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Old 05-25-2013, 02:36 PM   #1
moyekj
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Capturing Slingbox 350/500 video

There may be easier ways, but recently I discovered a nice way to capture Slingbox video stream directly (not using full screen capture techniques) thanks to "Slinguist" from this post:
http://placeshiftingenthusiasts.com/.../page-2/#p7632

Since there are a few Slingbox users here I thought it may be useful to summarize how to get the above working, since it's not trivial to do:

1. Download this Perl script:
http://placeshiftingenthusiasts.com/.../rec350b-1.zip

2. Requires Perl installation to run if you don't already have it installed:
http://www.activestate.com/activeperl/downloads

3. Perl script requires the Crypt::Tea_JS module. You can use the Perl Package Manaager to find and install that module:
Start Perl Package Manager
* View->All Packages
* Find and click on Crypt-Tea_JS
* Action->Install
* File->Run Marked Actions.

4. You then need to edit the rec350b.pl script to update $slingip, $pass and optionally $vs variables.

5. Sling IP & Port you can find as follows:
* Start the web based player the usual way (login if needed): http://newwatch.slingbox.com/#SettingsPageFacade/index
* Click on 'Settings' and then click on 'NETWORK DETAILS' where you can see HOME IP Address and Network Port
* Now in Perl script set $slingip accordingly.

6. While keeping the Slingbox stream active in your browser, the 15 digit admin password you then find by opening a new tab in your browser and visiting:
* https://newwatchsecure.slingbox.com/...count_boxes_js
* Then look for 'adminPassword' setting in the .js file. (If you have more than 1 Slingbox make sure you grab the setting for the right one).
* Now in Perl script set $pass accordingly.

7. I also changed $vs=16 to get 1920x1080 resolution 4Kbps H.264 video for my Slingbox 350.

8. Now you're ready to run the script and capture video.
* Make sure you exit Slingbox viewing in your browser before running the Perl script.
* When you run the script it will create a .asf file in same directory as the script which you can play back using VideoLAN VLC and other players.
* After running script remember to rename the .asf file to something else before running again, or it will get overwritten.
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Last edited by moyekj : 06-09-2013 at 11:58 AM.
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Old 05-31-2013, 01:26 AM   #2
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I plan on just getting one of the supported media streamers (like the WD Live) that have the Sling App already loaded. This means I can sling to my HDTV in the other room without having to use a PC or laptop. Just easier as I don't have the time anymore for much DYI.
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Old 05-31-2013, 01:35 AM   #3
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Not sure I follow your point. This thread is about a means to record Slingbox video directly. Useful for example for capturing a sequence of interaction with a TiVo to illustrate a bug or feature without having to use a video camera to record the TV picture.
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Old 05-31-2013, 07:12 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moyekj View Post
There may be easier ways, but recently I discovered a nice way to capture Slingbox video stream directly (not using full screen capture techniques) thanks to "Slinguist" from this post:
http://placeshiftingenthusiasts.com/.../page-2/#p7632

Since there are a few Slingbox users here I thought it may be useful to summarize how to get the above working, since it's not trivial to do:

1. Download this Perl script:
http://placeshiftingenthusiasts.com/.../rec350b-1.zip

2. Requires Perl installation to run if you don't already have it installed:
http://www.activestate.com/activeperl/downloads

3. Perl script requires the Crypt::Tea_JS module. You can use the Perl Package Manaager to find and install that module:
Start Perl Package Manager
* View->All Packages
* Find and click on Crypt-Tea_JS
* Action->Install
* File->Run Marked Actions.

4. You then need to edit the rec350b.pl script to update $slingip, $pass and optionally $vs variables.

5. Sling IP & Port you can find as follows:
* Start the web based player the usual way (login if needed): http://newwatch.slingbox.com/#SettingsPageFacade/index
* Click on 'Settings' and then click on 'NETWORK DETAILS' where you can see HOME IP Address and Network Port
* Now in Perl script set $slingip accordingly.

