Slingbox: anyone got one trying it out? … oadcaster/

It’s quite a cool device… you can stream your tv over the internet!


Some of my customers have them.

There are a few issues… you need to setup a cable or satellite TV system overseas that you have access to to feed to the slingbox.

It only works with NTSC systems so PAL systems cannot use it.

Make sure it’s not your family TV otherwise you’ll have bunfights over watching channels.

You also need to have high speed internet on both the overseas site and your place here. You really need the highest bandwith and speed available. Forget this on anything under 400kbs streaming. If you family share your adsl hub you won’t get enough speed you’d need a separate account.

My customers who have them say the quality is less then average but better than nothing at all.

One customer pays US$93.50 per month for Dish TV, then his ADSL is costing US$40 per month plus NT$1300 per month this end. All that to watch TV on windows media player… hmmm of course you can buy a TV card and feed it out to a projector or TV.

Streaming the programming outside of the markets they are intended for is a breach of copywrites but nobody will be bothered about it…

A good system for viewing programming not available here… great if you have family with a spare TV and internet connection nfor you to use.

A great idea… sorry the link for this news below doesnt work anymore

NEW YORK In 2002, Blake Krikorian and his brother, Jason, were beside themselves. Their beloved San Francisco Giants were in a baseball pennant race, yet the brothers, Silicon Valley engineers, were traveling so much that they missed many of the games on television.

Desperate, they signed up for a service that streamed the games over the Internet, only to find that subscribers from San Francisco could not watch Giants’ games because of blackout restrictions.

Thus, the idea for Slingbox was born. The Krikorians decided to find a way to let cable and satellite television customers watch whatever was on at home while they were on the road. After several years developing the product, their company, Sling Media, released its first boxes in July.

“I was paying $80 a month to Comcast and I have a broadband pipe in my house and all these other displays, so why can’t I just watch the TV coming into our house?” Krikorian asked.

Just as TiVo and other digital video recorders ushered in the concept of “time shifting” a few years ago, the Slingbox promises to make “place shifting” a reality for households. By letting consumers access their cable or satellite connections when they travel, Slingbox has the potential to splinter even further the way television is watched and delivered.

For instance, people living overseas could give a Slingbox to their family back home so they can watch American television. Sling Media does not endorse this use of its device for fear of antagonizing cable and satellite companies, which may see it as illicit sharing.

As with music, where consumers are forgoing CDs in favor of downloadable songs, TV viewers - aided by devices like Slingbox - are expected to download more and more of their programming when and where they want it.

“The trend over the past 30 years is towards fragmentation even though there is more programming available,” said John Mansell, a cable industry analyst at Kagan Research. “It makes life a little more complicated” for cable and satellite operators and programmers.

For consumers, the key to Slingbox is its simplicity and price. The size of a shoe, it retails for $250 and unlike TiVo does not require a monthly subscription. The box can be hooked to a cable set-top box or a digital video recorder, and must be linked to a broadband line so the video can be streamed to a laptop or other device. Faster connection speeds provide better video quality.

Users install software on a laptop that communicates with the Slingbox over a high-speed Internet connection at a hotel or other remote location. Users can watch what is playing live on the cable or satellite service at home, or something stored on a digital video recorder.

Yet for all its convenience, critics say that many consumers do not want to watch programming designed for full-screen televisions on laptops, especially if connection speeds are slow and the picture is jerky. But Krikorian said he had developed a solution called stream-optimization technology. However this has not solved pixelation and bufffering problems.

Essentially a set of algorithms, it automatically adjusts the video stream to match the quality of the broadband connection. Krikorian dubbed the technology “Lebowski” after his favorite movie, “The Big Lebowski,” and the line, “The dude abides,” that the star of the movie, Jeff Bridges, often said. “Our product allows the video to abide by the network conditions at any time,” Krikorian said.

The technology is one reason Slingbox already has a cult following among travelers like David Garrison, who crave a touch of home while on the road.

