How does the Slingbox work?

Curious about how the Slingbox works? Take a look here.

Your Slingbox compresses your television signal (or other audio video) and makes it available through your home network, so you can watch TV in another room, on another floor, in your backyard ... or halfway around the world (if you have access to a broadband Internet connection).

If you have another audio video device, such as a DVR, DVD player, or VCR, you can watch these remotely too, with full access to all of their familiar features: pause, instant replay, fast-forward, and more. You can even schedule new recordings!

SlingPlayer displays on your computer’s screen an identical image of your audio video device's remote control. You can watch and control your TV just as if you were at home on the couch. Away from your home network, you have access to your TV anyplace there's a high-speed Internet connection. You can even control your DVR remotely!

To watch your Slingbox from afar, all you need back at home is a video source (satellite set-top box, cable box, DVR, DVD player, and so on), a broadband Internet connection, and your Slingbox. On the road, you only need to have the SlingPlayer application installed on your mobile device or use Watch on with a supported browser on a PC or Mac. You'll also need to have broadband Internet access where you are.

When you use Watch on, it connects to your Slingbox at home. In a few moments, your home TV is playing on your computer or mobile device!

What’s the secret?

Normally, the quality of audio video signals that are streamed (that is, travel) over the Internet is dependent on network quality. Specifically, this refers to the network connections that are between your home network and wherever you are with your computer. This could be a few connections over a few miles ... or many connections over a few thousand miles. For that reason, network quality can vary literally moment to moment. Some network sections that your audio video signal travels through might have varying connection quality, or they might be busier or less busy with other network traffic.

Fortunately, that’s not a big challenge for SlingStream™, the patented technology that your Slingbox uses to provide you with the best possible picture at all times. SlingStream monitors the quality of your Internet connection continuously. It does this from one end of the connection (your home TV) to the other end (wherever you're watching your TV remotely). SlingStream makes on-the-spot adjustments so that the video stream you're watching works best within the available network capacity (known as bandwidth) at any given moment. SlingStream makes sure that the video you're watching looks and sounds great, without jumping or pauses.

Where will you watch your TV?

Think of all the places that you can watch TV on your home network:

  • While you're in the kitchen, follow along with a cooking show.
  • While you're relaxing in your backyard, you can catch the game.
  • While surfing the web or writing an e-mail, keep an eye on the news.
  • When you're relaxing in your favorite chair, watch ... well, watch whatever you like!

With Internet Viewing, it gets even more exciting. You can watch your TV almost anywhere:

  • While you're on the other side of the globe, in a hotel room with a broadband Internet connection. You can watch the TV news and sports from your home town.
  • While you're out of town at an Internet cafe.
  • When you're commuting on a train that offers wireless service (if you're watching with your laptop). If you're watching using SlingPlayer on your mobile device, then you can watch your TV anywhere ... literally!
  • When you're on an airplane with broadband, watch your TV instead of the in-flight movie.

With your Slingbox, where you watch your TV is now up to you!