6. While keeping the Slingbox stream active in your browser, the 15 digit admin password you then find by opening a new tab in your browser and visiting:
* https://newwatchsecure.slingbox.com/...count_boxes_js
* Then look for 'adminPassword' setting in the .js file. (If you have more than 1 Slingbox make sure you grab the setting for the right one).
* Now in Perl script set $pass accordingly.

7. I also changed $vs=5 to get 640x480 resolution video as the 'HD' resolution aspect ratio is a little strange.

8. Now you're ready to run the script and capture video.
* Make sure you exit Slingbox viewing in your browser before running the Perl script.
* When you run the script it will create a .asf file in same directory as the script which you can play back using VideoLAN VLC and other players.
* After running script remember to rename the .asf file to something else before running again, or it will get overwritten.
Thanks for the write up, I plan to give this a try. Any idea if this will work with an older slingbox pro? (mpeg2 stream).
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Old 05-31-2013, 07:31 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Series3Sub View Post
I plan on just getting one of the supported media streamers (like the WD Live) that have the Sling App already loaded. This means I can sling to my HDTV in the other room without having to use a PC or laptop. Just easier as I don't have the time anymore for much DYI.
If this is true this is an outstanding travel item or tivo mini/tivo stream replacement!
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Old 05-31-2013, 09:22 AM   #6
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Thanks for the write up, I plan to give this a try. Any idea if this will work with an older slingbox pro? (mpeg2 stream).
I think the Perl script for the older Slingbox units is a slightly different one, but it's the same idea and records to a .asf file:
http://placeshiftingenthusiasts.com/...13/01/rec2.zip
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Old 05-31-2013, 01:37 PM   #7
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So this captures the digital stream directly from the Slingbox? What format is the video? H.264?
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:17 PM   #8
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So this captures the digital stream directly from the Slingbox? What format is the video? H.264?
Yes it captures and decrypts the Slingbox encoded digital output. You have control over resolution, frame rate and some other basic parameters. For the newer Slingboxes the video is H.264. Here's mediainfo stats for a sample capture:
Code:
General
Complete name                    : H:\scratch\record_1080i.asf
Format                           : Windows Media
File size                        : 6.36 MiB
Maximum Overall bit rate         : 5 120 Kbps
Movie name                       : Slingbox
Performer                        : Sling Media
Comment                          : 1

Video
ID                               : 2
Format                           : AVC
Format/Info                      : Advanced Video Codec
Codec ID                         : h264
Width                            : 1 920 pixels
Height                           : 544 pixels
Display aspect ratio             : 3.529
Color space                      : YUV
Chroma subsampling               : 4:2:0
Bit depth                        : 8 bits

Audio
ID                               : 1
Format                           : 706D
Codec ID                         : 706D
Bit rate                         : 256 Kbps
Channel(s)                       : 2 channels
Sampling rate                    : 32.0 KHz
Bit depth                        : 16 bits
I don't like above aspect ratio so normally capture as VGA (640x480).
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:26 PM   #9
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That's weird, it's half the vertical resolution of standard 1920x1080. (1920x1080 is actually 1088 with a cropping rect removing the last 8 lines)

Can you send me that file?

http://www.videoredo.net/UploadFiles.htm

I want to see if I can get it to open in VideoReDo. (see if I can coax our FFmpeg reader into reading that format)
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:43 PM   #10
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That's weird, it's half the vertical resolution of standard 1920x1080. (1920x1080 is actually 1088 with a cropping rect removing the last 8 lines)

Can you send me that file?

http://www.videoredo.net/UploadFiles.htm

I want to see if I can get it to open in VideoReDo. (see if I can coax our FFmpeg reader into reading that format)
Since I'm at work I actually grabbed a clip from that thread I posted above. You can download it from here:
http://bit.ly/15d7xNt
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:43 PM   #11
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FYI, here's mediainfo from my own 640x480 capture. That clip I linked to above must have been a European user. The video in my capture is h.264 and audio is 2 chan AAC:
Code:
General
Complete name                    : C:\home\dvd\short_clip.asf
Format                           : Windows Media
File size                        : 5.28 MiB
Movie name                       : Slingbox
Performer                        : Sling Media
Comment                          : test

