slingbox is being discontinued, any viable alternatives?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by tivoknucklehead, Jan 12, 2017.

  1. tivoknucklehead

    tivoknucklehead Well-Known Member

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    Orlando Florida

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    Slingbox Manufacturing Halted... In Favor Of Video Production Ecosystem


    I have used slingboxes for many years and always use mine when I travel, and use it weekly to stream from my TV to my PC in another room. The M2 works great using the Amazon Fire TV app. Any other viable solutions out there for watching your Tivo outside the home?. The Amazon Fire Tv Tivo app is pretty awful
    I know I'll be fine for awhile, but I fear the slingbox will turn into a useless Boxee Box one day in the future
     
    Mikeguy likes this.
  2. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    Sigh. :(
     
  3. osu1991

    osu1991 Well-Known Member

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    I'll have to start looking at replacements too if something happens to sling access anytime soon. I have one Las Vegas and one in Tulsa and use them a lot especially when in Las Vegas.
     
    Mikeguy likes this.
  4. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I've never used one, but there is another box called a Vulkano that does the same thing as a Slingbox. Not sure how well they work though.
     
  5. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

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    Sling Media will no longer manufacture any new Slingboxes. However, they will continue to provide so that Slingboxes and apps continue to function today and into the indeterminate future. However, I glean that support for future OS's seems likely over. So, there is no need for any panic at this point, but if you need it to work on Win10 or perhaps, Nuget and forward, then one can begin a calm search for replacement. HOWEVER . . .

    With every cable and sat offering its own built-in streaming content you pay for solution in DVR's or otherwise (and TiVo App for its boxes), and with the new OTT MVPD's (SlingTV, SonyVue, etc.) that stream via internet to begin with, the use of a Slingbox for most is redundent and not necessary (Almost no one I've known even knew Slingboxes existed), and I think that is what contributed to Sling Media's poor Slingbox sales for more than the last few years (not that many total ever sold, either) and thta's even before the recent ad revenue controversy, which was a last ditch attempt to pay for the support costs of Slingbox/apps. In light of that, and mostly the last moment ad revenue attempt, I had been anticipating Sling Media's decision to no longer manufacture new Slingboxes.

    Now, for the even smaller number of people who place shift overseas or for access to local OTA, nothing is going to be quite as straghtforward as a Slingbox (Tablo and a others can solve the OTA part), and NONE are going to have Sling Media's propriatary encoding that can provide for GOOD to VERY GOOD PQ in even slow bandwidth situations (of course, Sling Media tech is and will continue to be built-in to Dish DVR's and also used for the new AirTV product by Dish DBS Corp for the "cord cutter" market), so Sling Media tech will not be going away and will be built-in to future products such as those for cord cutters, etc., just no more Slingboxes nor support nor support for SlngApps for next gen OS's is how I read the press release. And, Frankly, my Slingboxes are more reliable than even Dish's more complex Dish Anywhere (with Sling Media tech built-in) and even FAR, FAR, FAR more reliable than TiVo Stream's utter uselessness for OOH streaming and even show transfers and the never ending "Sing In" requirement to watch transferred show when we have no internet acess. TiVo Stream does work well enough on my LAN, but nothing is as good, reliable, or with uniformly GOOD to EXCELLENT PQ in even slow bandwidth situations as Slingbox.

    I guess we will have to hang on to our current FireTV's, Roku's, Marshmellow phones and tablets and Win7 for as long as possible if we still want use of our Slingboxes :).
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017
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  6. obeythelaw2004

    obeythelaw2004 Member

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    Is Slingbox and SlingTV (the streaming service) the same company? Maybe they are getting out of the hardware business to focus on software/Streaming?
     
  7. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    They're all owned by Dish now. SlingBox was a standalone company, but they were bought by Dish a few years ago. They then used the name to launch SlingTV.
     
  8. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

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    Under Dish DBS L.L.C. is Sling Media, a seperate company, and under Sling Media is both the Slingbox product and the SlingTV OTT MVPD service. Sling Media is no longer producing any more Slingboxes because they are redundant and don't attract buyers because the vast majority of people access their content via their cable or sat cos. App. And services like SlingTV, Sony Vue, and DirecTV Now already stream from device. So, today, there is just no need for a Slingbox for the vast majority of people who view their content in home or OOH, including TiVo users who use the TiVo app.

    The only people for whom this is bad news are for those who placeshift overseas or prefer the Slingbox simplicity. Sling Media will continue to provide the means so that all Slingboxes continue to function for quite some time in the future. What will NOT be supported, most likely, are SlingPlayer apps that need to run on major new Os's like, perhaps, Nuget and subsequent Android OS nor any new gen mobile iOS, and there seems to be a question about Windows 10 and Apple's Sierra. I would not hold out hope that Sling Media will incur the costs to have the SlingPlayer work well with Win10 or Sierra. Everything else previous to that, still works including Roku and FireTV. So, hold on to those Marshmellow and earlier mobile devices or forked current or earlier Amazon tablets because that may be the only way we can still use our Slingboxes. BTW, KitKat is, by far, the most used Android OS by a VERY wide margin. SlingPlayers apps still work on Marshmellow, so consider that when upgrading to a new phone or tablet.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2017
  9. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't say they are optimized for these OSs, but I'm using Slingplayer app on Nougat (Android 7.1.1) and old Slingplayer 1.5 on Win10. They work well enough.
     
  10. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for the clarification on Nougat. The last I heard a few weeks ago was SlingPlayers were not playing well, if at all on Windows 10 nor Sierra, so I'm glad you are able to view using Win1, and glad to know that at least Nougut is covered.

