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post #1 of 11 Old 06-15-2014, 10:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Considering Slingbox - Have Questions

If this is wrong forum, please advise.

We have two locations. One on the East Coast has almost all channels you can think of via Comcast included in HOA dues. Other, on west coast, we have to pay for our own cable dues directly.
East Coast internet is via Comcast: 40Mbs down, about 10Mbs up
West coast bldg. having superfast internet being installed: nearly 100Mbs up and down.

1. Is it feasible to use Slingbox within a dwelling to avoid the cost of a 2nd cable box? Do you lose pic quality?
2. I assume the "up" speed is crucial in getting a good pic over the internet. What speed would be required to get the best quality available?
3. IF 10Mbs up is good enough to send quality from East coast to West, would the Slingbox system be stable enough to be controlled for several weeks at a time remotely?
4. Netflix seems to transmit pretty good quality even if your have speeds at slightly less than 10 Mbs. Does this mean if the upload speed in the East is nearly that speed, it will transmit a good quality pic?
5. It appears the Slingbox needs to be connected via component - NOT HDMI. Is that true? I am not sure all Comcast DVRs still have component connections.
6. How do you have the DVR feeding signal to both TV and Slingbox? Does the DVR connection go to Slingbox and then to TV and over the internet? IOW - Can the DVR be hooked up to Slingbox and TV at same time? I assume the Slingbox can connect to internet via ethernet cable.

Thanks for any help. We do make some use of Infinity to Go, HBO-go etc. Some, like HBO can be viewed on the big screen anywhere. Others, like InfinityGo can not - have to view on tablet or phone. That's why I think Slingbox might be useful.
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post #2 of 11 Old 06-15-2014, 02:53 PM
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If you have a nice, stable connection, you should get pretty decent pq. Yes, it connects via ethernet lan. I don't use mine to display on my bigger tvs, just on my kitchen and balcony tv (23") and on my tablet/phone. On those smaller screens, I would be hard pressed to see much quality loss versus the cable box itself. Very crisp. There are 2 models, the 350 and 500. The 500 has HDMI, but I have heard it is pretty much useless because of HDCP limitations, so anything that requires a handshake most likely isn't going to work. Just get the 350 and use component. It is pass through, so it has an output to go to your tv. I personally bought an hd fury hdmi to component converter, connected to a 4x2 matrix switcher to a 1x2 splitter. Its quite the complex setup but i'll be damned if it doesn't work pretty darn well. Now I can watch my HTPC and cable anywhere. My setup was not cheap, but it works surprisingly well. Remember, you also have to have something on the other end to play the signal, ie wd tv, roku etc. There is a windows PC application you can use (no additional charge) that you can use with a laptop to tv via hdmi if you have one. I have the phone app and use an mhl cable (HDMI out) to my monitor on my balcony. Works pretty well, especially since the last app update. Most cable boxes are supported in slingbox's database, so you should not have a problem changing channels remotely, just remember that you are going to have a good 6-10 second lag when you change the chanel etc. Some people complain about that but it really should be expected on such a device. overall, its pretty cool and I think you will be pleased as long as you get consistant bandwidth from both ends. I actually get HD quality on my tablet via 4g cell service (sometimes even on 3g) from time to time. You should aslo know that the phone/tablet apps cost like $15, kinda ridiculous since you have to buy the device as well. I guess the jokes on me though because I pony'ed up for both . Another FYI, I have heard that customer support isn't the best either, but its not something I have personally dealt with.

Last edited by chadsdsmith; 06-15-2014 at 02:56 PM.
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post #3 of 11 Old 06-15-2014, 11:16 PM
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Whatever happen to the "SlingCatcher" wasn't that designed for pretty much what the OP was looking for?

Just to throw my two cents in here:

1) I would say yes to this but as mentioned you will need something in the other / remote location to run the sling player and connect to your TV. I only use my Sling Players on PCs and IOS Devices, I've never used it connected to anything larger than a 28" Monitor.

2) The Sling Player buy default will try and "Optimize" the playback based on the available bandwidth but I've found that doesn't work very well / always goes down to a much slower speed / resolution to I always end up overriding that and going to a manual setting which I assume you will have to do. I would think that a 10mb stream would be pretty high quality as I watch mine on a 17" laptop at 3Mb/sec with excellent results.

That said I am guessing it will be very hard to get a consistent / reliable 10mb stream from the East Coast to the West Coast. It will really depending on an endless number of connections / routes that you have no control over. Comcast isn't know for their reliable upload speeds. Too bad you can't get FIOS for your East Coast Connection but even that is still depending on all of the different hops over to the West Coast.

