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Old 10-08-2014, 02:23 PM   #1
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Sling Box

Looking at various options for viewing streamed content, movies / TV shows as well as live sports MLB / Football...etc. Does anyone have any experience with sling box? Alternatives?
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Old 10-08-2014, 02:52 PM   #2
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At my old job we were working on the digital emergency alert system and we spent a lot of time at tv stations and radio stations etc. The sling box is awesome. We were able to use them to monitor more tv stations than we otherwise would have been able to monitor.

We also used to go to a lot of the "trade" shows promoting the new technology and promoting FEMA and stuff like that. When we were in Vegas several years ago setting up for one of the shows, we were watching NFL games (Sun ticket) using a sling box. One member of the group hooked it up to his tv at home, and we watched it that way on his Ipad (until we got the big televisions set up, then we watched it on the big screens). Only thing with the sling box is it shows only what is on the tv at home. So for example, if you were at a campground, using the sling box to watch tv, and someone who was still back at home changed the channel, it would change the channel for you as well. But generally speaking, that isnt typically a concern.

It is also effective for watching "your team" if you no longer live in your teams market. For a while I had a sling box at my brothers house to watch the games. He was already watching the game so it was no big thing, but then he moved away as well so now I have Sun Ticket.

As far as alternatives, I have DirecTv, so my alternative reflects that service and wont apply if you dont have DirecTv. I have the Genie Go which allows us to watch our DirecTv live, or watch anything in our dvr whenever we want (using an Ipad with HDMI adpater dongle) on the tv in the trailer. ***Gotta watch data use if you arent using campground wifi though. Also allows you to set the dvr to record shows for you.

The only thing about the Genie Go that I dont yet know about (because the situation hasnt yet arisen) is whether you can watch sports on the Genie Go. Prior to the Genie Go we had the DirecTv app which was sort of the same in that you could watch your dvr list and things, but if you had recorded a sporting event, you couldnt watch that on the Ipad (black out rules and all of that FCC crap). If anyone has tried it with the Genie Go, I would be interested in that answer
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Old 10-08-2014, 02:55 PM   #3
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I have been looking into a variety of different devices to accomplish this. However I believe the hold up will be with the way you are attempting to stream the media. I have found that most campgrounds and rv parks that supply wifi are limited and unable to provide the speeds and band widths necessary, also if using a personal hot spot the data usage is tremendous. Maybe someone that has the solution will post the answer.
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Old 10-08-2014, 02:58 PM   #4
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To follow up, mcnabbwr nailed it, your biggest issue is going to be bandwidth at the campground, or cost for data if using a hot spot or data plan
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Old 10-08-2014, 04:21 PM   #5
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I have found that a Roku box will work well at campgrounds that do not have a wifi log-in page (which requires a device with a web browser). Some campgrounds will block major video services such as Netflix and Hulu, but others, such as news feeds can pass. Roku currently offers over 1000 internet TV channels, although many are of limited interest.

The Roku works best if:
1. Use it at off hours, such as late at night when most people are not using wifi.
2. Use the Roku secret menu to force the device into the lowest bandwidth.

By default, a Roku will attempt to stream HD video at the highest quality (3.5 Mb/s). Newer model Roku boxes can be forced to a lower quality (as low as 0.3 Mb/s), but still very watchable picture, by doing the following with the remote control:

In Roku home screen press
[HOME] 5 times, [REW] 3 times, [FF] 2 times
Select the desired bandwith from the menu
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Old 10-08-2014, 04:28 PM   #6
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Will a Roku stream live tv?
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Old 10-08-2014, 04:28 PM   #7
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We have been using our Sling Box for the last 4 summers and would be lost without it...Just make sure you have a good internet plan and signal...We were lucky to get a 4G LTE Unlimited from Virgin Mobile (they don't offer the unlimited anymore).

Cheers!
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Old 10-08-2014, 04:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xs1ve View Post
Will a Roku stream live tv?
With a Roku, some channels are live such as news, sports, and some local affiliate stations. Other channels are on demand such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video. Most channels are free, some are by subscription (Netflix, Major League Baseball).

You might need to try different bandwith settings in the secret menu for programming such as sports that have a lot of fast motion and could become pixelated at the lowest bandwidths.

All Roku boxes receive the same channels, and prices start at $40. The fancier models just have more features such as built in games, Eithernet connection, faster processor, etc.
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Old 10-08-2014, 05:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnabbwr View Post
I have been looking into a variety of different devices to accomplish this. However I believe the hold up will be with the way you are attempting to stream the media. I have found that most campgrounds and rv parks that supply wifi are limited and unable to provide the speeds and band widths necessary, also if using a personal hot spot the data usage is tremendous. Maybe someone that has the solution will post the answer.
At one time, I would have answered 'Satellite Internet'. But lately I've heard that they're getting to be pretty pricey. Still might be worth comparing though. You're going to want to find one that does both upload and download over satellite to be able to work in the park. Some of the older ones used to only do download, the upload was done over a phone line (like the old dial-up speed kind)

The other thing to be aware of is the latency. Satellite service, especially one that's up and down via satellite, has a built in latency. So it's no good for say, a live video call, but it can get some pretty good download speeds when you're streaming things like Netflix, etc...
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