buffer about 5 minutes of video using my laptop if I pause playback. Can the Slingbox buffer more than 5 minutes for example?
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Old 02-02-2014, 03:41 AM   #5
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On Windows, the Time Shift Buffer in the Slingbox.com web interface allows you to review/skip ahead through a maximum of 60 minutes of video. According to the Slingbox Support site, this feature is coming to the Mac soon. You can get more information from their support site:
http://support.slingbox.com/get/KB-2000511.html

One of the coolest parts of using a Slingbox is that when you set it up, you specify what kind of cable/satellite box or DVR you're connecting it to. Once you do that, you see and use an onscreen version of your specific remote to control what you watch on Slingbox.com. For example, if you have a Comcast box, you'll see and use an onscreen version of the Comcast remote to change the channels, program the DVR, etc.

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Old 02-02-2014, 12:18 PM   #6
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Default Re: Slingbox

Being a novice at this kind of stuff, how about an obvious question! How badly, quickly, would this bury our 4 gig a month Verizon tablet 4G plan?
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Old 02-02-2014, 04:19 PM   #7
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Default Re: Slingbox

Quote:
Originally Posted by booster
Being a novice at this kind of stuff, how about an obvious question! How badly, quickly, would this bury our 4 gig a month Verizon tablet 4G plan?
I checked my iTunes library where I have actually bought three movies rather than rent on a live stream. The Sherlock Holmes movie with Robert Downey Jr. was 1.8 GB, Pixar Cars was 1.4 GB and Disney's Ratatoulli was 2 GB. I would assume live streaming would be as much typically. If true you would blow your budget in two movies.

I do 30 day rentals in iTunes where I download them on my home wifi to my iPad and they are good for up to 30 days to watch. Once you start watching they are good for 24 hours before going "poof". I have a cable to hook up the iPad to the 22" TV. So no wifi streaming is needed. Rentals are typically $3.99. We don't watch many movies or TV when on the road.
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Old 02-03-2014, 06:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booster
Being a novice at this kind of stuff, how about an obvious question! How badly, quickly, would this bury our 4 gig a month Verizon tablet 4G plan?
With a Slingbox, you can choose not to stream a movie at full-screen HD. That will save a fair amount of bandwidth but Davydd's method of first downloading them at home to an iPad might be more practical in the long run.

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Old 02-03-2014, 06:27 AM   #9
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Some clarification: One of the most common questions about a Slingbox is where it "lives." The Slingbox stays in your living room, along with your TV, DVR and cable/satellite box. The Slingbox connects to them and then connects to your home's router. When properly set up, the Slingbox sends what's on your home TV through the router to the Internet. Your account is password connected so you don't need to worry about someone else watching your programs.

There are currently two models: The Slingbox 500 and the Slingbox 350. The 500 can connect wirelessly to your router. The 350 needs a wired Ethernet connection to your router, like all of the older models. To find out about all the differences between the 350 and the 500, see this page on the Slingbox web site:
http://www.slingbox.com/go/compare-slingboxes

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Old 03-01-2014, 07:37 PM   #10
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If you are a DirecTv customer, you might want to look at the $99 "GenieGo" product that you can buy from them. It can stream content from your DirecTv DVR, and will also let you copy DVR content onto your Laptop or iDevice and keep it there for something like 20 days. In some ways it is the best of both worlds. The disadvantage WRT Slingbox is that it only works with DirecTv content. We have both.
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Old 03-02-2014, 07:43 PM   #11
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Default Re: Slingbox

Quote:
Originally Posted by SiennaGuy
Some clarification: One of the most common questions about a Slingbox is where it "lives." The Slingbox stays in your living room, along with your TV, DVR and cable/satellite box. The Slingbox connects to them and then connects to your home's router. When properly set up, the Slingbox sends what's on your home TV through the router to the Internet. Your account is password connected so you don't need to worry about someone else watching your programs.

