26 Replies Latest reply: Oct 5, 2015 12:42 PM by h7rn19N9Kg Branched to a new discussion. RSS

    Picture Freezes Every Time

    pantooset

      My slingplayer stalls out repeatedly.  Internet viewing and "away from home" settings are fine, but after 3 to 10 minutes the picture freezes and sound stops.  Disconnecting from the slingbox and re-connecting will start it up again.  Then it freezes.  The isp transmission rates at both ends of the connection are very high.  I don't know what's wrong, and my calls to tech support haven't solved the problem.

        • Re: Picture Freezes Every Time
          jbdean83

          I am having this same problem, and I am almost certain it is ISP-related.  When I am at my girlfriend's apartment which uses Comcast or my sister's house which uses Comcast (75 miles away), it will work 3-10 minutes and then freeze and stop, which requires a reconnect.  I have Googled this to death and seen reports of people having Comcast and using it with no problems.  However, I am further assured it is something to do with Comcast since I am watching my Slingbox right now on my Symbian phone (using AT&T 3G) without any hiccups at all and even when I tether it to my laptop for internet, there are zero problems.  Also, I have used other friends' ISPs in Virginia where I am located such as Cox and Verizon DSL (also my home ISP) and have had no hiccups with those either.

           

          I've even resorted to change ports on my SlingBox to use 443 and opening up that port on my router, but that does not fix it since Comcast must have some way of detecting/shaping SlingBox packets.

           

          At first, I thought it was a router issue on the remote end, but that isn't the case either.  At my sister's, I disabled her computer's firewall completely and hooked the cable modem into her machine directly, and it still froze and stop after a few minutes just as before.  Ughhh.

           

          Please help someone if you have a possible solution/workaround if it is indeed Comcast causing these problems.

           

          Thanks.

            • Re: Picture Freezes Every Time
              pantooset

              Thanks for your comment...it's maddening, isn't it, all these freezes and no help anywhere.  I've been troubleshooting this for a year and sling has been of no help.

               

              My sending isp is Verizon (DSL) and receiving isp is TimeWarner (Cable).  When receiving at the TimeWarner location, I experience the freezes even though the download speed is 17MB.  If I take my laptop to another location (e.g. a slow Verizon DSL remote location) there aren't any freezes.  In order to try and figure this out, I've changed ports, replaced DSL Gateways and Cable modem/routers, and even bought a new slingbox.  Nothing works.

               

              Furthermore, sling support has been rather useless, always asking me to troubleshoot the same things, or suggesting equipment/driver upgrades.  I've really given up on the call-in center.

               

              Both of my isp's insist that they aren't using some software to throttle bandwidth.  And certainly, there are thousands of slingboxes on their systems, so why won't a slingbox receive on my TimeWarner system (or in jbdean83's case, Comcast)?

               

              There's got to be a reason, and I don't think it's due to anything the isp's are doing.  This problem is out of the range of users' expertise or resources and someone at SLING should be available to figure it out for us.  Perhaps someone on the forum with a similar experience has discovered the solution.  I would appreciate any assistance.

                • Re: Picture Freezes Every Time
                  jbdean83

                  So, I'm at my girlfriend's now (Comcast) on her laptop and think I've fixed it (KNOCKING ON WOOD CONSTANTLY).  It is going on about 20 minutes strong on an HD channel, and I'm finally able to watch my MLB Extra Innings on her wifi without getting booted.

                   

                  The problem apparently lies in the MTU, and SlingPlayer/SlingBox is very sensitive to packet fragmentation causing the freezing (but not actually stopping remote function which still works if you verify by reconnecting).  I'm guessing remote commands aren't that large and might be ~100 bytes at the most over UDP/TCP, which is well below anyone's normal MTU setting and would never fragment.  I think Comcast (and maybe in your case TimeWarner) does not like the default MTU of 1500 or 1492 bytes most routers/computers are set to and in our case, force you to set it lower to prevent fragmentation.  My girlfriend's Linksys router was set to the default MTU of 1500.  I tried to verify if packets would actually not need to be fragmented by pinging my remote hostname I had my SlingBox on.

