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Old 03-17-2013, 06:46 AM   #1
Gaidin43
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Watching TiVo away from home what should I use TiVo stream, Slingbox, or HDhome

So I am really trying to find the best way to watch my TiVo away from home. I bought a TiVo stream thinking I could find a way to VPN it, but it seems as of now that is not possible. So I am considering returning the stream and trying a Slingbox, an HDhomerun, or maybe eagle eyetv (not too sure if last one is possible).

Does anyone have suggestions or experience on using any of this items away from home on an iPhone or a mini?
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Old 03-17-2013, 07:05 AM   #2
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You will not get the mini to work away from your local network.

I have used an old Slingbox Pro for many years for what you are trying to do. The picture quality is limited by your upstream bandwidth but it works. Newer slingboxes encode to h.264 so are more efficient with bandwidth than mine. An iphone will require an up to date slingbox and the iphone app which is sold seperately.
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:00 AM   #3
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My upload speed is not limited. I have about 25 MB per second with FIOS. I am looking at the possibility of using a stream in replace of two minis on two televisions that are rarely used using an iPad. Yes I know HDMI out and AirPlay are disabled at this time. But there are possible workarounds. If I could get the stream to be usable over a VPN I would have a one item solution for my two problems.

If I get a Slingbox I could just AirPlay and/or HDMI out through the lightning port to the other two TVs as well but the main unit would be hijacked in the process, which isn't too big of a deal.

The appeal to using the stream over VPN is that it would use only one of the tuners well the main television was still able to be used by whoever was sitting in front of it. The issue with the Slingbox is anyone wanting to watch TV would have to watch what I'm streaming over my phone.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:33 AM   #4
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You are absolutely correct. IF the stream were usable over a VPN outside of your network.

IF the stream worked outside your local network, they would be selling quite a few more of them, me included. I agree, its a better solution if it were not network limited. As far as I can tell, no one has really made it work reliably yet. The Slingbox works off the shellf.

If money were no object, a mini or a second tivo and a slingbox together would do what you are asking.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:59 AM   #5
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Yes I know there are a lot of if's involved. At this point I am almost tempted to return my stream and just get a mini in a sling box like you stated. However the cost of $100 goes up to the cost of about just under $500 with tax. From what I have read you can access your TiVo and use the app over VPN to use the remote control and other functions on the main box. However the issue with the stream is streaming over VPN has issues with Bonjour handshake. I have been messing around with the VPN trying to see what solutions are out there in what I can do to make this work before I scheduled the return.

The issue with the Slingbox is the HDMI digital rights management And needing a powered HDMI port or else it doesn't transmit the component signal. I know there is a workaround of buying an HDMI splitter that is powered that'll make the Slingbox think it is connected to a TV that is always on. In addition you need to buy the Slingbox app that isn't as clean and easy as it TiVo app to control it. You are basically using a IR remote to control your TiVo box through the network all the Slingbox.

I am wondering if anyone else has a solution to this problem or any ideas on how to get it to work?
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:48 PM   #6
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Sling is definitely the way to go. My son watches Blackhawks hockey games in Indianapolis on his computer or hooks to his big screen when I watch them here locally, and we never have a problem. We connect via component and not HDMI....
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:54 PM   #7
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Slingbox has a bad reputation after the whole "bulging capacitors" issue on their newer units (cheap discrete capacitors go bad after a year or so rendering box useless). I recently ordered a Vulkano Flow for $99 instead. Haven't received it yet so don't know how well it works. I still have the original Slingbox Solo from a long time ago but it does a pretty lousy job with low bandwidth - anything below 500Kbps looks terrible, so I needed to upgrade to something that uses H.264 encoding and can look OK down to 150Kbps or so. For viewing from hotels it's very common to get below 300Kbps speeds so getting a decent picture at low bandwidth is important.
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:59 PM   #8
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How do you suggest connecting a Slingbox to a TiVo mini? The mini only has an HDMI output and all Slingbox minus the $550 one only has component in and outputs? Unless you are talking about adding a converter in the mix as well.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:10 PM   #9
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The slingbox only works for shows being played currently on your tivo though, right?
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:29 PM   #10
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How do you suggest connecting a Slingbox to a TiVo mini? The mini only has an HDMI output and all Slingbox minus the $550 one only has component in and outputs? Unless you are talking about adding a converter in the mix as well.
You can order A/V breakout cables from tivo.com cable accessories page so as to get composite or component output from the Mini.
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:50 PM   #11
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The slingbox only works for shows being played currently on your tivo though, right?
No Slingbox can play recorded shows too but the catch is it will display whatever you are watching on the TV it is connected to, which isn't too big of a deal if its a secondary tv. Along box is a network remote that mimics all of tivos remote commands and it will transmute whatever the TV is displaying.

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You can order A/V breakout cables from tivo.com cable accessories page so as to get composite or component output from the Mini.
Ah didn't realize there were break out cables for a mini. This looks like it would work perfectly. The cost is prohibitive when compared to just using the stream to do the exactly same thing over a VPN.

