Slingbox Pro Review and Discussion Thread - Page 2 - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #16 of 27 (permalink) Old 2007-04-05, 08:33 AM Thread Starter
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Hugh - is your Slingbox on a Gig LAN?
Nope 10/100. Just so you don't think I'm fooling you. Here is a screen shot. It takes a while to get that high. It starts at around 2,000 then moves up. Currently its streaming around 3400.



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post #17 of 27 (permalink) Old 2007-04-06, 08:55 AM
 
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Hugh, thanks for the screenshot... my next question is: Have you tried using the "HD Connect" component cable and if yes was there a noticeable improvement (in streaming rate and actual Picture Quality)? I am still wondering if spending an extra 50 bucks for the HD Connect dongle is worth it.
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post #18 of 27 (permalink) Old 2007-04-07, 05:56 PM
 
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I finally got the PRO and the HD Connect package at FS this morning. The PRO is a step up from the Classic in picture quality. IMHO, the 50 bucks for the HD Connect is also worth it. It not only comes with the "dongle" that allows pass through of component video and audio signals but also with decent component and stereo RCA cables.

What surprised me about the HD Connect package was it that it also came with an Remote IR Cable with 4 IR emitters. So in theory I can control 4 devices with the PRO when using this cable.

Compared to the Classic, the PRO with the HD Connect package allows me to watch HD channels in real Widescreen (16:9) mode... no black bars on the bottom or sides like what I get when viewing HD channels using the Classic. The picture quality is also better and I am getting an average stream rate of between 6000 and 6600 Kbps which is approximately 3X what I get from the Classic. I have the PRO connected to a Linksys WRT54GL wireless G router running in client bridge mode (thanks to the open source DD-WRT firmware). Signal is then wirelessly streamed to my main router, another WRT54GL, to which my primary PC is connected.

Connecting the PRO was not that difficult as I was already using the latest version of the SlingPlayer. After connecting the cables to the HD Connect dongle and hooking up the PRO to my remote router running in client bridge mode, it was immediately recognized by the SlingPlayer software on my PC and all I had to do was configure the video for maximum PQ.

Last edited by hugh; 2007-04-07 at 06:54 PM. Reason: Removed oversized image. Please keep images under 800 x 600
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post #19 of 27 (permalink) Old 2007-04-07, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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Compared to the Classic, the PRO with the HD Connect package allows me to watch HD channels in real Widescreen (16:9) mode..
You can watch 16:9 without the HD package.



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post #20 of 27 (permalink) Old 2007-04-07, 11:46 PM
 
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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

Last edited by cyclo; 2007-04-07 at 11:54 PM. Reason: Add firmware upgrade link
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post #21 of 27 (permalink) Old 2007-04-24, 03:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by TurnItOnAgain View Post
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.
Hi TurnItOnAgain,

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

Regards!
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post #22 of 27 (permalink) Old 2007-04-24, 08:19 PM
 
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Hi TurnItOnAgain,

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!
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post #23 of 27 (permalink) Old 2007-04-26, 02:43 PM
 
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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.
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post #24 of 27 (permalink) Old 2007-04-26, 05:58 PM
 
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Remote Control Update

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).

Regards!
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post #25 of 27 (permalink) Old 2007-05-02, 02:48 AM
 
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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.
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post #26 of 27 (permalink) Old 2008-01-09, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclo View Post
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
Cyclo, which version of slingplayer were you using for this post (if you remember)?

I'm using version 1.5.0.322 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?!)

... EGC

A-D DB4e & CS5, CM 4221 & 7778, TiVo Premiere & Roamio
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post #27 of 27 (permalink) Old 2008-01-10, 10:00 PM
 
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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). However, the recorded video will only be displayed in its proper aspect ratio when using the S-Video inputs.
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