OT - Slingbox Sling Catcher.

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Re: OT - Slingbox Sling Catcher.

Postby elorimer » Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:41 am

I'm guessing this would be pretty hard. Not the streaming part, but the remote control part.

I use my sling in one of two ways. The first is to a laptop with an s-video out to a TV at the vacation condo. The second is to a netbook when I'm traveling. Both work reasonably well for my limited purposes. A limiting factor is the speed of the internet connection, but the slingbox does a reasonable job of adjusting quality.

In each case, a key part is to bring up the onscreen remote and mouse over and click the remote buttons, which then get sent to the Slingbox and sent out the IR emitter to the Tivo, cable box, etc that is originating the video. That onscreen remote is specific to whatever is originating the video, so the Roku channel is going to have to replicate that function in some way.
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Re: OT - Slingbox Sling Catcher.

Postby TheEndless » Fri Oct 22, 2010 9:51 am

The remote part is actually pretty doable, since the Roku supports overlaying graphics on top of video. The tricky part is figuring out how to access the video, and getting decent quality. Currently, as far as I can tell, Sling only provides a Roku compatible stream to its iPhone app, and that stream quality is really bad, even on the tiny iPhone screen. On top of that, they communicate with the server via SSL, so it's not even possible to snoop it to figure out how to capture the stream in the first place. I suspect a decent SlingBox app would probably require Sling's direct involvement.
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Re: OT - Slingbox Sling Catcher.

Postby patton686 » Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:58 pm

I have a Slingbox Solo HD which is brand new from last week and a 1 y.o. SlingCatcher for sale with all cables included (HDMI, S-Video, Component, Composite, Digital Audio). 500$ for the package, in original boxes, PM me if interested!
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Re: OT - Slingbox Sling Catcher.

Postby ThePhantom » Sun Oct 24, 2010 6:17 am

The Slingbox's stream is encrypted, and has been that way since a firmware update distributed around 2007. This is due to a small handful of DVR-type apps that appeared around that time. I wouldn't count on seeing a channel for the Sling that's developed independently. Given Sling's ownership (Dish Network/Echostar), I don't see this happening.

A more reasonable goal would be to develop a channel for SiliconDust's HDHomeRun. While this would limit content to received ATSC and ClearQAM content, interacting with its output is reasonably doable...
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Re: OT - Slingbox Sling Catcher.

Postby TheEndless » Sun Oct 24, 2010 7:09 am

ThePhantom wrote:The Slingbox's stream is encrypted, and has been that way since a firmware update distributed around 2007. This is due to a small handful of DVR-type apps that appeared around that time. I wouldn't count on seeing a channel for the Sling that's developed independently. Given Sling's ownership (Dish Network/Echostar), I don't see this happening.

A more reasonable goal would be to develop a channel for SiliconDust's HDHomeRun. While this would limit content to received ATSC and ClearQAM content, interacting with its output is reasonably doable...

The Roku only supports HTTP Live Streaming for live (MP4/AAC) video feeds, which the HDHomeRun doesn't currently output, so it's just as unlikely to see a channel for it without a transcoding server sitting in between.

That being said, how did you make the leap from SlingBox to HDHomeRun anyway? They're two completely different animals...
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Re: OT - Slingbox Sling Catcher.

Postby ThePhantom » Sun Oct 24, 2010 7:58 am

TheEndless wrote:The Roku only supports HTTP Live Streaming for live (MP4/AAC) video feeds, which the HDHomeRun doesn't currently output, so it's just as unlikely to see a channel for it without a transcoding server sitting in between.


I checked into this further after posting. The HDHomeRun simply "retransmits" (over UDP/RTP) the content provider's signal -- which for ATSC and QAM is MPEG2/AC3 over an MPEG transport stream. The Roku does not appear to support:

- UDP streaming
- MPEG2
- the various (1080i, 720p, 1440 "hdlite" in some cases) resolutions from the broadcasters/cable providers

So yes, without a transcoder in between, support is not possible...

That being said, how did you make the leap from SlingBox to HDHomeRun anyway? They're two completely different animals...


? The OP's message references placeshifting their cable provider's content, which the HDHomeRun does. While the HDHomeRun is not generally "end user ready" like a Slingbox, its functionality is substantially similar, and in some ways superior, given its open API...
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Re: OT - Slingbox Sling Catcher.

Postby TheEndless » Sun Oct 24, 2010 8:17 am

ThePhantom wrote:? The OP's message references placeshifting their cable provider's content, which the HDHomeRun does. While the HDHomeRun is not generally "end user ready" like a Slingbox, its functionality is substantially similar, and in some ways superior, given its open API...

He wants to stream it remotely from his home to a hotel room. In general, that's not really possible with the HDHomeRun. It's intended for use on a closed network, for the most part. While you probably could access it remotely if you opened the right ports, it's unlikely you'd have the upload bandwidth to actually stream it outside of your own network.

Also, the HDHomeRun doesn't do placeshifting. As you noted, it just retransmits what it receives over the network. It's up to the software that uses that stream to support placeshifting. Placeshifting requires some sort of storage in order to jump around in the stream, which neither the HDHomeRun nor the Roku have, so again it requires a server (like WMC, EyeTV, MythTV, etc). In the case of the SlingBox, the client machine provides the buffer when accessed locally, and SlingMedia's servers provide the buffer when accessed remotely (which I guess is why they charge so much for their mobile apps).
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Re: OT - Slingbox Sling Catcher.