                   

                  This command does that:

                   

                  ping yourslingbox.com -f -l 1492

                   

                  When I tried 1492, it said it had to be fragmented. I kept lowering it by 10 until I finally got an actual ping response, right at 1462.  I plugged in the custom MTU of 1462 into the router, applied the setting, reconnected to my SlingBox, and voila!  Its working without issue!

                   

                  This site helped out a lot by the way with the commands if you need help there:

                   

                  http://help.expedient.com/broadband/mtu_ping_test.shtml

                   

                  Make sure you plug your MTU into your router if you're behind one and not just your computer since your router is what is actually handling packet transfers with the outside world.

                   

                  I hope this helped!

                    • Re: Picture Freezes Every Time
                      pantooset

                      Interesting, I'm anxious to try this.  In one of my calls to sling we investigated packet size.  After many ping tests, we saw no difference.

                       

                      However, that was on the sending router.  This is the first suggestion that the MTU on the receiving router needs to be checked out.  Given that the problem is in the reception of the signal at one location, that makes sense.

                       

                      I'm aware that the freeze doesn't effect the ability to control the slingbox.  In fact, when the freeze comes, I normally pause the transmission at the box (not in the client), then disconnect, reconnect, and press play to start the video again on the dvr.

                       

                      I'll try changing packet size and comment back to the forum.

                        • Re: Picture Freezes Every Time
                          jbdean83

                          Cool.  I've had SlingPlayer going strong on her laptop ever since my last post with zero hiccups.

                           

                          I still think Sling needs to do something with the SlingPlayer apps and/or the actual SlingBox firmware (I'm using a SOLO by the way) to have ways of handling fragmented packets better.  This shouldn't be something that is undocumented to users out there and requires custom MTU configuration by the user.  What if I were at a hotspot somewhere that had this same problem?  I don't have access to their router.  There are thousands of other applications out there that seem to get by just fine (at least to the typical user) with fragmented packets over the 'net.

                            • Re: Picture Freezes Every Time
                              pantooset

                              Nope, this didn't work.  Using the resources you directed me to, I did several ping tests to my slingbox IP address.  Just like you, the first unfragmented packet size was 1462.  I added 28 to it for headers (as directed on help.expedient.com)  and tried 1490 in the receiving router.  The slingplayer connected and stalled out again after a couple of minutes.

                               

                              I tried other MTU settings in the router with no success.  I'll mention I didn't change the packet size on the computer, only the router.  All the instructions on expedient.com are for older operating systems.  My computers are running versions of Windows 7 and I can't see how to change the packet size (if I need too, which I'm not certain of).  My searches on Windows.com yielded no useful instructions on how to do this.

                               

                              So for now, my slingbox doesn't work.  Still.

                               

                              Any ideas to get it operating would be appreciated.  Thanks.

                                • Re: Picture Freezes Every Time
                                  jermand

                                  Doubt it's the router MTU I connected this thing to a hub and it still doesnt work..

                                  • Re: Picture Freezes Every Time
                                    jbdean83

                                    I would try just 1462, in case you never did earlier, since I never did add the 28 for headers and left her router at 1462.  Also, a router reboot may help after changing it?  I never did for hers, but yours could need one.  I do think the router MTU is key since this also fixed the freezing problem with not only her laptop but with SlingPlayer Mobile on my phone connected over wifi to that router.  If I'm not mistaken, Vista/Win7 do some sort of dynamic MTU setting that fluctuates or tries to auto-detect the best setting for your environment, unlike the previous versions which just used a registry setting.

                                      • Re: Picture Freezes Every Time
                                        pantooset

                                        I really appreciate your help.  Unfortunately, I did try these steps: other MTU settings, cycling all devices, etc.  No success.

                                         

                                        I think sling has done something to their software/firmware that makes it much less stable.  I've been using a slingbox since it was first introduced, but about a year ago I starting running into unresolvable problems.

                                         

                                        Also, I notice that a lot of posts are showing up with this same issue.  At this point, I don't think there's anything users can do to get slingboxes to work reliably.  Rather, the company needs to hire a few good tech engineers.

                                • Re: Picture Freezes Every Time
                                  joshuafrasier

                                  Worked for me!!!  It was freezing after 1-2 minutes of viewing.  Then I changed the MTU on the laptop (windows 7) and it is still working great!   It has ran for 20 minutes right now and is still running as I type this.   Thanks for the fix!   I changed the MTU to 1462  , it was 1500 before, while it was freezing.