3) Again 10Mb should be good but don't think you will see that consistently on a Coast to Coast connection. As for Slinbox Stability I've never had to power cycle any of the Slingboxes I've owned unless there was an issue that was self inflicted so I wouldn't worry about that. If you are really concerned you could get a remote power strip that you could use to power cycle it for some reason it did go out to lunch. The same goes for your any network component since you won't be there.

4) Again going Coast to Coast can be an issue with lots of different variables network wise that you have no control over. It would work awesome 90% of the time then someone changes their rules and be terrible.

5) I would stick with the Component Connections, the 500 does have HDMI Through but I've heard that there are some issue with it but might be worth a try if you get one from someone like Amazon with a good return policy. All of the DVR's I've seen to date have Component but wouldn't be surprised if that starts to change in the near future.

6) Assuming the DVR Has both Component and HDMI connect the Slingbox via Component and the TV with the HDMI that is how I have mine set up. They can both be used at the same time as all outputs on the DVR are live simultaneously. Just remember that if someone is using the Slingbox they will see what you are watching / can change the channel on you =) Yes the Slingbox has a physical ethernet port / is NOT wireless and even if it was I would not suggest using it wired for something like this is preferred.

One thing to keep in mind is Comcast is known for complaining about heavy users, while I haven't heard of many people getting letters for sending out to much data it is possible if you will be using this for days and day on end. That is something to keep in mind.

Personally I say give it a try and see how it works, there is no way to know until you try and and remember to tweak the player settings manually otherwise I know you won't be happy with the picture quality.
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post #4 of 11 Old 06-16-2014, 10:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for reply. Comments interlaced below

Quote:
Originally Posted by funhouse69 View Post
Whatever happen to the "SlingCatcher" wasn't that designed for pretty much what the OP was looking for?

Just to throw my two cents in here:

1) I would say yes to this but as mentioned you will need something in the other / remote location to run the sling player and connect to your TV. I only use my Sling Players on PCs and IOS Devices, I've never used it connected to anything larger than a 28" Monitor.
I would like to send it to my PC which can be hardwired via HDMI to 60" panel or, probably, "casted" via Chromecast, maybe. Fall back would be to view on laptop or Android tablet.


2) The Sling Player buy default will try and "Optimize" the playback based on the available bandwidth but I've found that doesn't work very well / always goes down to a much slower speed / resolution to I always end up overriding that and going to a manual setting which I assume you will have to do. I would think that a 10mb stream would be pretty high quality as I watch mine on a 17" laptop at 3Mb/sec with excellent results.
Thanks for the tip.

That said I am guessing it will be very hard to get a consistent / reliable 10mb stream from the East Coast to the West Coast. It will really depending on an endless number of connections / routes that you have no control over. Comcast isn't know for their reliable upload speeds. Too bad you can't get FIOS for your East Coast Connection but even that is still depending on all of the different hops over to the West Coast.
I guess I should try and measure what consistent upload speed we get in Miami from Comcast. Where we will have FAST speed up and down is in the receiving end as the bldg. will have 100Mbs up and down in a couple months.

3) Again 10Mb should be good but don't think you will see that consistently on a Coast to Coast connection. As for Slinbox Stability I've never had to power cycle any of the Slingboxes I've owned unless there was an issue that was self inflicted so I wouldn't worry about that. If you are really concerned you could get a remote power strip that you could use to power cycle it for some reason it did go out to lunch. The same goes for your any network component since you won't be there.

4) Again going Coast to Coast can be an issue with lots of different variables network wise that you have no control over. It would work awesome 90% of the time then someone changes their rules and be terrible.

5) I would stick with the Component Connections, the 500 does have HDMI Through but I've heard that there are some issue with it but might be worth a try if you get one from someone like Amazon with a good return policy. All of the DVR's I've seen to date have Component but wouldn't be surprised if that starts to change in the near future.
As I recall, both our boxes (need to get rid of one!) in Miami from Comcast have Component as well as HDMI. I will need to check if both outputs can be active at the same time. Not that is has to send signal to screen in Miami when sending picture/sound to west coast.

6) Assuming the DVR Has both Component and HDMI connect the Slingbox via Component and the TV with the HDMI that is how I have mine set up. They can both be used at the same time as all outputs on the DVR are live simultaneously. Just remember that if someone is using the Slingbox they will see what you are watching / can change the channel on you =) Yes the Slingbox has a physical ethernet port / is NOT wireless and even if it was I would not suggest using it wired for something like this is preferred.

One thing to keep in mind is Comcast is known for complaining about heavy users, while I haven't heard of many people getting letters for sending out to much data it is possible if you will be using this for days and day on end. That is something to keep in mind.

