14 Replies Latest reply: Jul 14, 2013 1:21 PM by alanrichey42 RSS

    When will 500 be available in UK?

    RichJ Newbie

      500 gives HDMI (HDCP compliant) access to SKY HD so it finally delivers a working HD solution for modern SKY HD boxes.

      The Pro HD was delayed a long time before it came to UK and I am hoping the 500 will not be similarly delyed.

      I can find no comments or hints from SLingbox UK on when it will be released. Are you waiting to sell old stocks first or is it delays writing the software to work with UK Satellite, Cable and IP Boxes? Pleae do not bother putting a DVB tuner on board, complete waste of money and time if you have SKY HD or Cable HD or IP HD. I would really appreciate an answer even if it is a vague Q4 2103. Many thanks (Cannot wait to finally see Slingbox as nature intended as I have 10 Mbps upload which should handle 1080i signal)

        • Re: When will 500 be available in UK?
          OvCollyer Apprentice

          Firstly, it's pretty trivial to get one of the new boxes (350 or 500) shipped from the states to the UK if you don't mind paying the customs and they already work well with Sky boxes. Either find a supplier on eBay, or a company who export internationally (B&H Photo are one example). Or shop around US online sites, and then use someone like 'My American Shopper' to receive it and send it and these guys will also sort out the customs charge at the same time.

           

          Secondly, I would have my doubts that feeding the HDMI output from the Sky box into the 500 wouldn't fall foul of HDCP anyway, if not now then at some random point that Sky decide in future. I think even Sling themselves acknowledge that only non-protected sources will work, and that's why they recommend hooking up component alongside HDMI. I wouldn't trust HDMI alone.

           

          Thirdly, even though modern Sky boxes no longer have a component output it's trivial to hook up an HDMI-to-component converter and feed this into one of the new boxes. They range in price from about £40 to £200 and have been discussed before on these forums.

           

          If the other additional functionality of the 500 over the 350 (besides the HDMI input, I mean) isn't important to you then the money you would save by going for the 350 instead could go on the HDMI to component converter, and Bob's your Uncle

           

          I imported a 350 when they were released last year and have it hooked up to the latest Sky box via an HDFury 3 and it works very well. Others have had similar success with converters a lot cheaper than the HD Fury 3 too.

            • Re: When will 500 be available in UK?
              RichJ Newbie

              Thanks for info.

               

              I am in US at least once a month so I can ship one to my US address, so no issue there.

               

              I did not think about this as trying a US slingbox many years ago on early SKY Digital box, the remote never worked properly and it did not like PAL signal or 16x9 line info. Also I hate runnig  everything on transformers particylarly when I am away for fire risk. I have many many US appliances in UK and they all run on transformers as I cannot get anyone to fit me a 110 volt 60 cycle ring main. I am told it is anti EU or something. Odd at most hotels have them.

               

              So key question is how do you set up 500 for SKY+ HD box? In the menu what options do you select as I am presuming only US boxes will be listed?

               

              As regards HDCP,  have several (legal) recording solutions from my current SKY+ HD boxes and some of them indicate copy protection and one in particular identifies the type of restrictions. At present SKY is far less oppressive than US Broadcasters with Sports and Movies but as you say this may change.

               

              HDMI strippers that remove HDCP to component output and their use to avoid copyright restrictions are technically illegal though sledom enforced. This again may change. Other issue some have encountered is loss of synch as sound is not supported in COmponent. Not sure if this is using HDMI derived sound or separate digital sound output. Again not sure if PCM, Dolby Digital etc. A bit too techy for me.

               

              Why I like idea of 500 is stability. It is really irritating when SKy or Slingbox lock up when away, though I am investigating a device that will allow a power off on If attached to wall socket which would enable remote reboots.

               

              Last question have you tried any 1080p content using the USB? In the USa you can get films on demand in 1080p but UK SKY HD limit is 1080i (which is component limit) wondered how it coped.

               

              Thanks for experience info, very veyr helpful and as you say at far more useful pricing $299 + tax and probably lower if I try B&H, J&R , Datavision or some of the others.

               

              Thanks a lot and please advise on set up instructions.

                • Re: When will 500 be available in UK?
                  OvCollyer Apprentice

                  Setup is trivial as the new boxes simply use the same database of remotes used by the Pro-HD. All the Sky+ HD boxes are listed.

