Save Your Slingbox (if you act fast!)

As discussed earlier this week, DISH is officially shuttering Slingbox in a few days when they bring the servers down. However, given the number of inquiries received, I began investigating alternatives and have identified the most viable solution to keep your video streams a’flowing…

Over the last several months, Gerry Dubois of Nova Scotia has been developing “Slinger” — a Python application that runs on your hardware in lieu of Sling servers. The various network configurations are documented here, but the gist is Slinger relays commands into the Slingbox and relays video out to a media player of your choosing, like VLC. I can’t imagine it’s as elegant as the “real” thing, but I’m absolutely certain it beats a blank.

What makes all of this currently possible is the repurposing of your assigned Slingbox device password, obtained from this URL. It enables Slinger to establish a connection with Slingbox. However, the expectation is that this URL will cease to exist soon. So grab your info ASAP. In talking to Gerry, he is hopeful that analysis of his extensive network captures will ultimately lead to a Slingbox password reset function – thereby extending Slinger to factory-reset and repurposed boxes. Likewise, ingesting IR remote mapping is also on his to-do list.

I do worry about certificates or other firmware elements that could expire (or could be expired) but, for the interim at least, Slingboxes owned by the geeky have been spared bricking. Gerry hasn’t thought to accept donations nor does he have any technical assistance, but I think he may be open to either from those willing and able.

47 thoughts on “Save Your Slingbox (if you act fast!)”

  1. I don’t see much use for the Slingbox going forward, there’s just too many other ways to view content without the elaborate setup. That said, I’m sure there’s a few with a specific need, so kudos to this gentleman for helping out.

  2. Re: “assigned Slingbox device password, obtained from this URL”

    I’m not clear on what you mean by “assigned.” Is the assigned password different from the one we’ve routinely used to login to the web client?

  3. Yes, different – this isn’t your user account password, it’s a password for your Slingbox itself. If I understood Gerry correctly, Sling themselves assigns newer Slingbox hardware (like M1) a 15 character alphanumeric Slingbox hardware password. Whereas on older boxes (like Solo) setup via older Sling desktop software we’d have set it ourselves. In either case, if you log into your Sling account and then hit that link, you should see something listed for “adminPassword” that’ll get it done.

  4. Hmmmm…. I’m taking a walk down memory lane.

    I have one active Solo at a friend’s home.
    And in my garage:

    -Classic. (I go back that far.)
    – M1
    – Solo

    I am looking at “Your Slingbox Directory”

    I am not finding anything that remotely looks like a machine-created admin PW. I am encountering:

    1) the admin PW they used to ask the user to create.
    2) Slingbox IDs for Classic and Solo devices.
    3) Nothing additional for the M1 (not even the hardware ID)

    But maybe I shouldn’t be troubling you for this; you’ve probably moved on a long time ago. For me it’s partially geek curiosity.

    Side question we could follow up privately if you’re inclined: did you go to Bronx Science?

  5. Yep, I moved on long ago. I had two at the very end. One was the Slingbox 120, that wasn’t sold in America. Forget what I did with it. And then I had a more traditional and modern Slingbox I had shipped off to an associate for some collaborative work.

    After you’ve logged into your Sling account, hit this link. You’ll see some text output with curly brackets and what not. “adminPassword” should be in there for each box.

    Did not attend Bronx Science, but I know there are a few of me out there.

  6. OK. I should just direct any other gawkers (you should pardon the expression) to the discussion threads on Github for this project:

    I finally was able to display the Javascript. Now I understand my confusion. Only my M1 has one of those assigned admin pw’s. The others have my own self-assigned admin pw’s. I’ll have to see whether I have the time and motivation to make this solution work.

  7. Very interesting, if I’m reading the directions on GitHub correctly no work done to the SlingBox? I grabbed my admin password tonight and will attempt to configure a R Pi tomorrow.

    Nothing replicates a SlingBox!

  8. While I can understand why they would want to shut down the servers (the ongoing cost), it seems crazy not to enable enthusiastic owners to continue to use the product by providing technical data, rather than forcing reverse-engineering.

  9. This sucks. I cannot find another device that allows me to view and control my cable box and Blu-ray player when I am on the road.

  10. Can find nothing to replace the Slingbox experience and so this project is of real interest. Watching TV channels and controlling my cable box, I pay for in the UK, while travelling has been sorely missed!

