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Slingbox

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don

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Post Thu Jul 12, 2007 1:54 pm

Slingbox

I just finished writing in another thread about how I do my mobile office. But what good is a mobile office for working if you can't get a little entertainment (and I'm not talking about the adult kind, you slobs)? :o

I'm not paid for this and I don't get free stuff from them, but I love the SlingBox. It allows me to watch my home TV on my laptop and my cell. Too kewl!!

Here's a quick video on what it is.  Slingbox Explained in 40 seconds.

www.slingmedia.com

Have fun,
Don
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venom77

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Post Thu Jul 12, 2007 2:14 pm

Re: Slingbox

I've heard of and seen this thing before, but I've never looked too closely into it.

Does it just connect into your network and get accessed by IP or something? How is the video stream from home to where you're at? Are you able to get a video stream to multiple computers at once? Can they all watch different channels?

Haha.. lots of questions... going to check their website now :)
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venom77

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Post Thu Jul 12, 2007 2:34 pm

Re: Slingbox

Neato. I read a bit about it on their website and checked the quick set-up guide. Looks very cool :)

What port does it run on? The manual didn't say, but nothing a quick sniff of the client traffic wouldn't pick up.

The only other major question I still have is whether you can watch different channels on each computer at the same time?
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venom77

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Post Thu Jul 12, 2007 2:42 pm

Re: Slingbox

Guess I'm asking questions too soon. It appears the port is 5001 by default... so how does the security behind the client/slingbox work? Shouldn't you be able to scan for port 5001 and find a tv to watch? :)
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don

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Post Thu Jul 12, 2007 3:00 pm

Re: Slingbox

Just like IM, you connect to their servers which in turn routes the traffic. But they don't charge and say they never will charge for this service.

As for ports, you can choose which ports to use. They have a utility in the setup prgram that will help if you don't know how or don't want to do it. But if you have an off brand or not highly popular home router, then it probably won't work. For Linksys, Netgear, etc. I'm sure it works fine. I setup my own.

I'm the only one that uses it, so I never tried connecting 2 computer devices at the same time. But what I can tell you is that (depending on the setup) you can have your son watching Thomas the Tank Engine on the "Big TV" while Daddy watches the game on the computer.

Don
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venom77

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Post Thu Jul 12, 2007 3:02 pm

Re: Slingbox

Awesome! Now I'm pretty hooked.. will definitely have to chat with the wife tonight about this one ;D Thanks, Don!
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monkeymind

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Post Thu Jul 12, 2007 3:53 pm

Re: Slingbox

This is great!  I'd heard about it, but hadn't gotten around to checking it out. 
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don

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Post Thu Jul 12, 2007 6:14 pm

Re: Slingbox

Now that this is garnering a little attention, here's a few caveats. Nothing major, just some things to keep in mind.

1. The client software for your computer is free. The software for phones is not. If you have a smartphone and a Windows Mobile Device, these are 2 different handheld OSs, so there are 2 programs. Each are separate purchases.

2. The more expensive Slingbox with the HD capabilities does NOT come with the needed adapter. This is also an additional purchase.

3. If you plan on using your phone, make sure you have the unlimited data plan. This can get real expensive, real fast if you don't. Also make sure you check the list of phones and handhelds that work with the software before purchasing. Not all devices can use the software. Also, it works on the lower bandwidth cellular networks, but performance is obviously better with more speed.

If you just use the low end box and don't connect to a phone, you're good to go with just the Slingbox purchase.

Have fun,
Don
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venom77

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Post Thu Jul 12, 2007 7:14 pm

Re: Slingbox

Hey Don, thanks for the tips. I think I caught some of those. I did think of the higher priced HD box though... aren't all cable services supposed to be switching to HD only sometime in the next couple years? Or maybe that's a Michigan thing? I don't know, I didn't follow-up with that back when I first heard it a couple years ago, but I thought they were saying everything was going to be switching to HD only.
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slimjim100

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Post Thu Jul 12, 2007 7:38 pm

Re: Slingbox

Venom,

The  cable systems don't have to carry HD they just have to offer digital service cause the analog is going away and local TV stations will broadcast HD and/or digital signals. A 10 standard digital channels can fit in the bandwidth of an older analog channel (6.4mhz) and about 3 HD channels can fit into a 6.4mhz bandwidth channel where an analog carrier was. This issue with the cable companies is that most of there usable bandwidth for IPtv, Digital TV, HD, VoIP, and data is taking up by the analog spectrum. Once the FCC forces the broadcasters to remove the analog channels off the air the Cable companies (MSO's) can use the bandwidth. Another issue is that the FCC requires cable companies to offer basic service to additional TV's free and once the analog is gone you will have to have a rent free cable box (provided by the cable company) to receive the basic channels cause now they will all be digital. This cause the cable companies to have to give out alot more cable boxes (which will cost about 3 times what it takes them now to provide service) to fill the customers needs. Cable boxes can cost from $100-700 each and if each house now needs 3 boxes how will they keep there bottom line competitive with the dish providers....


Now to the Slingbox question... The traffic is encrypted (this is required by the broadcaster copyright issues) so only one client can watch the stream at a time. the stream only works with there encoder/decoder software. I also have a sling box and can so the low end one works great when your on the road and the hotel only has 20 channels to watch. You can make your own sling-like box with myth-TV and VLC. I have done this before and the video over IP is nice and can support as many users as your bandwidth can handle. With an IR blaster you can get myth TV to act like a sling box. Only issue with multi-casting video is copyright issues if anyone other than you is getting the feed.

Brian
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venom77

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Post Thu Jul 12, 2007 8:09 pm

Re: Slingbox

Brian,

Very thorough explanation. Thanks a lot :)

Even if your home tv can have a channel on, while on my laptop I can watch something else, I think that is sufficient. I will definitely have a look into Myth TV though. Thanks again.
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slimjim100

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Post Fri Jul 13, 2007 6:42 am

Re: Slingbox

To be able to watch 2 different channels you would need a dual tuner cable box. The basic slingbox only plays the channel that is on the main tv set's screen. I am not sure about the higher end sling boxes but you might be able to do this if you just plugged the cable tv coax into the sling box but then you would not get anything but the basic cable lineup.

Slimjim100
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sandrodado

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Post Wed Jul 18, 2007 12:57 am

Re: Slingbox

A friend is using a slingbox to watch local channels from his hometown in Europe. The box is hooked to his uncle's cable. The picture quality is decent.

Also, broadcasters in the U.S. are increasingly turning to slingbox for traffic and weather cameras for local news. It's much cheaper than setting a microwave link for the feed.

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