Garrison, the chief executive of iBAHN, a company that sells technology to hotels, travels to Asia once a quarter and is in Europe every six weeks. He loves to ski at home in Salt Lake City and can make plans to hit the slopes by watching the local news to check the weather conditions in Utah.

Garrison said he watched just as much television in hotels as he did before. But now he is more likely to watch what interests him rather than flipping through the channels.

Slingbox is already stocked in almost 4,000 stores, including Best Buy, Comp USA and Circuit City, and Krikorian said sales were nearing “six figures.”

There are drawbacks, though. In addition to having to watch programs on a small computer screen, Slingbox users may also interfere with their family’s viewing back home, because in some cases when channels are changed remotely, the television at home moves with it, and vice versa.

For now, video streamed from a Slingbox cannot be viewed on a Mac, though Krikorian said his company would announce a solution in January.

And as with TiVo, which has lost market share because cable and satellite set-top box makers have developed their own DVRs, imitators are catching on. Sony, for instance, sells LocationFree, a $350 device that connects to a home entertainment system and beams television signals to a PC or a PlayStation Portable anywhere in the world. Others are sure to follow.

Down the road, programmers, particularly sports teams, may object to Slingbox’s ability to sidestep their blackout restrictions. Cable and satellite operators could also oppose attempts by their subscribers to use Slingbox to give others free access to their programming.

But Krikorian sees opportunity in these potential conflicts. He is talking to cable companies which, he said, could lease Slingboxes to their subscribers, giving them fewer reasons to switch to a rival provider and more reasons to buy a faster connection.

At some point, Web content, including advertisements, could be linked to shows beamed from the Slingbox. For now, though, Krikorian is optimistic that the Slingbox will do for travelers what TiVo did for couch potatoes.

“You should always be concerned about competition,” he said. “But I think we’re in a good spot because no one has the technology we have. We’ve got a head start.”

I wouldn’t be too sure about that. Sony’s LocationFree

I have one and it is great. My comments are in the Sports, Fun, Games thread from a few months back or so. I got it to watch hockey. Best US$250 I have ever spent.

Slingbox supposedly just released a version that can run on your cell phone.

I wish I could see that. Now I wonder if Sony will do the same.

Sling Media also announced both PAL and Mac versions of Slingbox at the CES2006. You can read about it here

There is supposed to be a new software update soon that will further improve the quality of the picture/feed.

My earlier posts can be found [url=

When I looked at the Sony product about this time last year, the monitor was bundled with the device so the price was over US$1,000 and out of my range/interest.

I have not found any conflict issues with my use of the Slingbox and my parents’ tv or internet use. The tv issue is easily resolved by using a feed that only goes into the device - it is pretty easy to splice a cable connection if you are just using basic cable.

I had a high speed connection (12) before and I can still surf the web and such without difficulty. My parents also do not have any problems as their internet use is mostly downloading rather than uploading. They had/have a high speed connection (2) and my Dad still surfs the web, runs a wireless network, and such while I am watching tv without problems. I run it on fps (frames per second) anyway which improves the quality of the picture and appears to reduce the bandwidth used.

I recently bought a Slingbox, and I am pleased as punch. I was initially thinking of going with Sony’s LocationFree

I’m thinking about using Slinbox with Freeview in the UK… But my father doesn’t use a PC, and my mother gets Digital TV from Sky, I think. Is it feasible?


[quote=“KenTaiwan98”]I’m thinking about using Slinbox with Freeview in the UK… But my father doesn’t use a PC, and my mother gets Digital TV from Sky, I think. Is it feasible?

I heard that Slingbox now supports PAL, but on their website, it says you have to have NTSC. So maybe that’s still in the works. If they do support PAL, I imagine any kind of cable source will work, though I don’t really know anything about Freeview… or even Digital TV. I would shoot them an e-mail to find out.

Sorry, KenTaiwan, I just read that PAL is still in Beta, but it is expected to be released some time in 2006. Keep an eye out.