  11. So I have captured credentials for my two 350s, but can I assume the remaining slinger setup can be accomplished after the shutdown date?? And should I deny my sling boxes from “calling home” now via my router to avoid a poison pill from Slingbox?

  12. “While I can understand why they would want to shut down the servers (the ongoing cost), it seems crazy not to enable enthusiastic owners to continue to use the product by providing technical data, rather than forcing reverse-engineering”

    Because they use this technology in their dish receivers and want to keep it exclusive to their equipment.

  13. I am longtime user. I have
    2 HD-Pro
    3 M1

    Currently have 2 M1 and HD Pro in use.

    I tried using the original software, that gave you an option of connecting by IP instead of using the slingfinder ID. But I can’t get that to work. I tried connecting to the HD-Pro as that software doesn’t work with the M1.

    I will be trying to keep some running. Nothing is as simplistic as slingbox. Don’t have to try to use multiple apps- one for this channel, one for that channel. And can watch a football game of my hometown team from anywhere. The NFL hated slingbox!

  14. There is no alternative, when traveling and Xfinity says you must be logged into your home network to see something. That’s when I use my Slingbox.

  15. This is the way slingboxes should’ve worked from the beginning. I’ve had three, but unfortunately they’ve all died along the way, with the last one going right about the time they announced the shutdown.

  16. Randall, that was our original design. We only had a server in the mix as a convenient dynamic DNS service to facilitate things for the non-geeky. However, the desktop software (and Slingboxes) allowed you to hardcode your home IP (or use a different dynamic DNS service).

  17. I have an M1 that I haven’t used in a few years.
    I logged into the slingbox company with my username and pw, and used the URL quoted and I got my box pw.

    It’s worth doing just in case you find a use for the thing someday. I archived the snippit of code the url returned, and sure enough the needed pw is there.

    I want to say you do not need to plug in your slingbox to do the password retrieval, it worked just fine with their server alone. Mine is at another location and not connected to the network anymore.

    I knew slingboxes were being shut down, I got an email from them, and since I wasn’t using it, no matter. But it’s good to grab the pw in case. Anyone who has one and can login to their website can easily get that pw.

    Thanks to Dave for letting us know.

  18. I’m one of those people who could desperately make use of this. My wife is Japanese and she uses Slingbox to get her Japanese TV. We’ve looked at other work around but most of them require a yearly subscription of hundreds of dollars. Hopefully with workaround will let us avoid that. I’ve gone to the website linked and to taken a screenshot of our admin password.

  19. Doug in lovely SF:

    I had difficulty in Firefox and tried again in Chrome. It just worked for me using these steps:

    1) (if necessary specify your country.)
    2) Do the general user login to the website.
    3) (once you are logged in:
    Paste this URL into the URL area of the browser:
    The site should display Javascript metadata for any Slingbox(es) registered to your account.
    4) Copy the whole thing and paste it into a text editor and save it.
    5) The follow the Slinger procedure.

  20. Got it up and running, using the server file for Windows. Works like a charm on both my M1 and 500. It would be shame if Sling Media were to take further forcible actions to truly brick all Slingbox hardware – What kind of incentives would they even gain in doing so? All their operational costs will be zeroed comes November 9th.

  21. For anyone interested in a more polished interface, Gerry’s Slinger code is able to be integrated into Plex, similar to how HDHomerun integrates and operates with Plex. It’s a bit of a hack and requires a few other pieces to set up properly, including a paid Plex Pass subscription.

    But it gives you the full experience, including channel guides, channel mapping, search, recordings, commercial skip, favorite channel mappings, multi slingbox tuners (2 can watch different slingbox at the same time or watch 1 while recording another). It does not have a remote control but I have found I can do everything I need to via the Plex channel guide.

    More info and some screenshots here:

  22. Thanks for sharing this story Dave! I too worked at Slingbox back in the day, and talked about Gerry’s server and the idea of hardware being orphaned by the founders and brought back to life via the community on my podcast last month.

    If you want to hear some founders stories on Sling, check out my segment on it here, 21:30 into the show…

  23. I just opened two (2) “new” M1’s I purchased for spares a couple of years ago, set them up this AM and received the email below.. I guess I’ll get to enjoy them for a few more hours before needing to checkout out the alternative GerryDazoo kindly engineered. Thanks for that Gerry!

    Slingbox Team

    Welcome aboard!

    Slingbox is the best way to free your TV from the confines of your living room. We are the only company that lets you watch 100% of the channels and content you already pay for -anywhere in the world. Big Cable promises “TV Everywhere” but the reality is that when you’re outside your home, they can only deliver about 20% of the channels you see on your television-and even that has some pretty serious restrictions.

