1 Reply Latest reply: Feb 19, 2015 10:10 AM by evan.sling RSS

    SlingBox 350 - Advice needed!

    scott_sanders

      Hi,

      I've got a SlingBox 350 in the UK that is attached to my Sky+ Box and a BT Infinity (HomeHub 5) fibre optic router.

      The upload speed seems to have dropped recently from around 6-7MB to 3-4MB and this appears to be having a very negative effect on the video and sound quality. By this, I mean that the picture and sound will be fine one minute, then very choppy the next, and has even started disconnecting the SlingBox because of the bad connection at times. I have checked the minimum requirements for the upload speed, and it says 2Mbps for HD, so I'm not sure why this is affecting the viewing so badly, as I'm viewing the majority of my programs in SD?!

      I'm viewing the content in the UAE, where I have a similar broadband connection (I'm getting nearly 20MB download here - I'm assuming this is the important bandwidth on the receiving end) and a media device running Windows 7 that is connected to the TV via mini-HDMI cable. (the device has a Core i5-4250u processor, and an Intel HD Graphics 5000 card, so should be up to the job) The Windows 7 media device is also connected to the router via a wired connection, as opposed to WiFi, just to ensure that the connection is the best possible at the viewing end. I'm using the web plugin for IE9, as there isn't a desktop viewer available for Windows 7.

      My questions would be:

      1. Am I likely to see any benefit if I rebuild the media device to Windows 8 and utilise the SlingPlayer for Windows 8 Desktop? (this seems to be different to the web plugin for all other Windows devices)

      2. Is there any configuration on the SlingBox that may improve the viewing experience for my particular set up?

      3. Is there a way to reboot the SlingBox remotely, as this sometimes helps (not always, but it would be good to know if this is possible, as I can't seem to find it on any of the menus)

      4. Can anyone offer any advice as to how else I could improve the viewing experience?

      5. I've read that you should set up your SlingBox for Internet Viewing, however, when I try to find any information on this, any links just redirect straight back to the product page - does anyone have any information on this?

      Any help appreciated!

      Thanks,

      Scott

        • Re: SlingBox 350 - Advice needed!
          evan.sling Novice

          Hi Scott!  Thank you for using the forums!

           

          I would like to address your questions one by one.  I hope that will make things as clear as possible.

           

          1. Am I likely to see any benefit if I rebuild the media device to Windows 8 and utilize the Slingplayer for Windows 8 Desktop? (this seems to be different to the web plugin for all other Windows devices)

           

              First, just to clarify, there is a desktop viewer supported on both Windows 7 and 8.  You can download this app from the following link (just scroll down to Desktop Apps):

           

           

               This app is designed to work with the Slingbox M1, but I have seen it work for earlier models.

           

          2. Is there any configuration on the Slingbox that may improve the viewing experience for my particular set up?


              Picture quality does tend to be better using component cables, rather than composite, because the component cables support a higher quality signal.  I would make sure you're using component cables for your video signal if your cable box has component ports (red blue green).  You can check which ports your Slingbox is using, and readjust the input if need be by following the instructions from this article (may not be aptly titled for the issues you're experiencing, but contains some helpful info):

           

           

              Note: This article and suggestion do not address the choppy video issue you are having, but may enhance the quality of the signal in general.

           

          3. Is there a way to reboot the Slingbox remotely, as this sometimes helps


              There is no method that we offer at this time to remotely reboot your Slingbox.  The Slingbox can only be rebooted from the home location.

           

          4. Can anyone offer any advice as to how else I could improve the viewing experience?


              First, I would make sure you have adequate network speeds at both the home and remote locations.  It sounds like you have solid speed at the remote location (yes, it is download speed that we look for at the remote location).  It also sounds like you have adequate upload speed at the home location, but there are a couple things to consider.  Here is an article that might provide some insight:

           

           

              I would see if there is anything else using the bandwidth at home when you experience the choppy video.  It could be that something is sharing those adequate network speeds, and that the Slingbox isn't getting enough of that bandwidth.  Also (and this isn't addressed in the article), despite the network speeds displayed, you might not actually be getting such speeds at all times.  The internet speed could be getting throttled by the provider.  I would watch the bit rate while you're viewing, and see if the bit rate experiences sharp drops.  The graphic in the following article shows where you can see the bitrate:

           

           

               Next, make sure the Browser you are using is fully supported.  Internet Explorer 9 is not a currently supported browser.  You can find a list of supported browsers in the following article:

           

           

              Lastly, I would do a little more digging to see if the behavior of your stream is consistent across multiple browsers, multiple devices, as well as multiple networks.  If nothing else, it can help determine whether the issue lies with your device, your remote network, or your home network.

           

          5. I've read that you should set up your SlingBox for Internet Viewing, however, when I try to find any information on this, any links just redirect straight back to the product page - does anyone have any information on this?


               The process of setting your Slingbox up for internet viewing applies only to the models of Slingboxes that are older than the 350.  All you need to worry about is whether or not your Slingbox is streaming in TCP (stands for Top Connection Protocol).  To ensure that your Slingbox is streaming is TCP, I would suggest setting up port forwarding in your home router.  Here is an article that should get you started:

           

           

           

          Hope this all provides some insight, and gets us closer to a resolution.  All the best!

           

          Evan

          Sling Media Tech Support Team