Postby ThePhantom » Sun Oct 24, 2010 9:57 am

TheEndless wrote:... and SlingMedia's servers provide the buffer when accessed remotely (which I guess is why they charge so much for their mobile apps).

I'll make this quick, as to avoid drifting too far OT. At least for the Blackberry and the Windows Mobile app for Sling, there's no buffering (outside of the few seconds used by the Slingstream optimization) that occurs. Can't speak for Android, iPhone, etc...

Oh -- and point taken on the absence of available bandwidth to support effective ATSC/QAM MPEG streaming remotely...
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Re: OT - Slingbox Sling Catcher.

Postby cliff_sadler » Sat Nov 06, 2010 7:16 am

So it sounds like this is a dead issue, at least without Sling/Roku getting directly involved?
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Re: OT - Slingbox Sling Catcher.

Postby noid » Sat Nov 06, 2010 10:07 am

I certainly hope not :(

There's nothing I would like more than to connect to my Slingbox using my Roku :(
Even if the video quality were subpar...
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Re: OT - Slingbox Sling Catcher.

Postby wataga123 » Sat Nov 06, 2010 10:13 am

I picked up one of these, Sony LF-V30 , refurbished for cheap $50 or something. accepts hd input.
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Re: OT - Slingbox Sling Catcher.

Postby cliff_sadler » Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:54 am

A little bit more interesting news today:

The Slingbox folks sent out an email newsletter yesterday indicating that SlingPlayer Mobile for iPad is “about to launch” and “Almost Here!”

Like other Slingbox mobile clients, whenever it lands, it’ll run $30. And it sounds like they’re finally moving to H.264 for iPad streaming to provide higher resolutions and hopefully a more responsive client – versus their existing iPhone app. Speaking of that original app, it’s not being (immediately?) replaced. And if you own an older Slingbox (Classic, AV, Tuner, PRO), that’s the Apple software you’ll be stuck with. As the new iPad client requires a Slingbox SOLO or PRO-HD… in what I presume to be both a technological and business decision. Regardless, I hope the existing iPhone client is eventually replaced so it too will experience more efficient and higher def video playback.

So, Does H.264 help anything? Perhaps that's what's causing the requirement of a PRO HD or Solo.

I've also researched up a replacement for the Sling Catcher, which has been announced for nearly a year, but no one seems to have touched one. It's called a Sling Receiver 300. If you go to the business side of Sling Media, they are actively pursing providers, and set top box manufacturers to OEM their HW and SW. I'd be very surprised if their rep hasn't visited Roku already.
What's funny, is we're all trying desparately not to use a laptop/netbook (which can do all of this, and more) in the mix, but instead want our coveted Roku to do it. My bet is because like me, you have users who have no concept of using a media PC, let alone a set top box. The simpler, the better. I think it's going to be the very next gen of TVs. Built in Roku, built in re-broadcast (placeshifting), built in descrambling(cable). Boy, that would put Logitech Harmony out of business, and make my wife estatic.
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Re: OT - Slingbox Sling Catcher.

Postby ThePhantom » Wed Nov 10, 2010 3:06 pm

cliff_sadler wrote:So, Does H.264 help anything? Perhaps that's what's causing the requirement of a PRO HD or Solo.

Still doesn't help with the encryption -- which AFAIK, no one has licked yet.

Perhaps someone with ambition should take a peek at the streams from http://www.filmon.com or http://www.ivi.tv, while they're still around... While not a Slingbox, its content could prove interesting...
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Re: OT - Slingbox Sling Catcher.

Postby digiblur » Wed Nov 10, 2010 4:55 pm

TheEndless wrote:
ThePhantom wrote:? In the case of the SlingBox, the client machine provides the buffer when accessed locally, and SlingMedia's servers provide the buffer when accessed remotely (which I guess is why they charge so much for their mobile apps).


SlingMedia's servers do not provide the buffering. It's a direct connection from the device to the user's network where the Slingbox is attached on port 5001. The sling servers are only used to return the IP address based on the Slingbox ID..kinda like DNS servers. If you have the IP you don't even need Sling's servers in the mix at all.
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Re: OT - Slingbox Sling Catcher.

Postby TheEndless » Wed Nov 10, 2010 5:02 pm

digiblur wrote:
TheEndless wrote:
ThePhantom wrote:? In the case of the SlingBox, the client machine provides the buffer when accessed locally, and SlingMedia's servers provide the buffer when accessed remotely (which I guess is why they charge so much for their mobile apps).


SlingMedia's servers do not provide the buffering. It's a direct connection from the device to the user's network where the Slingbox is attached on port 5001. The sling servers are only used to return the IP address based on the Slingbox ID..kinda like DNS servers. If you have the IP you don't even need Sling's servers in the mix at all.

I know that's the case with the PC version of SlingPlayer, but I didn't think that was the case with the iPhone player, since the stream has to be transcoded into a different format. If they're not providing any buffering on their servers, then the $30 price tag on each of these clients is even more ridiculous. If it were a one time fee, I'd be fine with it, but $250+ for the box, then $30 for every client is excessive (especially when they only allow one client connection at a time).
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