Seven More Days of Slingbox

Welp. It’s come to this. Slingbox servers will be shut down forever come November 9th. At which point all remaining devices will be bricked. *

As part of the original Sling Media team, initially in an advisory role followed by full-time employment, redefining media consumption was a wild and fulfilling ride. But, like the personal DVR, roll-your-own video streaming is largely transitory as we embrace our messy but largely liberated content futures.

While it’s fairly easy to replicate Slingbox functionality these days for over-the-air antenna TV (Tablo, HDHomeRun with Channels or Plex, Slingbox-descendent AirTV), for better or worse we’ve moved away from remote (IR) control of that cable box. Oh I’m sure something could be hacked together. But with such plentiful and, optionally ad-free, streaming services available it’s really not worth it. It is worth mentioning that Slingbox technology lives on in DISH Hopper – to stream that live and recorded content anywhere.

Interestingly, early Slingboxes/software did not actually require Sling Media servers as home IPs could be hardcoded. We were simply in the mix to provide a dynamic DNS service, facilitating the client-to-box connection. But, some time after we were acquired, the powers that be began dabbling in ads (ugh) and subscriptions – which do indeed require that permanent intermediary.

No post on the former Sling Media is complete without a shout-out to our fearless leader, the visionary Blake Krikorian (passed away 2016) who largely inspired our future (present). For a fun, prescient retrospective hit the play button below to hear us chit-chatting for the blog in 2005 before we’d contemplated joining forces.


9 thoughts on “Seven More Days of Slingbox”

  1. I loved my slingbox. I felt so cool being able to watch live and time-shifted TV anywhere on my Windows Mobile phone or laptop. I started out with ReplayTV as my primary DVR, before moving to TiVo after its demise. A sling/ReplayTV would have been interesting.

  2. Purchased my original Slingbox on Day #1. And with 5 static IPs for my home network it really was a game changer and a perfect companion to my long stream of TiVos. And even as a beta tester for the original TiVo Stream, I always preferred the different iterations of the Slingbox as bypassing HDMI HDCP was as simple as using an analog connection and viewing on a PC was (somewhat) easier.

    Of course I always seemed tied tangentially to Dave’s career moves as I was one of those Dash Navigation beta testers too.

  3. Shortly after the initial announcement of the Slingbox shutdown was made, I made the switch to Channels DVR for my location shifting of TV. The move to Channels DVR was simple, after repurposing an old PC as a video server. Very happy with the switch.

  4. I had one of the early versions. I was spending a lot of time overseas, and could sling the content from my home TiVo to myself. It was sometimes problematical, but helped me keep my sanity.

  5. I had great times with my slingbox and slingcatcher connected remotely to a virginmedia dvr cable box. Must have used this setup for a decade. Only thing required was a reboot now on both sides which for the slingbox in the U.K, I had a device that could turn the power off and on remotely allowing it to do a reboot. The slingcatcher could be a bit choosy with the stream type, but most of the time I had a solid connection and a good experience. Getting a 1.5mb consistent stream sent 5000 miles away to my slingcatcher made me feel like I was on the cutting edge of technology. As volatile as everything was relying on two devices, two connections and a big gap in distance, I miss all that tinkering required to keep things running consistently and happy to say most of the time it worked well. Truly miss those innocent times. R.I.P Slingbox.

  6. I owned more than 5 original slingbox ( orgainl, v2, sling TV etc) which rebroadcast from home TV without any server/subscription from overseas and local. Members of my extended family and I enjoy that so much till ATSC and digital cable came around that killed NTSC slingbox receivers. Slingbox should have a place in any computer museum as visionary product of our time.

  7. I which use a Slingbox on a daily basis am not quite ready to take the down on memory lane trip…. Really getting tired of being burned by these companies. I had 5 Monsoon Lava/Flows operated between the U.S and Overseas successfully for years. Monsoon violated patents and shut down. They left their customers hanging with otherwise functional equipment. Then comes Slingbox. I purchased several of those to replace the Vulkanos. Difference is, Sling has violated no patents, just decided to shut down their authentication server, refusing to allow it to be taken care of by anyone else. Now they’ve come out with a TvAnywhere box that requires you to purchase yet more hardware to placeshift only local channels. If you want to watch ESPN, CNN, FoxNews etc, you have to purchase t-h-e-i-r service (SlingTV) to incorporate the two together. I’m watching the France/Australia soccer match as I write this on an M2, which is connected to an OTA receiver in France I and others spent hours getting a working remote to work with the M2. I also still have 2 new M2’s in the box. These are also still being sold on Ebay and Amazon. Sling should be forced to reimburse/buy back any otherwise functional slingboxes IMO. They claim there are other ways to achieve the same results. Perhaps, but not with the simplicity of the Slingbox! People would be up in arms if a company decided to otherwise brick a perfectly working TV purchased a few years ago!

  8. I purchased my Slingbox in 2005, which was close to the very beginning. I lived overseas in Scotland and wanted to watch US football. When I moved to London, I had two Sling Catchers on two TV’s and two different internet providers so my wife and I could both watch US TV with the limited bandwidth they had. Over the years, I have had 5 different Slingboxes, and currently have 2 operating, which I use frequently. Such a shame its going away. I have used it on the last two trips I took out of town this month to get local sports.

  9. How have I never heard of slingcatcher before? I’m a very long time slingbox user and have two boxes so I could watch what I wanted when I traveled regardless of what the people at home were watching. I often wished I could watch on the hotel room TVs, but settled for my laptop screen. Weird.

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to trying some of the possibilities to continue slinging.

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