If you just think of a Slingbox as a TV that happens to send it's output down the Internet rather than displaying it on a screen it makes it easier to understand.
So in this case, just as you can't watch 2 different channels on a TV (Ignoring Picture-in-Picture ), you can't watch 2 different channels on a single Slingbox.
But, as with TVs, you can use a splitter on your cable to plug into multiple Slingboxes and watch different channels.
Alan's answer is spot-on. I'd like to offer some additional details by building on his post.
First off let me say that the TV analogy is a good one, that's precisely how Slingbox works. It's a fairly typical modern TV with no screen. I'll also mention that there is more than one way to hook up a Slingbox, they are quite flexible.
Back at your Dad's place, the cable box can only be tuned into one channel at a time. Because of that, it doesn't matter how many TVs are connected to it via splitters, everyone will be watching the same show. The limitation here is that there is only one video source.
...and that's the key to sorting this out so everything works the way you would like. Each Slingbox needs its own source.
You may have more options that you realize when it comes to sources:
- If you work it out with your Dad and rent another cable box from the provider, you can stick it all in a corner and sling the same channels he has without conflict. Adding a cable box to an existing account isn't usually expensive and shouldn't require any noticeable changes to your Dad's set up. I believe this is the ideal solution for you.
- If your Dad's cable service includes analog basic channels, you can get by without a second cable box. Use a cheap VCR or a nice DVD recorder, really anything that has its own built-in tuner. Cable > VCR > Slingbox, Slingbox controls VCR with its IR Blaster wire. Note that this will not work with encrypted digital cable. For this to work, it's imperative that you have basic analog cable service coming down the coax.
- The Pro HD model has it's own tuner. It can pull the same trick I described above but wouldn't require a VCR or DVD recorder, just hook the cable coax from the wall to the Pro HD. As a final option, the Pro HD's tuner will pick up broadcast TV signals. Note that the same digital cable limitation applies here too.
One last thing to consider. You mentioned using several Slingboxes to watch different shows at the same time in Germany... that's not realistically possible.
Your Dad's broadband internet connection only has a certain amount of upstream bandwidth available and everything in the house shares it. Slingbox needs a lot of upload speed, usually as much as it can grab. If you have two on the same network, you're almost certainly going to swamp the available resources if they're both streaming. More than two is going to be a circus of network congestion and reduced quality if they're all sending.
With a good ISP connection you can probably run two Slingboxes simultaneously and get by. It think you'll get some ugly viewing quality if you push beyond that.
Hope this helps you sort it out. Good luck !
If you only have 1 slingbox; again you won't be able to access it at more then 1 location at a time. In the senario you described having 1 cable box which would require ou to hook it up to 2 slingbox's in order to watch the SAME channel simultaneously on 2 tv's at the remote location.
Also they no longer make the slingcatcher which would be required to watch the slingbox source straight on a remote tv; so you must have the following in combination to do what your wanting:
At each remote viewing location you want to watch straight on a TV, you need a computer with an output connection metod that allows for output to that tv. For example, alot of laptops as well as desktop computers now incoporate an hdmi output which you can connect to your tv's mathing input in order to use your tv as a monitor.