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Anyone use a Slingbox?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by The Big Ragu, Aug 15, 2015.

  1. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    The background: For the last half year, I have been splitting time between homes in two different cities. Moving forward I am likely to spend even more time in Home #2 than Home #1. In Home #1, I have a TV package that gives me everything I want. In particular, I get the local sports teams I like and follow, HBO, etc. But I have been spending less and less time there. In Home #2, I am not getting the sports teams I want, and the FIOS package we are on is a little more limited channel-wise than what I have in Home #1.

    With fall coming up, I am thinking mostly about the sports. I'd like to get the local broadcasts that come into Home #1 in Home #2, where I will be spending a lot of time. So I am thinking about a Slingbox. ... I am sure it has been covered on here before, but I am not finding a dedicated thread. What are people's experiences with them? How reliable are they? I read mixed things. If you have had success with one, which model are you using?
  2. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Shit, I forgot they were still a company.

    I guess the strength of your wi-fi at your residences would be the bigger issue.
  3. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Both places are wired throughout and have ethernet jacks near the TVs, so I can do it without relying on WiFi. I'm more concerned with the general reliability of streaming the video across the Internet that way, as well as their software / client / web-based interface that you use. I don't want to set it up, only to find that it doesn't work half the time.
  4. wicked

    wicked Well-Known Member

    I can't speak for Slingbox, but friends stream regularly all the time through Roku, Netflix, etc., and don't have issues. I do think it depends on how the network is built out in your other home city, and only you know that, as well as what speed package you get (you may need one level up from the basic speed).
  5. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Next time you are at these places, do a speed test at 9 p.m. and see how much bandwidth is flowing through your home.
  6. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    I looked into it, but I need something faster than DSL and I'm not ready for an upgrade yet. (I ditched my DSL along with my landline a year ago and just use my phone now.)
  7. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks everyone. It's a good point. ... the biggest problem with that kind of streaming out & in is likely going to be the connection speed going out of Home #1 and the bandwith coming into Home #2. The speeds we have should be plenty fast, and well beyond what the specs for the slingbox say it requires. I guess I will order one this week and give it a try. Hopefully it works well. I'll keep everyone posted.
  8. Vombatus

    Vombatus Well-Known Member

    Does the service actually stream OUT of Home #1? I thought it would be more of a credentials check versus your home account to see what you are eligible for, with the actual streaming coming from some place else, like your ISP site (Comcast or whatever), ESPN maybe, etc.

    Just asking. I don't know. An easy way to test is to kill the power at Home #1.
  9. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    I just did a speedtest at my home, and I was 104.66 Mbps downloading (that's a new record for my home) and 12.51 uploading. Cable, which I have, I think has much slower uploading times than Fios.
  10. JohnHammond

    JohnHammond Well-Known Member

    Yes, it actually streams out of Home #1.
  11. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    That's right. ... Our place with FIOS is 75/75. Our place with Cable is 300/20. The Slingbox webpage says you don't need anywhere near that bandwidth for it to work.

    The bigger issue I found with their products. ... Their last versions, they had a higher end one with WiFi built in and HDMI inputs. A lower end one with no WiFi and analog component inputs for high def. The WiFi isn't an issue for me. As I said, I am going to hardwire it anyhow.

    My gut always says go digital over analog, even if you aren't likely to see the difference -- which would have been their higher end box for their last versions.

    But it turns out that there has been a cat and mouse game going on between the content providers, the cable providers and Slingbox. For example, many channels such as HBO have copyright protections built into their streams. So if your cable box goes HDMI out to the Slingbox -- creating an interruption between the cable box and the TV -- it automatically scrambles their signal, not allowing you to stream the channel via the Slingbox.

    That is why Slingbox recommended you hook up an HDMI cable and component cables between your cable box and your Slingbox. With both. ... if the HDMI signal gets scrambled, it would revert to the analog component signal for that channel.

    But that is where some of the cable providers stepped in. They changed the software on their boxes so you have to choose one output or the other -- either HDMI or component. If you hook up both, you go dark. So you were basically HDMI out of luck, which is why it looks like Slingbox went component cable only on its newer products.
  12. HC

    HC Well-Known Member

    Some folks called it a sling box. I called it a Kaiser box.
    expendable likes this.
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