10 Replies Latest reply: Dec 12, 2013 12:18 PM by SJR RSS

    Local App Needed For New Slingboxes

    amcgall

      Tonight, the SlingBox website was down for about 30 minutes.  As a result I could not connect to my Slingbox HD Pro.  This demonstrates a great need for a local app that doesn't rely on the slingbox.com web site and servers.  My older model Slingbox Solo always worked regardless of the state of the slingbox.com servers.  What happens if Slingbox goes out of business?  Thousands of users will then have a new door stop.

        • Re: Local App Needed For New Slingboxes
          alanrichey42 Master

          A lot of us 'old-timers' keep a copy of Slingplayer V1.5 on our computers for just this eventuality.

           

          SlingPlayer for Windows 1.5

          • Re: Local App Needed For New Slingboxes
            doitt2 Newbie

            Maybe I could see why Sling might not want to spend time developing local apps because of the problems associated with maintaining code for multiple operating systems.  But they already maintain code for multiple mobile/tablet OSs, and three connected devices.  There are only so many desktop OSs with critical mass.  Windows and Mac clients cover the vast majority of users--it should not be that much work, since there is already existing code to work with.  They could even consider Adobe AIR as a platform so that a single code base could be used if they did not want to develop natively for each OS.

             

            But this browser-only strategy should have very obvious shortcomings to end users.  No internet connection, no slingbox.  That is not a problem for people, until there is no connection.  But I'm also finding that the browser plugin is not stable and crashes several times a day, whereas I never ever recall seeing the desktop client crash once in many years of use.  Then of course Chrome and Firefox have rapid release cycles these days, so how long does it take to issue an update after a new browser version breaks the plugin?

             

            At least Chrome maintains its own memory space in each tab.  But if you use a different browser, an issue that causes a crash due to a problem with some other tab will bring down the whole browser, and hence the sling stream too.

             

            I seriously hope that the company will take these requests into consideration, because the stability and availability are far less than optimal when relying on a browser-only solution for desktops.  It seems to me that given a choice between a solution with a desktop client vs. one without, almost no one would choose the latter, except for whoever was responsible for making this product strategy decision.

              • Re: Local App Needed For New Slingboxes
                alanrichey42 Master

                Agree 100%.    But quite a few of us have been 'nagging' Sling for a long time over this, without success.  They are determinded to kill the Desktop player and make everyone use the Browser version.  The first nail in the coffin is that you cannot use it to view the new 350/500 devices.

                 

                But we should still make our views shown.    Maybe they could take a leaf from Nokia and the Symbian OS, and release the desktop player source code  so some group of enthusiasts could keep it current.

                • Re: Local App Needed For New Slingboxes
                  OvCollyer Apprentice

                  +1 from me.

                   

                  it's interesting that by going the web plugin route they're actually having issues now which vary from browser to browser.

                   

                  For example, Chrome users currently have a plugin that doesn't work, it crashes. Most likely Chrome have updated and of course now Sling have to play catchup. Sling would surely have remained more in control of the stability of their software had they maintained the desktop app route.

                   

                  The desktop software had more potential (aside from the fact they were neglecting the Mac version, which doesn't work in HD) and imagine how good it could have been if they'd stuck with it and evolved it over the past few years instead of letting it rot.

                   

                  It's also so disappointing that only have they decided the web plugin is the number route, which immediately killed a bunch of configurable options they never transferred from the desktop player, but they've now released a new watch.sling which removes even more stuff and by many accounts is inferior.

                   

                  I've no idea if constantly nagging and complaining makes any difference. Occasionally someone from Sling with knowledge pops up on this forum but most of the time the responses, if you are lucky enough to get one, are so bland and unthoughtful that I actually wonder if they're using some kind of automated bot system that picks out keywords in people's posts and produces a standar reply containing link to some article that doesn't really help.

                    • Re: Local App Needed For New Slingboxes
                      alanrichey42 Master
                      It's also so disappointing that only have they decided the web plugin is the number route, which immediately killed a bunch of configurable options they never transferred from the desktop player, but they've now released a new watch.sling which removes even more stuff and by many accounts is inferior.

                      I've always said it's a bit of a standing joke that each time an 'upgrade' comes along you lose some of the functionality.  I never forgave them for removing the option to display icons and names for Custom Buttons when we went from Slingplayer 1.5 to 2.0.  And from a personal viewpoint I find the loss of the functionality to switch remote images when they went from Slingplayer 2.0 to the Web-Browser, almost a show stopper.  But they do seem to have outdone themselves with the latest systems.    The new Slingboxes can't take Custom Remotes so anyone with a device that is not in their database is stuck.  You can't access the IP/Port settings so apparently veiwing behind proxy servers has been lost.....

                       

                      In their defence, I guess they will say that they are trying to simplify what is a very technical and complex system so users don't get confused (and they get less support calls).  That's a laudable ambition, but surely the better way to do that is simply to place the technical stuff under an 'Advanced' menu, not remove it completely.   That way power users can still tweak their systems, while the other 95% can leave it alone.

                      I've no idea if constantly nagging and complaining makes any difference. Occasionally someone from Sling with knowledge pops up on this forum but most of the time the responses, if you are lucky enough to get one, are so bland and unthoughtful that I actually wonder if they're using some kind of automated bot system that picks out keywords in people's posts and produces a standar reply containing link to some article that doesn't really help.

                      As I understand it, this is not meant to be a 'Support' forum, it is meant as a 'Discussion' forum where users can 'chat' about their ideas.  But if the moderators see someone asking a question that has already been answered in the Knowledge Base then they will post a reply linking to that article.  However, we might well be seeing a change, as I see that 'gmoney' is now posting on the forum and has stated he is actually the lead on the new web-browser.  This is great news for all of us, so we might start getting actual tailored replies now rather than just links to canned answers.

                       

                      Al

                        • Re: Local App Needed For New Slingboxes
                          doitt2 Newbie

                          I have no idea of how the browser client has evolved over time because I always ignored it.  Unfortunately, now I can't.

                           

                          But to put it in very simple terms, not offering a desktop client makes as much sense as telling tablet and phone users to go slingbox.com to view their content instead of native apps--how many people would go for that?

                            • Re: Local App Needed For New Slingboxes
                              doitt2 Newbie

                              I've determined that the latest browser plug-in is unstable in both Chrome and Safari.  It seems like a couple of hours of use is all I can expect before crashing.  I just wonder when they will force an upgrade onto users, and then it doesn't work for weeks on end until the next patch.

                               

                              Without a stable local app that is not Internet dependent, I am actually beginning to consider returning this 500, which means I'll need to think about whether viable alternatives even exist.

                               

                              Screen Shot 2012-10-28 at 8.19.54 PM.png

                      • Re: Local App Needed For New Slingboxes
                        SJR

                        I agree.  Im an old time slingbox user and just got a 350.  It doesn't work with the old local app.  I've always thought the browser plugin was a turd and stil is.  Heres a few reasons.   Crashes under Explorer, Chrome and Firefox.  Doesn't work if SlingMedia site is down.  I have to open a browser login and click through adds, then select my sling box and finally open it in a separate window.  (i like to keep my cache and cookies clean so my prefs are not saved). Not to mention that it takes down all of my other open browser windows when it crashes and i have to start over again.   I used to be able to click one icon and the local copy worked...  I'd take it back, but the Android software doesn't support the older models.  Seems to work fine on the iPhone.  Is there any chance SlingMedia could give their customers what they want and not what they want us to want?  ie.  a local app for all models.