                   

                  The PSU is dual 120/240Hz so you just need a plug adaptor.

                   

                  The only bit that might confuse is when it asks for your zip code in order to give you a choice of TV guide providers. However, all you need to do is put in any US zip code and then choose the option 'My STB has no TV Guide'.

                   

                  I haven't used the 500 but the 350 has been stable for me. Then again, so was my Pro-HD. They still tend to need a reboot very occasionally so I'd strongly advise setting up that Internet controlled power supply switch if you're predominantly away from the box and don't want/aren't able to rely on someone to power cycle. Haven't had the Sky box freeze either for a while, actually. Since I'm away from the location of my Sky box 99% of the time and its unattended I've also taken the additional step of installing an SMS controlled power switch which turns everything on and off including the router, IP power switch, just in case I get some router-related freezing issue or the IP switch itself freezes. Not had to use this Nuclear option yet though

                   

                  I've not tried any 1080p content, so I can't help there, but the 350/Sky+ HD combo is great, and at Best (HD) you get the benefit of 50fps which vastly improves sports broadcasts in particular IMO. Becomes like 'real' TV pretty much, when put on a big TV screen. For movies, it probably doesn't make much difference.

                    • Re: When will 500 be available in UK?
                      RichJ Newbie

                      Cool. Guess I will check out Amazon, B&H and J&R at the end of the month and try bringing it over.

                       

                      You mention remote interuptible power resets which I am looking at. Any recommendations?

                      • Re: When will 500 be available in UK?
                        RichJ Newbie

                        I bet you Slingbox UK add a useless DVB-T2 HD Tuner with all the complications of the different compressions around the EU and add 50% to the price.

                          • Re: When will 500 be available in UK?
                            OvCollyer Apprentice

                            Personally I think they might not even release it in the UK.

                             

                            I can't believe that Slingbox-type devices are growing in popularity, what with web streaming services being available much more than say 5 years ago, and especially if the most popular boxes don't have component output/might have HDCP issues.

                             

                            I might be wrong, and I suppose since the hardware already works then it would presumably be a low risk release.

                              • Re: When will 500 be available in UK?
                                RichJ Newbie

                                I think big issue is copyright and greedy corporations and their lawyers. Don't get me wrong I am totally anti Pirates and only want to watch personally what I have already paid for. That said the streaming features are being blocked by more and more sites as lwayers tryto maxmize revenue for studios by insisting streaming when people travel is unfair. Interestingly my iTunes account works when I am UK but nothing else does unless I use VPN.

                                 

                                Have found way to use streaming radio sites but do not want to post as I do not wnat it shut down. Clue don't use DHCP and have hardware registered in required market.

                                 

                                VPN's tend to degrade performance and streaming is becoming a hot topic amongst VPN's as they struggle to prove they are fighting piracy. I think we may see further moves to reduce streaming over VPN's worldwide particularly at HD data rates.

                                 

                                Also Access to your own set up has familiarity, your own library, your own favourite channels and a sense of control. It is easy to stream content if you are looking for new movies or big sports events but if you want to catch a dodgy Gilligan's Island rerun or watch Scotland Today, Slingobx is going to win. Also great way to get news from around the planet. In US you get little non US, in UK you get little that is non UK (Apart from politically correct EU coverage of more fights in Greece and Straight Bananas in Brussels). 

                                  • Re: When will 500 be available in UK?
                                    OvCollyer Apprentice

                                    Yes, all fair points and some of the reasons why I prefer to use a Slingbox too.

                                      • Re: When will 500 be available in UK?
                                        alanrichey42 Master

                                        I was the one using a Belkin Wemo, as my Sky Box is so old it locks up with monotonous regularity.  But to be on the safe side I also have my Pro-HD on the same circuit. I have been across in the USA for 6 weeks and have had to power cycle it twice, both times because of the Sky Box freezing and it worked flawlessly.   The only drawback I have found is that if you have a power cut it defaults to Off when it restarts.   Came home one day to a very irate wife who could not watch her afternoon TV after a momentary power trip in the morning.  So I have got into the habit of plugging it in only when I am away for a long period.  And, of course, you need an iOS device to operate it (or do they do an Android client now ?  not sure)