Personally I say give it a try and see how it works, there is no way to know until you try and and remember to tweak the player settings manually otherwise I know you won't be happy with the picture quality.
It wouldn't be used for all TV watching when on west coast. We do have basic cable in Oakland. Just would use it to watch a few channels we can't get on basic. We can get HBO-Go via their app projected from tablet to Chromecast on big screen. Same with watching Fargo on Fx channel via their app. Can't figure out how to get the Xfinity-Go channels onto big screen.

Thanks again. Will be in Miami on 7/1 and check all this out.
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post #5 of 11 Old 06-16-2014, 11:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chadsdsmith View Post
If you have a nice, stable connection, you should get pretty decent pq. Yes, it connects via ethernet lan. I don't use mine to display on my bigger tvs, just on my kitchen and balcony tv (23") and on my tablet/phone. On those smaller screens, I would be hard pressed to see much quality loss versus the cable box itself. Very crisp. There are 2 models, the 350 and 500. The 500 has HDMI, but I have heard it is pretty much useless because of HDCP limitations, so anything that requires a handshake most likely isn't going to work. Just get the 350 and use component. It is pass through, so it has an output to go to your tv. I personally bought an hd fury hdmi to component converter, connected to a 4x2 matrix switcher to a 1x2 splitter. Its quite the complex setup but i'll be damned if it doesn't work pretty darn well. Now I can watch my HTPC and cable anywhere. My setup was not cheap, but it works surprisingly well. Remember, you also have to have something on the other end to play the signal, ie wd tv, roku etc. There is a windows PC application you can use (no additional charge) that you can use with a laptop to tv via hdmi if you have one. I have the phone app and use an mhl cable (HDMI out) to my monitor on my balcony. Works pretty well, especially since the last app update. Most cable boxes are supported in slingbox's database, so you should not have a problem changing channels remotely, just remember that you are going to have a good 6-10 second lag when you change the chanel etc. Some people complain about that but it really should be expected on such a device. overall, its pretty cool and I think you will be pleased as long as you get consistant bandwidth from both ends. I actually get HD quality on my tablet via 4g cell service (sometimes even on 3g) from time to time. You should aslo know that the phone/tablet apps cost like $15, kinda ridiculous since you have to buy the device as well. I guess the jokes on me though because I pony'ed up for both . Another FYI, I have heard that customer support isn't the best either, but its not something I have personally dealt with.
Reply to Chad -

Sorry for late reply. New system didn't recognize me all of a sudden after 10+ years. Had to get Administrator to throw a switch.

I was thinking of just transmitting to the west coast. Your idea of just transmitting within the same system at home has convinced me to get rid of our 2nd DVR box.
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post #6 of 11 Old 06-17-2014, 12:44 AM
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Ya, sure makes for a cleaner setup when you don't have to have a cable box and all those wires at each TV.
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post #7 of 11 Old 06-17-2014, 05:11 PM
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Distance should not be a problem. People all over the world watch slingbox streams from us. I personally watched a stream with upload of 350 k on dsl originating in rural md on a good wi fi connection in rural spain
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post #8 of 11 Old 06-17-2014, 09:34 PM
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I have the Slingbox 500 with 2 devices connected to it: TiVo (HDMI) and Dish Hopper (Component). Yes, remotely, I can select which DVR I wish to Sling. Further, there are power buttons for the devices on the Sling remote, so I do not need to leave the DVR's "on" but I can put them in Stand by and take them out of stand by (turn them on) all remotely. I'll try to relay based upon my personal experience.

The TiVo via HDMI on the SB500 passes through the SB500 device to my AV Receiver with no issues. TiVo is OTA only so I use HDMI because there are no content flags preventing recording no re-transmission of the content. For the Dish Hopper, I must use component because HBO and, I think, Showtime, have protection preventing recording and re-transmission, so the components guarantees that all content can be "Slinged."

The easiest way to watch your Slinged content is to purchase a "connected device" such as the WD Live. These "connected devices" come with the Sling app already pre-loaded at NO additional charge and these devices can be connected DIRECTLY to your HDTV via HDMI, etc. Go to the Sling website for the complete list of connected devices and please note the ones no longer in production such as Boxee Box. This functions as the old Sling Catcher.

If you sling your content to something on the same network within your home, it uses you home network ONLY to Sling the content and never Slings via the internet, so this provides for excellent quality and minimal lag.

