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Sling Slung

Yesterday I hooked up a Slingbox to our Sky+ system.

The Sky+ lets us time shift our TV watching, and the Slingbox adds a new dimension: place shifting. It turns the video output from the Sky+ into a stream of IP data that we can watch anywhere in the house, or anywhere there's an Internet connection (once I punch the appropriate holes in the firewall). It also means I don't have to run extra cabling round the house, or spend money on additional Sky subscriptions.

It's a fine example of appliance design - simple software, easy to understand instructions, just a few connectors, and underneath it all a device that's doing something rather complex.

All I had to do was plug the box into the house network, hook up a couple of IR emitters, and plug the Slingbox into the Sky+'s S-video output. Once I installed the software on a PC (Mac and mobile versions are available), a wizard walked me through configuration and video stream optimisation, and, well, there it was, working.

One neat feature is the on-screen remote, which looks just like, and works just like, a Sky+ remote. So I can use the EPG, and even watch stored programmes (even if I keep trying to click on the screen). I'll even be able to program the box when we're on the road...


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 13th, 2006 12:13 pm (UTC)
> Mac and mobile versions are available

But NOT 10.3.x only 10.4

I haven't updated my powerbook to 10.4 and this is the first reason I have to. It seems silly to pay for an upgrade to Tiger just so that I can watch my Slingbox on my apple laptop :-(

I haven't set up remote access yet to my Sky+ box either through Sky or through the Slingbox so I will just be crossing my fingers that I have everything set to record...
Dec. 13th, 2006 12:21 pm (UTC)
I am thining of adding a separate video card set to a lower resolution just for my sling player :-)
Dec. 13th, 2006 12:42 pm (UTC)
I have a web server installed on my Tivo, which is handy for updating season passes and the like when I'm away.

It can't stream though, which is a shame - instead I have to download to my PC and stream from that.
Dec. 13th, 2006 01:40 pm (UTC)
And of course ...
Sling have been working with Symbian on a client for S60 and UIQ phones, so you can watch your favourite TV programme pretty much anywhere you can get mobile phone coverage too (or so I believe!) ... so you can be sitting in a nice cafe in Seattle streaming "When Strictly Celebs Dancing Attack Big Brother's Love Island II: Eastenders vs Corrie" or something :-)
Dec. 13th, 2006 08:07 pm (UTC)
Re: And of course ...
Yes. It's part of the 3 "X" tariff structure.

Quite tempting...
Dec. 14th, 2006 05:23 pm (UTC)
Re: And of course ...
as you need 3G and a compliant operator like 3 for this to work, it's best to think of this as benefit of your mobile data plan than of your Symbian phone - 3 will charge £10 a month for a data plan with Sling and Orb access - but they don't have HSDPA. You wouldn't want this on a per megabyte plan.
Dec. 14th, 2006 06:38 pm (UTC)
True ....
.. though if you need client software to use it, then at the moment that's Symbian 9.1 (and probably just the Nokia N73!)

Customised for Symbian OS 9.1, SlingPlayer Mobile will first arrive on Nokia N73, a top choice among the latest breed of multimedia smartphones. Additional compatible handsets will be supported over the coming months.

Dec. 14th, 2006 07:15 pm (UTC)
Re: True ....
I saw it on both Nokia and Sony Ericcson at the launch, just one model of each. I think they should do a Windows Mobile client too...
Dec. 13th, 2006 04:15 pm (UTC)
Ooooo does that work on OSX? That would be a great solution for something to do when ill in bed and not up to reading and all slept out...
Dec. 13th, 2006 04:18 pm (UTC)
D'oh - re-reads. I blame a gastro-bugged brane.
Dec. 13th, 2006 06:06 pm (UTC)
Good, another disruptive technology smacking IP issues dead on the head. And, also good, people will run afoul of many terms of use retrictions on their internet carriers. Of course, you know most U.S. mobile pohone carriers specifically forbid the use of rebroadcasters on their networks. Verizon wireless specifcally forbids the use of their network to stream any TV stream. Comcast has similar bans on their cable network. Is this 'right'? Though I don't thin so, these companies will have to be wrangled down.
Dec. 13th, 2006 08:12 pm (UTC)
Meanwhile in the UK there are mobile operators who are actively selling Sling streaming support as part of an all-you-can eat data tariff...

(Yes, it adds a bit to the bill each month, but then you're getting a lot of extra bits for £10 a month)

...and the operator I was talking to today is considering offering it too...
Dec. 13th, 2006 08:49 pm (UTC)
Your headline kind of implies you hated it and turfed it off the system. Your text, however, only says you like how it goes so far. Am I misinterpreting something or missing something?
Dec. 13th, 2006 08:53 pm (UTC)
Actually, the opposite! I was trying to mean that I slung it in, and it stuck!
Dec. 14th, 2006 02:17 am (UTC)
> (once I punch the appropriate holes in the firewall)

Firewall pinholes bad. VPN good.
Mar. 27th, 2009 08:18 am (UTC)
SlingPlayer for Blackberry
FYI: SlingPlayer Mobile (SPM) for Blackberry just released:

( 16 comments — Leave a comment )