Can a Slingbox 500 replace both a Tivo Stream and Tivo Mini Vox?

Discussion in 'TiVo Stream' started by nuraman00, Sep 5, 2018.

  1. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

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    Although this is a belated post, I also had the very same problem at the same time as you did (September 2019) for about a week and it was driving me crazy. then after a week the problem mysteriously disappeared never to return. I have no idea what happened but it was real and I'm glad it only lasted about a week. Everything has been fine since then.
     
  2. nuraman00

    nuraman00 Member

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    I forgot to post how I resolved it.

    I unplugged my Slingbox for 1 minute, then plugged it back in.

    It didn't have any more issues with restarting after that.

    1 week is a long time with this problem! When it happened 6x in 1.5 hours, it was pretty much impossible to watch any TV during that time. Because of the restarts. When it restarted, the DVR was unusable for those 2-4 minutes.

    I had my HDMI cables set up so that my Tivo went to my Slingbox via the powered HDMI splitter, then the Slingbox to the TV.

    I could have used the 2nd port on the splitter to output it to another HDMI port on my TV, but I didn't want to use two HDMI ports on my TV.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
  3. nuraman00

    nuraman00 Member

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    Also, one bit of sad news to report.

    Sometime last year, a Roku stopped supporting the Slingbox app. When I try to launch it, I get a message saying that it's not supported anymore.



    But it's not all bad. When I'm away remote at this place, I can still at least watch via a laptop or phone (I prefer laptop for the larger screen).

    I am trying to post a link to the article, but this site keeps wanting to embed the link into a video.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
  4. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

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    Well I'm beginning to wonder if it was really a full week or more like 3 or 4 days, but it sure as heck felt like a week. yeah I tried all the known tricks like rebooting the Slingbox, disconnecting it, blah blah blah, and I think I even went through a full reconfiguration to fix it, and nothing worked. and then the problem vanished, thankfully.

    however I am glad that you found however I am glad that you found the fix up disconnecting from Power which causes a reboot. that can clear up strange occasional glitches. I'll also add that while I can stream for several hours, sometimes after many hours of streaming the audio video will freeze but if I just choose "disconnect" command from from the Fire TV and then select "connect," the problem goes away and it continues to stream just fine. I suppose that is essentially a soft restart or refresh for the Slingbox, and I can always go back to view what I may have missed during the remote disconnect and reconnect commands at the Fire TV because the DVR continued to operate. I don't know if that's a glitch at the Slingbox or a glitch at the Fire TV Slingplayer app.

    glad to glad to hear Slingbox is still working. Both of mine are still working after years of use.
     
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  5. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

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    Well then you can get an Amazon Fire TV whether it is the cheaper stick or the more capable larger fire TVs such as the cube. then download the SlingPlayer app onto your Fire TV. this is a great way to watch your sling content on a large HDTV. the SlingPlayer app for Fire TV does have the traditional SlingPlayer app menus Etc and it does take some time to get used to them but once you do you'll find it likely a superior experience.
     
  6. nuraman00

    nuraman00 Member

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    Thanks.

    It's my sister's place though. That's where I stream from my Slingbox, as I've been spending an extended amount of time there the past few years, whenever I go there.

    I can't get a Fire TV just for her TV. Well I guess I could, and just take it with me every time, but that's a little weird. Good to know there's an option though, as yes, the experience on the HDTV would be superior. Maybe at some point I'll come to this.

    Maybe I can also just use a HDMI cable from the laptop to the TV. Oh no, but then I won't have any of the controls easily available, I'll have to be near the laptop.

    The Fire TV, as you suggested, would work like it did with the Roku, where I can use my phone as the remote.
     
  7. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

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    Well, the Fire TV Stick is exactly the sort of thing that is designed to plug into whatever display, watch, and then disconnect the Fire TV Stick and put it in your pocket, and walk away. Lots of Slingbox users LOVE the Fire TV Stick for just this purpose. Many other users take the Fire TV Stick with them whereever they go or when they travel, and they just plug it in and then watch whaever and then pull it out of the HDMI and then move on.

    I encourage you to consider the Fire TV Stick (it is about the size of a USB thumb drive) for its portability and ease of plug into HDMI and pull out when done. Go to the Amazon website and read the reviews to be familiar with it. OH, and it is Cheap compared to the full size Fire TV or any other connected device for what it does.

    Interesting that Roku is no longer supported because I sometimes use my aunt's Roku to connect to my Slingbox to watch. Now I probably gotta get a Fire Stick, too. :(

    Good Luck!
     
    nuraman00 likes this.
  8. nuraman00

    nuraman00 Member

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    Sorry for the lack of response. Your post has been on my mind for several months.

    I am now considering a 4K Fire Stick for one more reason, than just having SlingPlayer.