    Created by two brothers who wanted to watch their San Francisco Giants games live while traveling, Slingbox is the only technology that allows you to watch all your channels, live or recorded on any phone, tablet, or laptop- anywhere. All with no restrictions, no blackouts, and no monthly fees.

    Here are a few ways to discover how you can watch your TV from anywhere in the world, on any device.


  24. I was easily able to get the windows slingbox_server.exe to stream from my cable box to network clients using my SlingBox M2, both inside and outside my firewall. This is awesome. I also was able to set up the slingbox_server.exe as a windows 11 service using the SRVSTART utility here: When running as a service, though I haven’t yet gotten the server logging to redirect to a file. So currently that output is lost. Everything still works fine though. Kudos for giving a second life to our sling boxes.

  25. I wish I would have found this site earlier. I don’t know if it’s too late to grab my IDs.

    I figured that the hardware was all in there and there had to be some kind of hack or work around.

  26. I have two boxes on my network, which, by the way, are both still working as of this moment, Wednesday at 6:00 pm CST. I don’t know why that is.

    I entered the url listed to get my box ID. I see a 30 character code for each. Is that what I’m looking for?


  27. 350’s and 500’s, too?

    It’s one thing to turn their server off. Another altogether to actively brick devices we paid for. That’s like going from negligence to willful misconduct.

  28. Based on forum chatter, it does not appear that all models nor all people have lost access to Slinger. But something’s definitely up for some or many. I can’t imagine whatever’s happening is an intentional act by Dish, although who knows. Until situation clarifies, the best bet it to leave them unplugged. And, as I said in the article, “I do worry about certificates or other firmware elements that could expire (or could be expired)”

  29. Weird that slinger isn’t working for some.

    My slingbox/slingplayer is still working for me.

    Anyway, I got my admin pw yesterday, just in time, in case I try slinger or something like that.

    Does it need a PC in the loop to operate.

    The URAY solution doesn’t need any other hardware.

  30. Uray is a replacement device, not a way to salvage existing hardware which is the topic. Perhaps I’ll get around to running down alternatives at some point. In any event, someone(s) must have spammed more than just me as the WordPress org has the max-soft site and author flagged – each comment has automatically landed in quarantine. I’ve allowed two comments through for completeness.

  31. The “Seven Days” post mentions alternatives. I thought alternatives was an OK part of the topic.

    I didn’t know there were people working on slinger until I found your post. It’s promising, but seems to require some advanced media communication expertise. I can’t be sure, but from what I can tell, slinger requires a PC to be continuously onboard the hardware string as a server.

    The other alternatives mentioned in the “Seven Days” post all seem to require a monthly subscription.

  32. A smattering of alternative discussion is cool, but WordPress dropped about a dozen comments advertising that site into quarantine. As nearly all came from the same source, it feels excessive and manipulative.

    Slinger does require a computing device in the mix to spoof the official Sling servers and relay video. And this is just the first well-known (relatively speaking) solution, assuming devices remain functional. It’s also possible help may be available at some point.

    I did reference some OTA antenna placeshifting alternatives in the other post. The more polished solutions, including out-of-home streaming, generally require a subscription. However, more modest solutions and geekier solutions can be had for less. Each scenario could benefit from a different solution and passing along set-top content is trickier – URAY is one answer, for those looking for an ‘appliance.’ But I haven’t really delved into it as my needs are met. I’d more likely bring a computer into the mix with an inexpensive video capture “card” — they’re super cheap these days and many will even make the HDMI HDCP handshake. I have a setup like that for blog projects (that replaced a Slingbox 500 several years ago).

  33. Dish is intentionally “bricking” sling boxes with destructive firmware upgrades AFTER the main servers were taken offline. They left the firmware servers up intentionally to kill your hardware. The concept of forced local ad watch in remote markets during a Pro sporting event, drove this reality of intentionally destroying a legally purchased piece of hardware. Turning off the admin and relay servers us one thing, intentionally bricking your personal and legally purchased hardware is quite another. I’ll never own a DISH or Sling product… ever.

  34. I can confirm the bricking of Solo, Pro and ProHD models. The later models 350, 500 and M1s have so far been spared but we don’t know for how long. People need to configure their routers to block all outgoing connections from their boxes to prevent the boxes from “calling home” and installing the killer firmware update,

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