Last edited by Gaidin43 : 03-18-2013 at 04:59 PM.
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:46 PM   #12
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No Slingbox can play recorded shows too but the catch is it will display whatever you are watching on the TV it is connected to, which isn't too big of a deal if its a secondary tv. Along box is a network remote that mimics all of tivos remote commands and it will transmute whatever the TV is displaying.
So I can play anything recorded on my tivo (at least if no one else is home)?
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:41 PM   #13
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Correct that is how Slingbox works.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:27 PM   #14
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thanks
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:38 PM   #15
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Ah didn't realize there were break out cables for a mini. This looks like it would work perfectly. The cost is prohibitive when compared to just using the stream to do the exactly same thing over a VPN.
Few people would have good enough upstream bandwidth from their ISP for that to be practical, unless the Stream really compresses the heck out of the signal and can output a very low bit rate. Also, you really need bandwidth adaptive encoding such as the Sling or the Vulkano are doing.
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:25 AM   #16
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Few people would have good enough upstream bandwidth from their ISP for that to be practical, unless the Stream really compresses the heck out of the signal and can output a very low bit rate. Also, you really need bandwidth adaptive encoding such as the Sling or the Vulkano are doing.
Can you force the sling to max resolution? If your bandwidth can support it ?
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:06 AM   #17
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Can you force the sling to max resolution? If your bandwidth can support it ?
Sling adapts automatically to available bandwidth. Running Sling on LAN for example yields excellent picture quality.
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:53 AM   #18
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I had a Slingbox. I found that the wifi in most Hotels is too crappy to maintain a watchable quality and that the lag between what you're seeing and what is actually playing on the TiVo at home is so high that trick play controls are basically useless.
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:07 PM   #19
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I had to watch my Slingbox living in a wooden B-hut in the northeastern Afghanistan mountains where 128kbps for $100/month was considered "fast". Sure it sucked PQ wise but it saved my sanity being able to watch my Philly sports teams choke every year!

P.S. - The moral of the story is, Slingbox just works if you know how to tweak it for your conditions.

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Old 03-19-2013, 02:10 PM   #20
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If we could solve the VPN issue with the TiVo stream we wouldn't need a sling box. And even better if we could set the stream to adaptive streaming it would be outstanding.

Even better if TiVo allows streaming away from home, but I doubt I ever see this happening because of pressure from those "evil" cable companies.
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:33 PM   #21
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You can VPN to a TiVo Stream if your iOS device is jailbroken. Although unless you have a steady 2.5Mbps on both ends it wont work very well. You can download shows though and that should work OK at any speed. Albeit slowly if the connection is slow.
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:36 PM   #22
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You can VPN to a TiVo Stream if your iOS device is jailbroken. Although unless you have a steady 2.5Mbps on both ends it wont work very well. You can download shows though and that should work OK at any speed. Albeit slowly if the connection is slow.
Can you show me the steps needed to use a jail broken iOS device to do this? My connection is about 10x what you stated I needed.

I have been looking for a set up guide to do this, but haven't been able to find a VPN that can handle multistream and fool the tivo into thinking it is in the same network.
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:44 PM   #23
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:58 PM   #24
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There is a thread about it in the Stream section. Someone posted step by step instructions there. However it's finicky. You have to be sure your iOS device is connected to wifi AND the VPN before launching the TiVo app or it will detect that it's away and you wont be able to get it working again until you're back on the local network. It's a total kludge.
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Old 03-19-2013, 03:30 PM   #25
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But no way to get it to work if you close the app and open it while away?

That is the biggest issue in look to solve.

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Old 03-19-2013, 04:06 PM   #26
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As long as you're connected to wifi before you launch the app it works. However if you open the app while connected to 4G then the app goes into an away mode and there is no way to recover from it until you're back on the local network.
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:00 PM   #27
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As long as you're connected to wifi before you launch the app it works. However if you open the app while connected to 4G then the app goes into an away mode and there is no way to recover from it until you're back on the local network.
You should be able to manually close exit it, re-launch the VPN and try again, as the whole point of a VPN is that the device looks like it is on the local network...
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:22 PM   #28
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Maybe. It's been a while since I read the thread on this. But I thought the guy who posted the instructions said that once the app was in away mode it could not be recovered from until you were on the local network again.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:57 PM   #29
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Maybe. It's been a while since I read the thread on this. But I thought the guy who posted the instructions said that once the app was in away mode it could not be recovered from until you were on the local network again.
I skimmed it and didn't see that, but I could have missed it.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:25 AM   #30
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Sling adapts automatically to available bandwidth. Running Sling on LAN for example yields excellent picture quality.
That's partially correct. You can select the automatic setting OR you can specify a quality setting using the Sling.

Running a Sling on your LAN does give you excellent quality, but, with an upload cap of 5 mbps on my Internet connection, my son says he gets excellent HD PQ 300 miles away...
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