Slingbox Solo

I love my Slingbox! I have a Slingbox Classic that I bought from Woot over three years ago, and I’ve been using it ever since.

There are a lot of TV streaming products out there these days, with varied capabilities. I think a major strength of the Slingbox is the mature, high-quality software that comes with it. Over the years they’ve made great strides with Slingplayer on Windows, adding scroll-back to pause or replay live TV and an integrated program guide. There’s also the “SlingBar” window sizing option, which “docks” the player at the left or right edge of the screen and keeps maximized windows inside the remaining space. It’s great for watching TV while you work, and easier to set up than any TV tuner I’ve used.

The Mac version is a bit more primitive and lacks the aforementioned features, but it works fine.

Windows and Mac versions both allow you to letterbox/pillarbox the video as needed. I use this a lot on my widescreen netbook to remove black bars from some shows on SD analog cable and fill the screen.

SlingPlayer Mobile has been out for Blackberry for a very long time, iirc, and more recently they’ve come out with versions for Windows Mobile, iPhone, and most recently Android. The Android version is $30 and came out just last summer; I don’t know what the cost is on other platforms.

I lived in a dorm until a few weeks ago, so the internet connection there was awesome for streaming over the internet. I was expecting to have problems when I moved back home, due to the poor upstream speed of cable internet. So far, though, there haven’t been any issues streaming over the internet to my phone or my laptop. The Slingbox will lower the quality of the video if the network bandwidth isn’t high enough, but I haven’t noticed any noticeable difference as of yet.

EDIT: Oh, do note that this one can’t tune a cable signal; you need a Slingbox Pro or a Slingbox Tuner for that. This one is ideal for use with a set-top box or DVR, though.

Edit 2: Some people have gotten the Windows version of Slingplayer to work on Linux under Wine. It didn’t work so well for me; YMMV.

ditto. shakes head

There were some pretty funny comments going on there.

Yeah, they came out with the Sling Android version last June (I think) and that’s when I bought it.

The Slingbox Pro I have is old (I think about three years) and I was pleased to see that it works with the Sling software.

I just tested it to make sure I still get Comcast premium channels (HBO, Starz, etc.) and I do.

So that’s a good thing assuming Comcast changed things today, as the other Wooter said.

So this is not usable to be used as a recorder right? it will only stream what is there? I am looking to build a DVR computer and the interfacing with a STB so easily would be fantastic.

Something I forgot before: For anyone concerned about the fact that this is a refurb, the SlingBox Classic that I bought three years ago was also refurbished, and it has performed flawlessly.

FWIW, I’ve been using the Android version with my Slingbox Classic without any issues so far, though occasionally it will start with a little dialog reminding me that my configuration is unsupported.

Which older Slingbox did you have? IIRC, the Classic does have IR blasters, so it should be able to control a set-top box. Though, I guess that you might need component video inputs, or maybe the Classic doesn’t support newer devices.

Love having this at home with a Sling Turbo and a Sling Catcher, as I save $10 a month on an additional cable set top box. Use it daily at work to watch hockey, or hear about the imminent demise of the world from global warming or Fox News (Pick your poison). My tv viewing has gone up infinitely since gettin this, but at least I’m not sleeping at work now.

Be aware that Sling Media had a major issue a couple of months ago where customers were unable to access their Slingboxes.

Sling acknowledged the issue and opened some forum threads about it, but at some point they declared the issue closed - leaving many users without access, per the thread postings at the time. (The threads have conveniently disappeared since then.)

I suspect (hope?) that my access issues can still be resolved by reinstalling software, a hard reset of the slingbox, firmware update, repeating setup, or some combination thereof, but the experience reveals a product/service that is held together with fishing line and duct tape. It’s fine if you have plenty of spare time and interest to troubleshoot issues, but not if you’re a busy professional who already invested the effort to set it up and just wants to watch TV remotely, or - more importantly - monitor the security of their home.

Someone made a free program called SLR. When installed and run, it basically accesses the Slingbox and can view or record from it. That also means you wouldn’t be able to access the Slingbox with any other device during this time. It doesn’t open the SlingPlayer software on your PC so the resource usage isn’t too high. The quality will only be as good as the Slingbox is capable of delivering, and maybe slightly worse depending on the settings. But you can set timers and use it as a ghetto DVR for your computer without having to mess around with installing a tuner card or other software. The quality is not going to be as good as a tuner card which can record HD or from your cable connection, but it works in a pinch if quality isn’t the most important thing. I used it to record a show on timer when my TV DVR was full and I didn’t have time to erase something.

http://www.benlo.com/slingbox/

Setting it up was pretty easy and the website is helpful. You probably will have to also install a version of VLC if you want to use it’s viewer software, although Windows Media Player will also play the files (ASF). There’s also a step-by-step guide on the site for that.

