How to optimize streaming performance in SlingPlayer for mobile devices

If you're experiencing performance problems including buffering, choppy video, flickering, and hanging, here's how to optimize streaming with SlingPlayer for mobile devices.

Optimizing Streaming Away From Home

With SlingPlayer on your mobile device, a slow Internet connection at home can affect picture quality when viewing remotely. However, the type and quality of your phone's data connection or capacity can have an even greater impact.

Having trouble on 3G or 4G? Is it any better on Wi-Fi? If you can view via Wi-Fi, sometimes it is a better way to go than using 3G/4G.

The signal strength indicators on the status bar on your device are a good indicator of the signal strength — the more bars, the stronger the signal. (Note that the signal strength indicators are not visible when SlingPlayer is running.)

Here are a few more things to check:

  • If you can get to a computer, try checking your remote viewing performance from Watch on or, if you have a Slingbox M1/M2 only, Slingplayer for Desktop. That can help show you if the problem lies somewhere other than your phone. Such problems might be a slow "upload" speed from your home network router to the Internet, or a slow Wi-Fi connection in your current location.

  • If you can't connect via your phone at all, confirm that you have an Internet connection by navigating to any web site using the mobile browser on your phone.

  • In SlingPlayer, set the default video quality to Auto to allow SlingPlayer to dynamically adjust the stream quality to the current available network bandwidth. Otherwise, you may be able to improve the experience by forcing the video quality on SlingPlayer to Standard Quality (SQ) or Normal mode. Remember that video playback with a Standard Quality setting may not be as sharp or clear as with a High Quality/High Definition or an Auto setting.

  • Make sure that your network meets the minimum bandwidth requirements for your device. You can check the bandwidth using a third-party network speed app.

  • Do viewing issues occur when using your carrier's cellular network, or also over a Wi-Fi connection?

  • Are you in a static location, or are you moving around? If you're having problems streaming with a cellular connection, does the problem occur when you're in one location or when you are moving, such as riding in a car or train? If you're having problems streaming with a Wi-Fi connection, it's best to get as close as possible to the Wi-Fi antenna ... especially if it's on the other side of a wall.

  • Does the issue occur when viewing specific channels or is it across all channels?

  • Try a different input (if possible) to compare the viewing performance between two types of video sources.

  • Video performance can be affected by too many applications running in the background on the mobile device, if it's supported. Too many open application processes can slow the handset down and affect the performance of SlingPlayer.

Again, if your phone's data connection or capacity is poor, none of these changes will likely have much of an impact.

Optimizing Streaming at Home

What you can do at home depends on which Slingbox model you have.


Slingbox 500, Slingbox M1/M2, or Slingbox 350

For your newer-model Slingbox to function properly with your home network, your router should have a feature called UPnP activated. Enable that feature on your home router, and then reboot both your Slingbox and your router. Try the setup process again.


Slingbox PRO-HD, Slingbox SOLO, Slingbox PRO, or older Slingbox models

If the video quality is poor and the SQ (standard quality) button is grayed out, you can fix it by manually setting up your home network for a TCP connection to your Slingbox using a technique called Port Forwarding. Just click the Setup on link below. After you have selected your Slingbox, click Set Up Internet Viewing.

If the automatic setup fails, follow the instructions for manually setting up your home network to support the Slingbox. We also have a helpful video series on router configuration. Look for the link below.


We hope these suggestions help. Happy viewing!