Video
ID                               : 1
Format                           : AVC
Format/Info                      : Advanced Video Codec
Codec ID                         : h264
Width                            : 640 pixels
Height                           : 480 pixels
Display aspect ratio             : 4:3
Color space                      : YUV
Chroma subsampling               : 4:2:0
Bit depth                        : 8 bits

Audio
ID                               : 2
Format                           : AAC
Format/Info                      : Advanced Audio Codec
Codec ID                         : FF
Bit rate                         : 64.0 Kbps
Channel(s)                       : 2 channels
Sampling rate                    : 32.0 KHz
Bit depth                        : 16 bits
Compression mode                 : Lossy

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Old 06-02-2013, 07:27 PM   #12
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moyekj, which model of the slingbox do you have?
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Old 06-02-2013, 07:30 PM   #13
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moyekj, which model of the slingbox do you have?
350.
(I also have the original Slingbox Solo but retired it in favor of the 350 which works MUCH better under low bandwidth conditions).
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Old 06-03-2013, 12:37 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by moyekj View Post
350.
(I also have the original Slingbox Solo but retired it in favor of the 350 which works MUCH better under low bandwidth conditions).
I can even watch content from my SlingBox 350 at my GFs house with her crappy DSL 1.25Mb/s connection.
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Old 06-03-2013, 12:45 PM   #15
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I can even watch content from my SlingBox 350 at my GFs house with her crappy DSL 1.25Mb/s connection.
Yes, attempting to do that with an old Slingbox Solo would have been practically unwatchable. With the 350 the picture is quite watchable even at 900 Kbps or so.
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Old 06-03-2013, 11:22 PM   #16
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That's weird, it's half the vertical resolution of standard 1920x1080. (1920x1080 is actually 1088 with a cropping rect removing the last 8 lines)

Can you send me that file?

http://www.videoredo.net/UploadFiles.htm

I want to see if I can get it to open in VideoReDo. (see if I can coax our FFmpeg reader into reading that format)
FYI I wasn't able to just remux into mp4 or ts container using ffmpeg using -acodec copy, but converting audio to ac3 worked fine:
FFMPEG -y -i INPUT -vcodec copy -acodec ac3 -f mp4 OUTPUT

Resulting mp4 then of course could be read into VRD without issue.
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Old 06-05-2013, 02:33 AM   #17
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Yes, attempting to do that with an old Slingbox Solo would have been practically unwatchable. With the 350 the picture is quite watchable even at 900 Kbps or so.
I used to watch my Slingbox located in PA when I was in Afghanistan at 128kbps, talk about crappy, but it worked and I was able to watch all my sports at least.

Why don't you guys just use the Jaksta software to do this? Much easier and not all these hoops to jump through.
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:10 AM   #18
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Yes, attempting to do that with an old Slingbox Solo would have been practically unwatchable. With the 350 the picture is quite watchable even at 900 Kbps or so.
OK, you convinced me to spend some cash sitting in my paypal account and upgrade my ancient Slingbox Pro to a new 350 to get the h264 encoding and try this stream capture idea.

Any chance of adding this capability to kmttg or a separate utility?
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:29 AM   #19
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Why don't you guys just use the Jaksta software to do this? Much easier and not all these hoops to jump through.
Not familiar with it but it looks like non-free software?
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:32 AM   #20
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Any chance of adding this capability to kmttg or a separate utility?
Since it is Perl based and requiring a special Perl module it doesn't fit with kmttg. The Perl script here IS the utility, though I suppose you could probably have a wrapper script piping through ffmpeg to get a more standard mp4 or ts container.
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:04 AM   #21
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the crypt tea package likely implements std enc/dec algorithms. what are the c/c++ equivalent libraries to port this over to a compiled language?
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:45 AM   #22
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It implements the TEA encryption (tiny encryption algorithm).

