I have the SlingBox Solo and by all accounts it streams h.264. How?
The TI Davinci chip inside the Slingbox server facilitates the baseband singals provided by the audio and video inputs to be transcoded into a multimedia stream presented by the Slingplayer client.
1. If that is the case how can I open the ini and how do I alter it?
The Slingplayer Desktop settings are saved in "SBCore.ini" file while the options for these settings are described in the "SBCore.sdb" file. Both files are simple text files. The locations of these files will vary upon your operating system.
1a. Isn't there a better way to do this?
2. Why isn't there a button or a choice in the setup?
No. Sling Media believes their programming methodology choses the best encoding parameteres based on the statistics observed by the Slingplayer. You can see the statistics that it uses for the algorithim which dynamically choses the parameters by pressing [Alt]+[Shift]+[i] while connected to the Slingbox.
3. Since h.264 is better why are we using the windows codec stream in the first place?
Actually, that's not true in every situation. Under windows, resolutions lower than 640x480 are more optimized with WMV than H.264. Also, the Slingbox Classic was originally designed for WMV/WMA encoding. According to my research it wasn't actually a technological but more of a liscensing issue.
4. If I do change the ini file for Slingbox desktop, isn't that just changing the stream for only that computer?
Correct. More specifically, it only affects the specific Slingplayer client. I actually have many version of Slingplayer client installed on my computer for testing purposes. They all keep their own settings seperate from one another.
4a. Can't the firmware on the Slingbox Solo be changed?
Sure, but I doubt it is in Sling Media's interest to remove WMV encoding.
5. I have a Macbook, Windows PCs, iPhones and a iPad. Would this screw up the iPhones/ iPad?
6. I've streamed h.264 with the iPhones / ipad (Hauppauge's Extend) and it looks great. Why can't I stream SB to them?
You can stream to them using Slingplayer Mobile for iPhone.
6a. Couldn't I stream them directly to the iphones/ipad?
Sure, but you'll need to use Slingplayer Mobile for iPhone to view it, since the multimedia streams from the Slingbox are encrypted.