    I recently noticed an issue when playing a Google Play movie on my Sony 4K XBR-900e TV, which uses AndroidTV as the OS.

    There was a lot of artifacting when playing 4K movies.

    I rolled back the version of Google Play to the factory installed version, and 99% of the issue was resolved.

    99% is not 100% though.

    However, this lead to a suggestion from someone on another forum, that playback through a streaming device would be better than using the native Google Play app on the TV.

    BTW, this is not my "main" TV, I use my Plasma TV most of the time. The upstairs 4K TV is more of a limited use TV, for now.

    What do you think about this?

    Would playback on a 4K Fire Stick be better than using the TV itself?

    Is the 4x ARM Cortex-A53 @1.7GHz on a 4K Fire Stick better than the ARM Cortex-A53 @ 1.1 GHz on the Sony 900E TV (X1 Processor).


    (Are the X1 Processor on the TV and the Cortex-A53 the same thing?)

    Or, is it more about the software? Such as when I noticed that going back to an older version of Google Play worked better than the more updated version.

    So is the version of an app like Google Play on a Fire Stick, better than an updated version on an AndroidTV?

    On a completely separate topic, I noticed Google Play downscales 4K movies, when playing from the web.

    It is not one of their supported devices for 4K:

    Watch HD, 4K UHD & HDR videos with Google Play Movies & TV - Google Play Help

    Movies Anywhere appears to have the same issue.

    (I don't have an account with them yet, but am considering it).

    I contacted Movies Anywhere, this was their response why:

    ++++++++

    Thank you so much for getting back to us.

    Unfortunately no. A web browser doesn't support 4K and you won't be able to stream a movie in 4K using your Movies Anywhere account. If you have a 4K movie you still can stream the movie but it won't be in 4K.


    ++++++++++

    Why is the web browser such a limiting factor in 4K playback?

    I would also like to be able to use a 4K Fire Stick with my computer, but that doesn't seem possible. Perhaps if I connected it directly into my computer monitor, but my monitor doesn't have built in speakers.

    I'm just trying to get items that give me the most flexibility. So getting a Fire Stick for Sling Player is one way. If it also enhances playback on my 4K TV, then that would be a second way. And it would be good if I could also use that with my computer or monitor, but as far as I can tell, that doesn't seem possible.
     
  9. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

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    OK, that is a lot of info. Allow me to get to the bottom of the superiority of a dedicated streaming device like a FireTV as opposed to any of the TV's: The TV's often do NOT update their apps, and often don't update API's and what you get is a DIMINSHED experience compared to a dedicated streamer (like FireTV or Roku), and eventually, the TV makers just give up and the app stops working or just pull the app.

    The process is really complicated but, I believe it is the service such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. who build the app and maintain it, and only do so if streamers continue to pay and priority goes to the dedicated streamers like FireTV and Roku, while everybody else, including TiVo, Dish, and whoever else has thier app are lower on the list. Also, a dedicated streamer is designed for that ONE purpose and can excell in it and not have to provide any other features. A TV or TiVo DVR or Dish Hopper are what they are FIRST: A TV or a DVR for linear TV, while the apps they offer are NOT the primary feature they provide and, unfortunately, TV's, DVR's, etc. often don't get upgraded to be able to handle the latest versions of apps by Netflix or Amazon Prime, etc. This leads to all sorts of shortcommings when using TV's and DVR, etc. to view content using those apps.

    Further, if one has a really ancient or slow Roku or FireTV, it costs very little--compared to a new TV or DVR that is otherwise functioning very well--to upgrade the Roku or FireTV and get the latesest and greatest offered by the latest version of the apps.

    Considering the above, the better or weaker chip on the TV vs. a dedicated streamer is not going make any difference in the world when the TV maker choosed to stop PAYING to support the apps and the DVR maker simply can't upgrade what is necessary to keep the apps robust.

    The short answer: ALWAYS go with a dedicated streamer whenever possible. OR while the NEW TV may have a great streaming app experience for now, you will have to get a dedicated streamer to view such content on the very same TV after some time when the app experience begins to go downhill, and this includes certain features of the APP itself. All the deidcated streamers have done very well with multiple updates with the streaming services apps over time with all sorts of better additions of features than any of the TV's or DVR's, and that is because those device do ONE thing, and Roku or Amazon can't NOT be able to update and provide the best experience in streaming or they would lose to each other's competition or people would not bother buying dedicated stremaers in the first place. This is why didicated streamers are so popular and the vast majority of people prefer the experience of a dedicated streamer to any other device when it comes to streaming content and have a dedicated streamer connected to a Smart TV instead of using the smart TV. Roku and Amazon are almost always gonna pay the money to the streamers, unlike most Smart TV's and DVR's, and TV manufactrures consdier a TV a few years old to be a LEGACY device that they resent paying streaming services to keep alive the apps on aging TV's, when TV makers can make money selling NEW TV's.