                                  • Re: Picture Freezes Every Time
                                    apjung

                                    I would like to add that the 1462 workaround worked perfectly. Lots of Kudos to jbdean83! Thank you! Thank You! Thank you!

                                     

                                    I am in New Orleans watching the Slingbox Tuner (for Analog Cable TV channels) connected at my other house in Taipei, Taiwan and it hasn't froze since. The transmitting Slingbox Tuner connected to the SlingLink (on the 3rd floor to the 4th floor as the walls are solid concrete in Taiwan) is on Chunghwa Telecom ADSL (on the 4th floor) and the receiving SlingPlayer on the PC and Laptop and a SlingCatcher is on Cox High Speed Internet Premier.

                                     

                                    For the longest time since I returned from my visit back to Taiwan last November I had problems with the Slingbox freezing after a few minutes with all the above mentioned symptoms but I could still remotely change the channel when it was frozen but not see the channel change until I disconnected and reconnected.

                                     

                                    My father is computer illiterate so I got a SlingCatcher back in 2009 so he's enjoying watching Taiwanese TV on a old 25" Sony CRT tube TV from the comfort of a living room couch. You hear that Sling? You really should consider bringing back the SlingCatcher or make a new and improved model (with NetFlix, YouTube, etc.) to cater to the computer illiterates!

                                     

                                    When I was staying at the Grand Biloxi Hotel and Casino in Gulfport, Mississippi a couple of weeks ago, I was surprised that I DIDN''T have the freezing Taiwan Slingbox problem! My Cousin-In-Law in Taiwan kept telling me that there was no freezing problem with the Slingbox when he signed on remotely and I was half heartedly believing him until my stay in Gulfport. When I returned to New Orleans, I tried swapping out the D-Link DIR-615 router to a Cisco Linksys E-1200 router but still had the same freezing problems so I kept on searching thru Google and found this absolutely helpful message thread.

                                     

                                    Another reason I originally didn't really believe him was that I was also watching other Slingboxes from Taiwan and Los Angeles and they didn't have the freezing problem. I was almost ready to get another Slingbox Tuner (if I could still find one) and make another trip back to Taiwan. I was beginning to feel like I was making a service call to the Hubble Space Telescope or bringing supplies to the International Space Station by having to go back and hoping that the upgrades and improvements still worked when I got back to the States.

                                     

                                    On the "survey mission" visit in Mar-Apr 2004 I saw that the ADSL connection was on the 4th floor and the Analog Cable TV connection was on the 3rd floor. Drilling thru solid concrete between floors was NOT an option so I knew I needed the SlingLink.

                                    On the "launch mission" visit in Sept-Oct 2008 I installed the Slingbox Tuner and SlingLink.

                                    On the "servicing mission" visit in Nov 2011, I added the signal amplifier, RG6 cable and power strip that I bought from Home Depot and removed the two way splitter that was included with the SlingBox Tuner.

                                    http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-202698886/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=cable+signal+amplifier&storeId=10051

                                     

                                    Now I know the mission is finally a success (for now). There maybe a day when I may have to get a new Slingbox when analog Cable TV channels in Taiwan are phased out.

                                    • Re: Picture Freezes Every Time
                                      Laserman51

                                      Can you be more specific as to how to modify the MTU settings? Is this on the Laptop or the router?I'm having the same problem

                                • Re: Picture Freezes Every Time
                                  Bryanod Novice

                                  Check out this link

                                   

                                  http://www.netheaven.com/pmtu.html

                                   

                                  Soounds like what is going on with you.  run this as well from the sling location

                                   

                                  http://www.dslreports.com/tweaks

                                  • Re: Picture Freezes Every Time
                                    spritchard

                                    I have the same "freeze" issue after about five-ten minutes at my remote desktop. I tried disabling firewall, no good. I have Comcast for provider. I tried pinging as described above. All I would is get a fragmentation error, or connection time out. Tried wide range of numbers. I logged onto my Comcast router and can't even find the place to change the MTU rate.

                                     

                                    I am using windows 7 ultimate on a 64 bit Lenovo. I have no problem connecting remotely on my Iphone.

                                     

                                    Dish wanted $30.00 to talk to me about the issue. There has to be a way to get this problem through to Sling, although I can't find email address for support any longer.

