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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I'm considering getting a slingbox 350 for the purpose of streaming my satellite box's output over the internet as I'll be out of the country for a few months. I'm wondering if people have had better experiences with other/cheaper devices of this sort, I'm looking for something that will hook up to the satellite receiver and stream over my wifi/wired connection to a laptop system over the internet, at resolution of at least 640x480. Google results showed some positive reviews of a Belkin @tv device, but it doesn't seem to be very popular. My upload speed is 2mb, I wonder how high of a resolution that will allow for streaming.
 

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@BelkinTV is a rebranded Monsoon Vulkano.
I own a two Vulkano "Lavas" and one Vulkano Flow.
I am very happy with these "Place-Shifting" units and they work well with the Android App.
Vulkano boxes can lock up- which sucks if you aren't home to reboot. My $25 solution was to put a power bar with timer on the unit and have it turned on from 3:01 AM to 3:00 AM daily.
However, if you look at the "Vulkanocommunity" forums you will see that Slingbox has sued Vulkano for copyright infringement and there is some question as to whether or these boxes will be orphaned and if they will continue to work if vulkano kills their servers.

Safe bet is to put your money into a Slingbox.
 

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Don't forget that uploaded data counts towards your cap. If you were using your full 2 Mbps speed that would use up about 0.9GB per hour.

What content are you interested in viewing? There may be other ways to get it - like Hulu for TV shows, NHL CenterIce for hockey, TV station web sites, iTUnes, etc - some of these may require a DNS redirect service like Unblockus or Unotelly. But that may be cheaper and be more reliable.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
To answer Wayne's question, looking to mostly stay up on some local news channels and few sports ones, i.e. TSN, Sportsnet for basketball/hockey/baseball. I've recently found out Bell has something called AnywhereTV that is free to their satellite subscribers, but their offering is pretty limited for the non-cell customers, if you only have satellite, you get the few local channels plus tsn, tsn2, few french channels, cp24 and weather network... still, better than nothing I guess.

To pnear, I guess slingbox solo doesn't allow streaming resolution to go above 640x480 though right?
 

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Check and see what you can get today on the web, including tsn.ca, the CBC hockey website, etc. If that looks pretty good then you might want to look for a VPN that makes it appear as if you are in Canada. Then, assuming your web speeds are ok, you can watch everything online as if you were in Canada.

I think you can also get a lot of local news on the websites of the TV stations both in the form of text and video.

You can get HD through Slingbox with the right model. But that needs more bandwidth.

Any idea what sort of web speeds you will have? Europe is generally pretty fast, Asia, outside or Korea and Japan is pretty slow.
 

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Avoid anything other than the 350. The 500 offers features no one can use, the HDMI port is useless because the 500 doesn't do HDCP, which is on every channel on Bell. So, you'll need to still plug in your component cables regardless.

The 350 is the best available right now. Best Buy/Futureshop just had them on for 119 over Boxing Day too. Shame you missed it but never know, Sling does do good sales in the states, maybe that starts in Canada now.

Anything beneath the 350, such as the Pro HD or Solo, is risking lack of support going forward.

If your upload is legitimately 2mb up, your picture quality is going to be decent enough to watch without hesitation on mobile devices and small screens like a laptop.
 

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Also if you wanted a demo of a 350 on a bell connection, let me know and I can invite you to one of my slings to try it out for a bit and see if it's for you.
 

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Magnet you are my all-time hero and I thank you a gazillion for the timer suggestion at a set time at night. PERIOD!

As for my preferred remote setup, I've successfully maintained a Slingbox Pro HD since 2009 and I swear by it. I enjoy its flexibility a great deal. Since most STBs still come with component out, I'M OK with the added bonus of supporting OTA and since I'm a big proponent of OTA TV, well... Also you can dedicate the Composite input to something like a cheap old NTSC camera or else, to a radio station.

These days, I use the audio in of the composite input to listen to a Kenwood R5000 receiver tuned to HF frequency 27.025 (for aurora alerts).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the replies, I'll be picking up a Slingbox 350 shortly, found a decent deal locally. Any idea what kind of resolution will a 2meg upload speed allow for? I imagine something a bit better than 640x480?
 

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A 2-megabit upstream speed will sustain an stable SD image. No better. I had a 3-megabit upstream connection for the longest time and could never get passed SD or stuttering HD

These days I enjoy stutter-free HD when I'm away thanks to 11-megabit upstream.
 

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I have a Vulkano platinum deluxe and a Lava. Great alternatives to sling at the time. An uncertain future but I will ride them until and if the servers are pulled. Magnet - my vulkanos do not lock-up, but unfortunately in my neighborhood it suffers from flash power failures that could reset the vulkanos. I've plugged them into a UPS, and that seems to fix the problem. I would probably go sling going forward as well. I've got an old Sony Location Free - also working.
 

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Most of my lockups occurs under the following scenarios.
1. Placeshifting LAVA to LAVA within the same house over wifi.
2. While using the Android app on my phone or tablet, having the screen auto-resize from SD to HD or HD to SD.
3. Someone doesn't log off their placeshifting session nicely.
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The most success I have is watching FLOW or LAVA from a laptop either within the house or remotely.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
@Wayne = my cap is 300 gb a month, should be enough I'd imagine :)

@ChannelMaster: so 2meg is not enough for even a 720p stream? In that case maybe I should get that Slingbox Solo after all - if all it can do is SD, then I might be throwing money away for a feature I won't be able to use...
 

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Do not get a Solo. You're risking long term support with evolving tools. As example, the older Slingcatchers no longer function with current 350/500's.

You're far better off with a current gen slingbox that is still having firmware updates (somewhat regularly) and will be supported at least for the foreseeable future.
 

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Stick to colinpeddle's advice on getting the 350 (if it supports component in) and especially if you don't care about the built-in ATSC tuner of the Pro-HD. The Pro-HD is a (very) nice rig if you can find it but then again, updates, updates, updates.

Get an HD (or 350) unit for the mid-term, you never know when competitiveness on your IPS' will up your upstream to 5-10 MB and you'll be sorry you didn't invest. As was the case with me, this speed bump happens frequently enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
One more question for the 350 owners - can you actually disable the ability for remote account to switch channels? I don't see a setting for that.
 

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Since the Sling app (desktop or web) is designed to give its user control of a connected box, I hardly see how that can be achieved. You can still:

- disconnect the infrared emitter(s)
- Go to the configuration screen (when logging to the master account) and crock the device configured to a given input.

But I guess doing so would deny access to the local user as well (the same as the master account holder from wherever).
 
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