    Long post. Sorry. Wrote more infor than I thought. I hope that helps, and remember: dedicated streamers can be CHEAP or get the highest end streamer. I always get the highest end (they aren't that expensive for better performance and speeed, etc.) and are fairly future proof, so you can have great experience over many years compared to the lowest end Roku, as one example. Of course the "stick" devices like the FireTV Stick are designed to be portable/mobile, so they are the best option if one needs portability like plugging into different TV's upon travels or temporary use. Otherwise, it one is going to have the streamer always connected to the one TV, I would go highest end streaming device and enjoy it.

    I hope it all works out for you.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2020
  10. nuraman00

    nuraman00 Member

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    Thank you for the response. It helps put things in perspective.

    Which one do you think is best?

    I am looking for:

    1) Supports SlingPlayer

    2) Portability (so I can take it to a family member's and use the SlingPlayer)

    3) Great performance (won't have playback issues like what I encountered with 4K Google Play content on my TV with Android TV.

    I've read good things about Nvidia Shield, but it doesn't support SlingPlayer, so that's out. (It might be possible to side load it, but that has mixed results, and I don't want to do that).

    So it seems like it's between FireStick 4K or AppleTV 4K.

    4) I don't know if this exists, but is the user experience on these apps better?

    One thing I get annoyed with when using these apps, is that when I pause something, the navigation controls come on the screen, and the screen content goes dim. For me, when I pause something, it's usually because I want to look at something in the scene. Having the navigation controls block the image hurts this. So does having the screen go dim, as I then can't look at the detail I'm trying to look at.

    I like using my Tivo, because when I pause something, I get the full image, no dimming, no navigation controls in the way.

    If one of these streamers has apps which mimics this behavior, that will get the edge from me.

    It also appears navigating in time is app specific too. When I use HBO GO, I can rewind to the exact second. When I use Google Play Movies, I have to go back in 10 second increments. Again, I prefer having greater control, where I can go to the exact second.

    On another note, this review doesn't like the AppleTV remote, because it has a touch pad. After reading about it, I would agree that I wouldn't like a touchpad.

    Apple TV 4K vs. Nvidia Shield TV: Which Streaming Device Should You Buy? | Tom's Guide
     
  11. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

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    Fire TV! Certainly the ONLY streamer with Slingbox App.

    Outside of Slingbox app needs, for me, still Fire TV. However, Roku does have a lot more of those "crap apps" and those quirky oddball services that show really old stuff with very POOR quality or just bizarre niche apps with bizarre content. Fire TV's have all the big services I need/desire and it has Slingbox app and Dish Anywhere app, which I use both those apps. Fire TV now has Echo built-in, if one fancies all that "Alexa" has to offer in terms of voice control and other services features even if just to ask what the weather is or to define a word or ask it about some unknown country or movie, TV show, etc.

    Basically Fire TV (the only choice of SlingPlayer) or Roku. I do not care for any of the other streamers as of today for various reasons. While other streamers have some advantages (like Android TV), they are lousy at doing what most people want for a streamer today. Those other streamers are for niche apps and users, and many of those who do have such streamers also STILL have and use either a Fire TV or Roku, so the other streamers are not really a Swiss Army Knife after all. And Fire TV and Roku offer inexpensive streamers that work well. This is not to say that the future may very well be Android TV ubiquitous in all homes, but not just yet. I hope that helps, and that is all very subjective.

    Hope that helps.
     
  12. nuraman00

    nuraman00 Member

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    Placed my order for a 4K Fire Stick. Should be here by Tuesday.
     
  13. nuraman00

    nuraman00 Member

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    @Series3Sub, what are we going to do now?

    Individual streaming apps suck. They don't have the same flexibility in navigation as a Tivo.

    I was forced to use one a few weeks ago, as I had forgotten to record a game. I went to FOX's on-demand app.

    There was no way for me to navigate in time (FF or REW). I either had to join the game in progress, or watch from the beginning with no navigation.

    I thought I might have been doing something wrong, so I tried the Firestick version; the Android TV version; and the web version. All were very limited.

    There isn't anything like being able to precisely control DVR content like a Tivo, and extended via Slingbox.

    Is a Tivo Stream still a viable option, to be used with a Tivo Premiere XL4?

    +++++++++++++++++

    https://www.slingbox.com/

    IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS
    11/9/2020
    Effective November 9, 2020, Sling Media’s Slingbox products will be discontinued.

    To find a list of the Slingbox models subject to this decision and for additional details, please visit www.slingbox.com/discontinued.

    Sling Media will continue to support existing users who remain under warranty.
     
  14. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I got the email, too. Well we at least about 2 more years into 2022, but it is a SAD bit of news.