                                     

                                    Any help appreciated.

                                      • Re: Picture Freezes Every Time
                                        Bryanod Novice

                                        So far.... Someone correct me if I am wrong.  MTU issues only happen to dsl users.  Dsl needs to attach its pppoe auth to each packet so it uses something less than 1500.  cable uses 1500 justt like most devices on your lan.

                                         

                                        Try other machines and os's remotely.  your iphone might be fine because its not the same as remote.  If other pc or os are fine it must be win7 if not I would try a new router

                                      • Re: Picture Freezes Every Time
                                        timvogeler

                                        I have had a similar problem.  My source connection is Qwest DSL and my receiving connection is Time Warner Cable (17mbps) with a Cysco E1000 wireless router.  It would freeze every 30 seconds to 6 minutes here at home.  When I would try at my friend's house (he has Verizon DSL) or at my university (fiber-optic network) it would stream flawlessly.  No skips or freezes.

                                         

                                        That would tell me that it's a ISP problem of some sort.  My computer, with the same settings, streams perfectly with other providers but not with the local cable.

                                         

                                        However, I was able to fix it by modifying my computer's settings.  I have an ASUS netbook running Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit.  I went in to my CDM and manually set my MTU to 1462 (not 1490) and have not had freezing problems ever since.  I'm computer illiterate but it was an easy fix.  Just a couple of commands I found by googling "how to change mtu on windows 7."

                                         

                                        I did not do anything to the router.

                                         

                                        Hope this helps.  And thanks to the other posters who suggested the fix.  I almost slit my wrists trying to watch the NBA last season on my slingbox.  Wish I'd found the advice earlier.

                                          • Re: Picture Freezes Every Time
                                            nlel Newbie

                                            I have a Slingbox Solo since July 2011. Everytime I tried to watch over the Internet the picture would freeze after 30 minutes or so and ended up with an error and if you tried to reconnect it wouldn't until about 15 minutes had passed then exactly the same thing happened again.

                                             

                                            If the MTU setting is wrong on either or both your router and Windows PC then this causes the freeze.


                                            Here is the link to find your correct MTU settings http://help.expedient.com/broadband/mtu_ping_test.shtml

                                             

                                            Here is the link to set the MTU under Vista/Win7 http://networking.nitecruzr.net/2007/11/setting-mtu-in-windows-vista.html

                                             

                                            Believe me the MTU setting is very important to have a stable stream.

                                             

                                            It may be neccesary to experiment a bit with the MTU settings as I just setup a machine where the correct MTU setting in the Router was 1400 but when I set the Windows 7 PC to 1400 I still had the freezes and it was only when I set the Windows MTU to 1372 that it worked perfectly. So not always the right thing to add 28 to the figure your MTU ping test results come too.

                                             

                                            Update: I set the MTU correctly and was still having drop outs so then I investigated a way of increasing the Slingplayer Desktop softwares video buffer which defaults to 5 seconds. I changed it to 60 seconds and what happens now is that every so often when I stop receiving data from the Slingbox the video plays off the 60 second buffer until it gets down to about 15 seconds then when it starts receiving data again it fills up the buffer and carries on like normal.

                                             

                                            Here is a link detailing how to change the buffer http://placeshiftingenthusiasts.com/how-to-change-the-windows-slingplayer-buffer-size/

                                          • Re: Picture Freezes Every Time
                                            pantooset

                                            Network conditions may be your problem.  This is my fix:

                                             

                                            As the signal hops through the internet and numerous servers, some problem disrupts the transmission after a few minutes of viewing.  It happens during these hops. After a lot of study, I realized that the signal went through the same servers most of the time, and if I could find a way get away from that internet path, the slingbox would work.

                                             

                                            So if you've tried everything else (upgrades, resets, MTU, etc.) try running a Virtual Private Network connection on the receiving computer.  This will provide a substantially different connection.  If you don't have access to a VPN already, sign up for a service on a trial basis to see if it works for you.  It did for me, and I can tell you, I fought this problem for over two years.

                                             

                                            Slingbox help was of no help.  They'll tell you to reset the box, the router, update firmware, and all that just suggests to me that they really don't know how to isolate the problem.  I worked with several different slingboxes and routers, but never had success until I started using a VPN.  Slingbox support never suggested that internet conditions could be the cause of the freezes. That's what caused the problem in my case. The speed of the line (DSL, Cable, FIOS) wasn't a factor either.