There are currently two models: The Slingbox 500 and the Slingbox 350. The 500 can connect wirelessly to your router. The 350 needs a wired Ethernet connection to your router, like all of the older models. To find out about all the differences between the 350 and the 500, see this page on the Slingbox web site:
http://www.slingbox.com/go/compare-slingboxes

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If I am understanding this right, it would mean you would have to leave your home wifi on and connected then if you are on the road you would still be subjected to streaming your own content on someone else's wifi or cellular service with their gigabyte limits? The second part accomplishes nothing with Slingbox as it would have the same limits as any streaming company and the first part of leaving wifi on at home is something I would not desire to do and most likely if history serves it would probably disconnect within a week anyway. It seems I am always resetting my cable Internet connection at least weekly because I suspect the cable company has its own little maintenance interruptions.
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Old 03-02-2014, 10:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davydd
If I am understanding this right, it would mean you would have to leave your home wifi on and connected then if you are on the road you would still be subjected to streaming your own content on someone else's wifi or cellular service with their gigabyte limits? The second part accomplishes nothing with Slingbox as it would have the same limits as any streaming company and the first part of leaving wifi on at home is something I would not desire to do and most likely if history serves it would probably disconnect within a week anyway. It seems I am always resetting my cable Internet connection at least weekly because I suspect the cable company has its own little maintenance interruptions.
Yes, you do understand correctly. A couple of things, though:

--The big advantage of the Slingbox is that you have complete access to all of the A/V resources available at your home base, including everything on your DVR and also the ability to watch live TV, including local channels. No advanced planning necessary.

--The Slingbox is somewhat more gentle on your gigabyte budget than direct streaming. The reason is that (as stated above) Sling uses an adaptive compression algorithm that adjusts the image resolution according to the available bandwidth. The bottleneck tends to be the available upstream bandwidth at your home. Admittedly, this means that the image quality suffers, but it almost always remains watchable.

As for reliability, if you really need to reboot your cable modem regularly, you ought to shop for a different ISP. We have no experience with cable, but we have DSL both at home and at a vacation house. Both are rock solid. They literally have been up for years. I DO power them through a UPS, though. If you do not have a reliable alternative, one trick is to power your modem and router through a timer (the kind meant to turn lights on/off) that is programmed to cycle power in the middle of every night. That would limit your downtime after a failure.

I couldn't imagine leaving home without a working Internet connection. In addition to Sling and GenieGo, we rely on it for security cameras and other similar services. If I couldn't use the Net to check in regularly, I would be constantly worried about how things were faring back at home.
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Old 03-11-2014, 06:03 AM   #13
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Avanti's description of the compression is perfect!

The Slingbox uses what's called "SlingStream" to automatically optimize your video as it's sent and received over the Internet. When you're watching a program away from home, SlingStream does a lot of patented behind the scenes electronic magic to get you the best smooth video, even with the Internet's problems of congestion, bottlenecks and varying signal strength. It uses much less bandwidth than streaming directly. The company even won an Emmy Award for technology and engineering. SlingStream is some pretty amazing stuff!

If any of what I've ever said sounds like jibberish or if you have any questions, just let me know. I'll have some coffee and I'll pound on my keyboard some more.

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Old 03-11-2014, 01:59 PM   #14
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I've been told my Girl Scout cookie allotment is over for the year so I guess I don't need that app.

With most streaming systems a typical movie is going to be 1.5-2 gb which takes an extreme byte out of 2gb plans and impossible at campgrounds that restrict usage, streaming and video. With better compression what does Slingbox give you in comparison?
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:54 PM   #15
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I have never paid much attention (which means it can't be that bad), but from information found here:

http://placeshiftingenthusiasts.com/for ... ingplayer/

and a back-of-an-envelope calculation, it looks like maybe 400MB/hour might be a good guess.

Another answer is: It can't be much more than the upstream bandwidth of your home interconnection.
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