After initial configuration it's possible to run the Setup Assistant and make changes to your video setup, passwords and to update the firmware over a remote connection. However you can not change the Slingbox network settings- this must be done from a local connection.
The only way around this (without someone helping at the site) is if you can remotely control a computer on the same network as the Slingbox. Since the Setup Assistant would actually being running from inside the network, that can work. This isn't a great idea though unless you're sure of what you're doing- it's easy to make your Slingbox inaccessible from the internet with no easy remedy.
There are advantages to parking your Slingbox on a static IP but I don't think it's going to help your freezing problem. Assuming the behavior is more like stuttering than a hard freeze- the stream recovers on it's own even if it starts and stops frequently- the two most likely problems are:
- Upstream bandwidth at the Slingbox location
- Stability of the connection between you and the Slingbox
The overall streaming speed- and the most significant factor in viewing quality- is the upload speed available to the Slingbox. It's sending the video stream so it needs as much upload speed as you can give it. Download speed on the viewing side is important, but your streaming speed will never be faster than the upload rate at the Slingbox no matter how fast your downstream connection is. The bottleneck is on the sending side.
Stability is also important. Slingbox automatically adjusts its streaming settings to send the best picture it can over the fastest speed it can sustain. If your transfer rates are going up and down wildly, that will cause problems. The freezing you're experiencing is likely because the connection speed drops suddenly and the Slingplayer buffer runs dry.
In Mac SlingPlayer, you can take a look at your realtime streaming statistics by holding Option and choosing View > Show Statistics Window from the menus. It's a cool feature, Option toggles it in the menu.
Here are some troubleshooting tips to consider:
- If there are people using the internet at the Slingbox location, find out if they are uploading loads of data when you're having problems. You're looking for things like P2P file sharing, video chat, VoIP telephone calls... activities that send lots of data. Downloading stuff and looking at the internet aren't such a big deal.
- Upgrading the internet package so you have faster upload speed at the Slingbox could help a lot.
- If you're familiar with the router on the Slingbox side (and you can configure it remotely), you might take a look at the Quality of Service (QoS) settings. Giving the Slingbox priority access to the available upload bandwidth might help stabilize thing a little.
- Don't expect major improvements from this suggestion, but it's worth mentioning... you can manually adjust the streaming settings in the Mac Player. Have a look at the Video and Encoding tabs in Slingbox > Preferences. The automatic settings are quite good at sending the best picture it can over whatever connection speed is available, but you may find better results with manual adjustment. In particular, try putting the buffer on manual and increasing it as high as you can (I think 15 seconds is maximum), and set your video stream rate below the speeds you're seeing. If 700 kbps is normal, try setting it notably lower- 450 perhaps- and adjust upward from there until quality and reliability balance out. I do not know if this is possible with SlingCatcher.
Hope this helps,