A tiny, but not very secure encryption algorithm that's used because of its small algorithm size. There are well known flaws in TEA that was used to break the original Xbox.
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:51 AM   #23
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Among other things the Perl script uses very powerful "pack" and "unpack" Perl functions which are not trivial to port to other languages. Probably the TEA part is more easily ported.
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Old 06-09-2013, 02:41 AM   #24
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I plan on just getting one of the supported media streamers (like the WD Live) that have the Sling App already loaded. This means I can sling to my HDTV in the other room without having to use a PC or laptop. Just easier as I don't have the time anymore for much DYI.
That don't work no where near as good as a slingcatcher.
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Old 06-09-2013, 11:56 AM   #25
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FYI, I just found that using $vs=16 gives you full 1920x1080 resolution. I then remux to mp4 container & convert audio to ac3 and this is the resulting video specs:
Code:
General
Complete name                    : C:\home\video_samples\1920x1080_slingbox_sample.mp4
Format                           : MPEG-4
Format profile                   : Base Media
Codec ID                         : isom
File size                        : 6.97 MiB
Duration                         : 13s 920ms
Overall bit rate                 : 4 202 Kbps
Movie name                       : Slingbox
Performer                        : Sling Media
Writing application              : Lavf55.7.100
Comment                          : test

Video
ID                               : 1
Format                           : AVC
Format/Info                      : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile                   : High@L4.0
Format settings, CABAC           : Yes
Format settings, ReFrames        : 2 frames
Codec ID                         : avc1
Codec ID/Info                    : Advanced Video Coding
Duration                         : 13s 881ms
Bit rate                         : 4 015 Kbps
Width                            : 1 920 pixels
Height                           : 1 080 pixels
Display aspect ratio             : 16:9
Frame rate mode                  : Variable
Frame rate                       : 29.970 fps
Minimum frame rate               : 29.412 fps
Maximum frame rate               : 30.303 fps
Color space                      : YUV
Chroma subsampling               : 4:2:0
Bit depth                        : 8 bits
Scan type                        : MBAFF
Bits/(Pixel*Frame)               : 0.065
Stream size                      : 6.64 MiB (95%)

Audio
ID                               : 2
Format                           : AC-3
Format/Info                      : Audio Coding 3
Mode extension                   : CM (complete main)
Codec ID                         : ac-3
Duration                         : 13s 920ms
Bit rate mode                    : Constant
Bit rate                         : 192 Kbps
Channel(s)                       : 2 channels
Channel positions                : Front: L R
Sampling rate                    : 32.0 KHz
Bit depth                        : 16 bits
Compression mode                 : Lossy
Stream size                      : 326 KiB (5%)
So this actually may be a decent method of making copies of CCI protected recordings from your TiVo.
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:31 PM   #26
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Why convert to AC3? The original audio is AAC so it should work without conversion.
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Old 06-09-2013, 02:15 PM   #27
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Why convert to AC3? The original audio is AAC so it should work without conversion.
Because ffmpeg craps out when just doing copy audio & video for some reason. i.e. Originally I tried using ffmpeg just for remux into mp4 and/or ts container and copying video & audio but that didn't work. However transcoding audio to ac3 allows remux to work so that's what I'm using. Probably with some more fiddling it may be possible to get working without transcoding audio but since it's only 2 channel audio it doesn't really matter one way or another to me.
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Old 06-09-2013, 05:36 PM   #28
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Yeah it's pretty low bitrate too, so since you're transcoding I'd suggest you bump the audio bitrate to at least 124. I'd probably go with 224 for AC3 since it's not as efficient as AAC and needs a few more bits to prevent further loss.
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Old 06-09-2013, 06:11 PM   #29
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Yeah it's pretty low bitrate too, so since you're transcoding I'd suggest you bump the audio bitrate to at least 124. I'd probably go with 224 for AC3 since it's not as efficient as AAC and needs a few more bits to prevent further loss.
Audio bitrate is already at 192 Kbps per the mediainfo dump. Probably bumping up the sampling rate to 48KHz would be better.
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Old 06-10-2013, 11:41 AM   #30
Dan203
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Bumping the sample rate is like increasing the resolution of a picture. You're creating samples where they don't exist so the quality is at the mercy of the interpolation routine. I really don't recommend it unless you have a device that requires a higher sample rate.
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