Anyone know if there are any hacks that lets you stream HD without the SOLO downrezing it to SD?

So to be clear, I have Dish Network and DVR. If I buy this, I can use it to watch stuff on my DVR AND anything else that’s airing at the moment from my PC/phone (if compatible)?

I have this model and have been very happy with it. It does have component connectors, so don’t think you need to higher up the food chain for HD streaming.

The android app is $30, and I haven’t been able to bring myself to buy it because I never really use the Sling outside of my home. We have an office that extends off the kitchen and we basically use that computer as a TV via the sling box. It’s worked well for the past 2 years or so.

That is exactly true. You will have to get the Phone software. I use the old silver Sling (Classic?) and have done both for years.

What about AT&T Uverse?

I almost pulled the trigger on this but thankfully I did a little more research. Hopefully someone here can help me out with my problem…

I live in an apartment with free wireless internet so I can’t hook this thing up to the router. It’s my understanding that I need a wireless bridge or gaming adapter, correct? How well would this work? I get a great signal in my apartment. Second, how do I go about hooking this all up together? Finally, can anyone recommend a good cheap bridge or adapter or whatever I need to make this thing work?

I got one of these badboys from Woot over a year ago. They absolutely rock; I can watch from my laptop (a mac of course) or even my iPod Touch via wifi.
Also, it is no longer necessary to download an application on my windoze computer at work as I can now watch via my Firefox browser. The. Best. Ever.

True dat. I have an even older SlingBox AV that I wooted a couple of years back and it’s still rockin’. I use it to upstream cable AND my Roku over my WLAN to allow me to watch stuff when I’m on TDY or when my wife or I are on the treadmill for 30-45 minutes at a time.

The only downside to my setup is that the AV has no pass-thru jacks, and the input jacks are one composite (yellow RCA) video, one S-video, and two RCA red/white audio jacks. While I can switch within the SlingPlayer software between the composite and S-video inputs, both of my video sources have to share the same audio inputs. This means I have to shut down the one I’m not “looking” at if I don’t want to listen to it.

The Solo has a slightly different port arrangement, adding composite jacks and pass-thru jacks to everything, but there are still only one pair of audio inputs. You can still control two (actually three) different video sources, but you have to add RCA splitters if you want each to jack their audio into the stream, and you still have to shutdown or mute each non-watched source to keep its audio from piling on top of the audio from the source you’re watching.

Addendum: You can link three different devices to this unit - one to the composite input, one to s-video, and one to component - and the SlingPlayer can switch between them easily. But to control three devices you need three IR blasters - this comes with only a single two-headed blaster. You can use each head on a different device, but to control three different devices you’ll need a 2-for-1 splitter for the IR jack and a second IR blaster line. They can be found easily enough, but only the single blaster cable is included in the box.

Here’s a peek at the backside. Warning, this is a big jpg!
http://download.slingmedia.com/web/press/slingbox-SOLO-back.jpg

I bought a Slingbox Solo from woot last year, and just little over a year later (just after warranty) the box stopped being able to make a connection. From everything I’ve read, the problem appears to be capacitors that burn out and is particular to the Solo model. I wound up dragging my older Slingbox AV (also bought from woot) from the closet and have been using it ever since. Hopefully the refurb on this batch have fixed the problem - and those interested in buying should seriously consider adding on the Square Trade warranty.

I have a slingbox HD that I’m going to return and buy this. Overall I’m pretty happy with the device, but the quality is just okay. For me, I think my quality is worse because I have the unit hooked into a wireless bridge, if it was hard wired it would probably be better.

Watching from the computer is cool, you have your exact remote, On Demand, DVR, since it’s a/v pass through everything you can see on your TV you can see on the web or on your phone (for $30)

The HD version doesn’t just do HD, it lets you control multiple devices. I bought HD initially because I thought I might want to control my Patriot media streamer as well. What’s really lame is that the HD version only comes with 1 IR blaster with like 6 leads. Though, if this is something you want to do, the HD version could be an option for you.

Amazon has this for $165 out the door, but $95 is a much better value. I know now that I will use this very casually, but for $125 (I purchased the iPhone app) it’s a great value.

These units are pretty sparse on Ebay and Craigslist so for under $100 with a short warranty this is a no brainier.

Okay - question from a noob – do you have to do anything with the ports on the router to get this thing to send out the TV signal? I’ve got an older D-link (524?) router and it was a pain to open the ports to get my security cameras out and frankly, I just don’t want to mess with it again. LOL

If someone is watching something via the sling box, does your tv at home have to be watching the same thing? (Sorry if that is a stupid question. I have no idea how this thing does what it does.)