2007-04-24, 03:41 PM
Just got a Slingbox PRO on a 30-day trial - and also surprised by lack of the cable which would indeed match the marketing of an "HD" unit (and enable thorough testing).
Installation was pretty straight forward - especially liked the firmware update being integrated into setup - and picture quality is decent.
For a networkable unit, biggest surprise is the access restriction to one user at a time. With help file screenshots of multiple "Slingboxes" residing on a network, this would clearly be an expensive solution to implement within homes where resident spouses travel independently, or family/roomers include two or more remote viewers.
Maybe another use for Terminal Server or PC Anywhere(?)
Biggest personal challenge is a local one. The set-top digital cable box Look provides (an RCA TRD04M3C) isn't recognized by Slingmedia's IR controller, and a couple hours on the 'net have proven fruitless.
I was wondering if you have found a solution to the Look Cable Box problem. Did you try all of the RCA branded products that are compatible?
I really want to buy a Slingbox AV, but having read your message concerning the Look box (which I use), I have strong reservations about purchasing it.
I recently purchased a new flat panel tv, and the universal remote that came with it can be configured to work with my Look box. All I had to was to enter appropriate manufacturer code. Is it possible to manually enter the code into the slingbox software? If it is possible, these are the 3 different codes that did work with my universal remote: 27, 44, 45
2007-04-24, 08:19 PM
I went ahead and bought the Slingbox AV (even with my reservations). Through trial and error, I was able to solve the issue of this RCA cable box remote control.
I selected DVR -> RCA -> Other -> CODE1.
This works! Yay!
2007-04-26, 02:43 PM
Gotta love forums ... better than manufacturers!
Much appreciated, Lucci, thanks for this. Have yet to try this combo, though will re-install the software (forgot the danged admin password) and hopefully verify your detective work.
2007-04-26, 05:58 PM
As a further update to the RCA box, I found the following worked even better, in terms of controlling menu items:
DVR -> RCA -> Other -> CODE4
(instead of CODE1).
I'd be interested in learning how the Slingbox Pro stacks up against the Miglia TVMini OTA HD from Elgato. I'm presently using the Miglia together with two separate ChannelMaster 4221s ( one for Toronto stations and the other for Buffalo stations ) indoors and when I do receive a HD channel the PQ is as good as I receive on my Sony 50" LCD HDTV. However, I am not able to receive all the channels available on both sides of the Lake and even though I am certain I could improve the reception by mounting the antennae outside and at a higher elevation, I really would prefer not having to do so. I'm also wondering whether the Slingbox has a facility for recording HDTV other than using the BEV 9200 PVR, which unlike the Miglia, does not permit transferring recordings to DVDs. I'd appreciate hearing from those who have any opinions on this matter. Thanks.
El Gran Chico
2008-01-09, 01:56 PM
I enabled both S-Video and HD Connect (extra 50 bucks) input options and here is what I found:
To watch in widescreen mode when using the S-Video input without the black bars appearing on top and bottom of the screen you have to set the Video Size to "Letterbox". This "Letterbox" mode actually stretches the image (which you see when you set the Video Size to "Widescreen") to fill the 16:9 screen.
Using the HD Connect cable, you can use the native Widescreen (16:9) option and this fills the screen with the image (no black bars top or bottom). There is a noticeable improvement in PQ as the image is not stretched to fill the screen. The image is noticeably sharper and the colors are slightly brighter (more saturated).
There is also a patch on SlingMedia's website for the firmware... I did notice less problems (dropouts) and a slightly improved image with this firmware. I also get slightly higher rates with this firmware update. Here is the link for those interested: Slingbox PRO Firmware Update for HD Connect 12/07/2006 (http://us.slingmedia.com/object/KB-005212.html)
Cyclo, which version of slingplayer were you using for this post (if you remember)?
I'm using version 188.8.131.522 and I don't see much difference in using the HD connect cable vs. s-video. The quality seems to be marginally better within my home network (streams at about 3000 kbps on a wireless connection) but over the internet I really can't see any difference (streams at 500 kbps - I suppose that's due to my Internet upload speed at home??). Using the widescreen setting on slingplayer, I see no difference on black bars with either connection - both look like exactly what I want.
One thing for sure the HD Connect cable gives me is that my HD tuner does not output onscreen display through s-video so I'm flying blind without the HD Connect cable. On the other hand, my HD tuner only outputs to one of component or HDMI so I need to flick the switch to component when I leave home since I use the HDMI connection when I'm home.
I sure wish the HD Connect cable had a HDMI connection.
For certain, the picture is not HD - Sling Media really should have called this "component video connect cable".
The 4-headed IR blaster is nice though (seems silly that without the add-on cable, the the Pro can support 3 connections but only comes with a 2-headed IR blaster?!)
2008-01-10, 10:00 PM
El Gran Chico, I am using the latest version now just like you. I doubt you will see a difference when you watch it remotely... This is because the bitrate over the internet is just not enough to maintain a good PQ even if you are using the HD Connect input option.
On the LAN, I do notice a difference between S-Video and HD-Connect although it is not that big. My LAN stream rates vary from 3500 to a little more than 6000 Kbps. Yes I have a similar problem with the HD Connect connection. I can only use it when my HDTV which is connected to the HDMI of the Rogers Scientific Atlanta STB (3250HD) is off. When I turn on the HDTV, the component inputs are blacked out so I have to switch to S-Video.
One more thing, it is now possible to record a Slingbox stream using Applian's At Large Recorder (Google it if you are interested) or an open source plug in to the VLC player (check out this thread at the Slingcommunity forums (http://www.slingcommunity.com/forum/thread/16651/Recording-Slingbox-/)). However, the recorded video will only be displayed in its proper aspect ratio when using the S-Video inputs.