    I agree with you about your experience using the apps. The really sad thing is that Slingbox worked much, much more reliably than the TiVo app ever did for remote viewing. In fact, I remotely viewed TiVo exclusively with Slingbox because TiVo's remote view is a CLUSTER MESS!

    Just recently, Dish had to completely redesign and re-code the Dish Anywhere app to meet modern tech requirements, and it has been an unreliable mess, although Dish has improved it in recent weeks, but I know it will take time to get it to work as well as the old Dish Anywhere app. So, now I depend upon Slingbox to stream my Dish content Live and DVR while Dish fixes the new Dish Anywhere, with design changes that are INFERIOR to the old app. The new versions takes more effort and is not nearly as intuitive as the previous version, so Slingbox has been the simple, reliable fallback that NEVER FAILS, and, of course, we can do and access MORE--or ANYTHING we can do at home--with a Slingbox than we can with either TiVo or Dish Anywhere app or those stupid channel apps.

    What will I do? Maybe I'll be dead by 2022, and I don't have to experience the nightmare of the TiVo app or the not nearly as bad Dish Anywhere app. I suspect the Dish Anywhere app will be fine by 2022, but certainly NOT the TiVo who has seen the Cable Card requirement killed and may hasten TiVo's final days. I just hope that Xperi (TiVo's owners) continue to keep the servers up for us retail customers considering they have to keep the servers up for MSO (smaller cable company) customers, but I don't know what Xperi is capable of doing.

    Well, let's just enjoy our Slingboxes for the next 2 years while we can. NO, I can not think of another product that does what the Slingbox does, and by that I mean plug into almost ANY device and stream whatever comes out of the HDMI or analog outputs (even DVD/blueray players and DVD Recorders outputs can be streamed) and stream it to a remote location. And certainly there is no other product than plug into the outputs of proprietary DVR's like TiVo's and cable and satellite DVR's and stream to any location.

    I guess if I want to stream OTA broadcast channels remotely, I would get the Amazon Fire TV Recast, warts and all, but for Dish DVR content, I have no other option then Dish Anywhere app. In fact, for any cable or sat service DVR, one is relegated to their own apps that can include inferior options or features since they don't control the DVR or linear box as if you were at home with all options and features and operations as if you are front of the box at home.

    Well, just enjoy the time you have left with your Slingbox. We have until 2022, so there is at least some time left.
     
  15. nuraman00

    nuraman00 Member

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    Thanks for sharing.

    I never even got the email from Slingbox. I checked all of my inboxes. I had to find out through a post on this forum.

    Why does Slingbox even need their servers up, for this setup to work? Shouldn't it just be through one's own router?

    How do people use a Slingbox with a DVD or Blu Ray player, remotely? Does the disc already have to be in the drive?

    Do you think a Tivo Stream would be the next solution for me, with my Tivo Premiere XL4? Would I then be able to remotely watch content? Does a Tivo Stream use a tuner?
     
  16. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    I have a Stream. I can watch content from TiVo Online. It does not use a tuner, just an Ethernet connection. I have no knowledge of the Slingbox or Sling.
     
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  17. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    Are you sure about that? When I watch "live", it starts recording on a tuner. No way around that. Of course if you watch other recordings, that would obviously not use a tuner.8

    Since Slingbox/Sling is going to quit working soon, it doesn't really matter. But think of it as a remote desktop session, where you see and control exactly what the local viewer sees and controls.
     
  18. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    Yes the disc would have to be in the player or you call someone at home to load it for it.

    I think Tivo will soon follow Sling in terms of obsolescence. I'd personally pursue some sort of cloud/streaming replacement. If you're a cable watcher, replacing your whole system and service with Youtube TV, for example, would give you all your current channels and the ability to watch anywhere with nothing but a streaming device. If you're an OTA watcher, then any number of software DVRs would work the same (Recast, Channels, Tablo, etc.).
     
  19. nuraman00

    nuraman00 Member

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    Thanks.

    The biggest drawback to me of YouTube TV is that content can only be kept for 9 months. I have some stuff that I like to keep. Other times, it can take a few years before I watch some content.

    Most streaming platforms aren't good with sports channels, but YouTube TV is one of them. But the limit on how long content can be kept, sucks.

    Let's say Tivo was discontinued. Do their servers need to be up, for the DVRs to still work? I thought that was one advantage of having local storage.
     
  20. nuraman00

    nuraman00 Member

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    And this doesn't even address my frustration with most apps.

    Navigating in time is more limited.

    Then some of them do stupid things, like if I pause content, then sometimes they put a navigation menu on top of the paused content, without a way to remove the navigation bar. A lot of times I pause content so I can look at a scene more closely. For example, if I'm watching "The Simpsons", there's a lot of funny signs that I need to pause to read.

    If I'm watching a game, sometimes I want to pause something to see where the ball is (with sports with small balls).
     

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