                                             

                                            Good luck; I know how frustrating this problem is.

                                              • Re: Picture Freezes Every Time
                                                nlel Newbie

                                                Hi I am back, It seems that using the correct MTU settings was not the ultimate solution for me as I still had freezes after 30 minutes to an hour of viewing. So now as well as using the correct MTU settings I have the slingbox connected to a dedicated 2 mbit / 384 kbit line whereas as before it was connected to a communal adsl connection which was not able to provide the minumum upload rate required at all times.

                                                 

                                                Whereas before it would only work occasionally for more then an hour I have yet to see it lose connection again since being on the dedicated ADSL line, so yes I think a lot depends on the network connection quality.

                                                • Re: Picture Freezes Every Time
                                                  h7rn19N9Kg

                                                  I have used a VPN and it seems to be the fix for my problem. At least so far.

                                                • Re: Picture Freezes Every Time
                                                  rldiestel

                                                  I've had slingbox solo for 3 wks and never had connection last longer than 5 minutes...until now!

                                                   

                                                  I changed mtu settings to 1462 and have had a good connection for the last 2 hours.

                                                  Problem solved in about 10 min.  After days of searching for an answer.

                                                   

                                                  Used this to change settings in Vista:

                                                   

                                                  http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_vista-networking/how-do-i-adjust-mtu-settings-for-vista/4d4edc55-4fae-48db-96a1-67cc14a57652

                                                  • Re: Picture Freezes Every Time
                                                    dedlai

                                                    I have this problem on my Iphone.  It would freeze every 1-2 minutes and lose it's signal.  But, i'm able to watch it fine on my MAC.  Has anyone have any issues with their Iphone?

                                                     

                                                    I don't think I need to change the MTU since it's working on my MAC, right?

                                                    • Re: Picture Freezes Every Time
                                                      andycowles75


                                                      I have been streaming a Slingbox Pro HD from Seattle to Amsterdam on a regular basis for 11 months now. I have had many problems with the picture and sound freezing. It would freeze for about 8-10 seconds, every 10 minuets (or every 10 seconds some days), then start streaming again. It would stream at about 1500 kbps and work fine, then crash down to 0 and freeze. I have tried to resolve this with Sling support, the Seattle end, and Amsterdam, but nothing has worked. Until now. I started using Firefox (only for the Slingbox) instead of Internet Explorer about a week ago, and have not had one freeze up since. It now runs consistently at about 2800 kbps. I don’t know why this worked, and frankly I don’t care. All I know is that my Slingbox has been working flawlessly streaming from Seattle to Amsterdam for a week now, with no issues. I hope this helps somebody, because I know how happy it made me when I realized it was fixed.

                                                        • Re: Picture Freezes Every Time
                                                          nlel Newbie

                                                          Hi I posted earlier in this thread about the problems I was having with my Slingbox Solo tried many things and nothing really worked although running it off a 2mbit/384kbits line seemed to improve things a bit but when I went to Amsterdam and tried to stream from my home in the UK sometimes it worked fine but more often then not I had the same old problems.

                                                           

                                                          Now I have a much better internet connection at the Slingbox location 20mbit/s down 12mbit/s up and the Slingbox appears to be working perfectly, I haven't had one freeze up so far and have run it in both an Internet Explorer window and also using the Slingplayer app for my iPhone.

                                                           

                                                          So for me I think the main problem was that I just did not have enough upload bandwidth for it to work properly before.

                                                        • Re: Picture Freezes Every Time
                                                          monty77

                                                          For two Sunday's in a row, my Slingbox has repeatedly experienced frame freezes during the entire broadcast.  I'm running a Slingbox in Imperial, PA and the latest $15 iPad app in Gaithersburg, MD.  I've tested the LAN (wired in PA, wireless in MD) and they are both fine with 20Mbps+ performance on both ends.  I've power cycled the source box as i have the iPad app.  This seems to be a problem with Slingbox's servers and their inability to handle the peak load experienced during Sunday football broadcast times.  Yes, I'll be "sharing" this information on social media.  This level (lack of) service is unacceptable.