However, if you wish to Sling to a remote location, then it does need to send it via internet. Aprox. 7Mbs provides the most excellent experience for HD content. However, Slings proprietary encoding can achieve very good results with HD between 5-7Mbps. You will have to experiment with PQ settings (Best, Good, etc.) to see not only how good it looks, but how RELIABLY is streams without stuttering or having to re optimize, but the Sling box can AUTOMATICALLY optimize by examining your internet connections. Manual selection of PQ is something to experiment with by pushing the boundaries of the internet traffic. Again, Sling's proprietary encoding achieves the best results among all such remote streaming devices with the least bandwidth. It's not going to look better (likely worse) on any other streaming device on the market today. I believe Sling officially states that the upsteram must be at least 7Mbps for reliable high quality HD content. Your stated speeds at both ends don't present a problem, but how the stream travels and the distance traveled through the internet could rear its ugly head at your remote location, and how your ISP at either location deems such consistent use of such high bandwidth at either end should they decide to throttle at either end. I can't see if you mentioned if you had a data cap, but if so, that may be a problem

The PQ via Component is really quite good and it seems a kind of MIRACLE one can stream so from far away with good PQ and not have to pay the high priced alternatives such as a second pay TV account, but there are some compromises: since it must stream via internet and for such a long distance, there will be lag from your command at the remote site being sent to the box miles away. So, if you press the guide button, it can take several seconds for the guide to pop-up, and this lag is the case for all other commands. This is NOT the instant speeds you are used to when the box is a few feet away from the remote control at home. That lag seems to be the biggest compliant form people. If you can live with the lag, considering the money you are saving, then it will work VERY well for you since you seem to have internet connections that are ideal for Sling.

You must try this out for yourself. You may want to purchase the equipment at Costco or Amazon or any retailer that has good return policies should you decide the lag is something you can not live with. Again, it is going to be the lag with commands that will be the only real compromise and if you think it is worth it. In many cases people Sling just to watch a show or two on the DVR live or recorded: they are not channel surfing. If you are going to do a lot of channel surfing, guide browsing, etc., it can be a TEDIOUS experience, but once you settle down for a show, it is great.

Best of luck.

Last edited by Harry Kerry; 06-17-2014 at 09:45 PM.
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post #9 of 11 Old 06-17-2014, 09:42 PM
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I only have a 4-5 mbps upload speed, and I get a really good signal going from Southern Californian to Medellin, Colombia. It is feeding a 110" projector in a nightclub, and does a great job. Unable to use it at the highest quality, but just one drop down does the trick. Sorry, I don't know the exact numbers. My partner in Medellin deals with that side of things.

Just wanted to add that I haven't seen a big need for 10Mbps upload speeds
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post #10 of 11 Old 06-30-2014, 10:37 AM
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I've had a Vulkano Flow for a year or two that seems to have died. I'm not sure if the product is supported any more so I have these questions:

1. How is the HD, especially over the Internet? The Vulkano was only 720x480 but in home, it streamed at 2-3 Mbps and was clear on my iPad Mini Retina and my iMac (though I didn't really go full screen with it). This is on a 28/5 Mbps Comcast connection.

From overseas, I didn't get a fast enough connection, usually well under 1 Mbps, maybe a couple of hundred kbps, where there were a lot of artifacts. So what kind of speeds does the Sling player software and app. optimize for?


2. Is the IR blaster required. My Vulkano came with one but doesn't require it and still works with my Roamio Plus Tivo. The on-screen remote doesn't have the same buttons as my Tivo (again, the software and product support for Vulkano is probably minimal or possibly gone) but it works without the IR. There is a lag in sending the control but it works.

I see in the specs. that there is a Wifi blaster? What is that exactly?

3. Do the Slingplayer client and Sling iOS app allow recording for offline viewing later on? How often do they update the clients? Do they update the remote control layout for the latest DVRs?
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post #11 of 11 Old 01-23-2015, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Kerry View Post
I have the Slingbox 500 with 2 devices connected to it: TiVo (HDMI) and Dish Hopper (Component).

...

If you sling your content to something on the same network within your home, it uses you home network ONLY to Sling the content and never Slings via the internet, so this provides for excellent quality and minimal lag.

...

.
Thanks for posting all that useful info.

I got the SB350 on the Amazon $70 deal. When I hooked it up today and tested by watching on my local PC, Netgear Genie was showing a constant 2-3 mbps of internet download (only) traffic. I don't think the 350 is different from the 500 in that regard - any idea what I'm doing wrong?

Thanks,
CC

Edit 25Jan>>> Never mind - just realized that Genie must be reporting traffic from the wireless bridge the SB is on as "download" traffic...

CC

Who knew "flammable" and "inflammable" mean the same thing???

Last edited by cc_in_oh; 01-25-2015 at 06:04 AM. Reason: update info
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