    I have two Slingboxes, so I don't think I will need anymore, but it is sure a shame that before long we won't be able to any Slingboxes except used ones at Craig's List or ebay.
     
  11. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    I have a couple of the old Slingbox Pros (the long flat red ones) which haven't been "supported" for ages and my experience is with those so I can't speak for the newer units.

    The Slingplayer App (I am not using the latest either) works pretty well on Nougat. The only thing I don't like is that the page up/down map to thumbs up/down instead of actually doing page up/down. Also there is no button labeled TiVo, instead you use the Setup button. Other than that it is working fine. The minor issues I mentioned were introduced in the Slingplayer app way before Nougat and are generic issues rather than issues with the new OS.

    My old Slingplayer program that I run on Windows works on Win10. The only two minor issues are that the video is maybe 1 second faster than the audio which was initially a little annoying but not prohibitively so. I think somehow the "advanced" audio processing on my box is causing the audio to get out of sync from video.

    Also it seems win10 is virtualizing the video in the sense that in the old days video went from the app into a section of the screen, but with win10, it seems the video gets re-encoded then gets displayed by generic windows interfaces. The reason I say that is when I'm controling tivo using the menus, sometimes the previous menu/curson position will flash for .5 to 1 second before the new framebuffer shows up. I don't think the slingplayer is storing the previous frames and displaying it, so I assume Win10 is doing it. During normal playback I won't notice but during menu operations it is a little annoying, but not prohibitively so, I can still easily get what I need done.

    Actually I used to curse my old Slingbox Pros because the video ended up being choppy over time and the remote control would not be reliable, but then I realized that the problem was the voltage regulators commonly failed on these old units. Once I replaced the failing ones (there are 4 in the Pros) the performance went back to being very good.
     
  12. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

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    And I suppose we should not hold out hope that Sling Media will every produce multiple remote codes for Roamio (and Bolts?), at least they didn't last I checked some months ago. I have an S3-648 and a Roamio in the same room. The Roamio vitrual remote is for code 0 only. In fact, I seem to remember that any virtual remote above S3 is remote code 0. So, my workaround solution has been to use the S3 virtual remote using a differnt code than the real S3 in the same room. Of course, this means I lost color button functionality and a few buttons placed in different places. Using the S3 virtual remote for Roamio works well enough, but I do resent it. I shall miss offering to others the recommendation of Slingbox. There just won't be any boxes left.
     
  13. Series3Sub

    Series3Sub Well-Known Member

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    I made an error, so here is the clarification: SlingTV is Under Dish DBS L.L.C; Sling Media (including Slingbox products) is under Echostar. Echostar is Dish's sister company who designs hardware and software (and holder of patents), mostly for Dish, but other companies, as well, including the Channel Master DVR+
     
  14. davezatz

    davezatz Funkadelic

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    You can't buy their hardware anymore as Sling Media had sales shut down a few years back. A Twitter buddy of mine still has one in service. Who knows how long that will last.

    Sling Prevails; Monsoon Placeshifters Barred From US Shores
     
  15. Johnny Danger

    Johnny Danger Member

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    I gave slingbox 1 star on amazon because I could not get it setup.

    They refused to have a advance setup ability but rather had a wizard that made it impossible to setup from a PC computer regardless of how many times I tried.

    I eventually found out the issue was with the fact that it required to be setup on a laptop or smart phone with its own wireless connection which my PC does not have.

    This was a very bad setup wizard along with charging you for a android app which should have been free. These are the 2 biggest negatives that I have noticed. However they should not be out of business rather just address the issues.

    Why exact is the reason they are giving for being discontinued?
     
  16. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    The explanation I read was, Slingbox just was overtaken by the march of technology progress and direction.
     
  17. Jim1348

    Jim1348 Well-Known Member

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    I have a Slingbox PRO-HD and use it everyday. I hope the service keeps going for a long time in the future.
     
  18. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    If you install the older sling software (I am using 1.5.x) it doesn't use the sling account to pick up the available slingboxes and thus doesn't need the net connection. You can thus use it on a private network with no internet connection available. Not sure if that is something you were looking for.
     
  19. sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    Well, I wrote one of the custom S3 remote .bin with unit IDs 1-6 for Slingbox Pro. If the Roamio remote on the newer slingboxes is using the same technology, you can go to the JP1 forums and download some tools to create your own .bin. I think it was RemoteMaster but I forget now, it has been over a decade.

    I don't really need the colored buttons, so currently I have Roamio Pro, Roamio OTA, and 2 S3 OLEDs in the same room using code 1-4 that I wrote ages ago and it works fine (minus the color button functionality) I think Sling only gave Code 1 and Code 2 support in their software. The reason I wrote my own IIRC was because I didn't like the way the buttons were mapped to TiVo buttons (TiVo has different versions of the TiVo button, and probably other mappings I forget now)

    I went and looked at the JP1 file download section and it looks like one of the main guys over there wrote a .bin file for Roamio Plus which you might like better. I didn't look at the details, but usually if someone creates a .bin file it is to address some deficiency in the standard file.

    JP1 Remotes :: File Section

    Between that and the ones I wrote for S3 OLED units 1-6 below

    JP1 Remotes :: File Section

    You can probably figure out what to do to add non-default unit IDs.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2017
    mdavej likes this.
  20. mdavej

    mdavej Well-Known Member

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    Yep, with Remote Maser, you can easily make any remote and pick any Tivo address you want. You need an account to download our files. But it's a great community and great resource for slingbox users.

    When you get there, be sure to read Alan Richey's great tutorial about customizing slingbox remotes. You can literally build any remote for any IR device on the planet.

    JP1 Remotes :: View topic - How to Install a Custom Remote onto the Slingbox
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2017

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