Slinging Sky+HD programmes using a Slingbox 350 in HD

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Slinging Sky+HD programmes using a Slingbox 350 in HD

Postby embleton » Sun Feb 22, 2015 2:41 am

The Slingbox 350 is designed to broadcast video and audio to another location on a local LAN or the Internet, by either composite video (SD poor quality) or component video (HD high quality). The Slingbox 350 does not support HDMI inputs at all, so for high-quality HD output from a DVR or satellite receiver that supports outputting HDMI you'll need a converter, and preferably one that supports HDCP as without this the majority of digital HDMI output video devices will display a blank screen owning to copy protection handshaking.

Using HDMI as the source from a Sky+HD box this was feed into a HDMI HDFury3 to convert to component video and strip HDCP, the video signal was feed into the Slingbox 350 and sent to a local LAN connected Amazon Fire TV (FTV) streamer, and that FTV is connected to a wifi network on the 5Ghz band. The audio was supplied directly from the composite audio output from the Sky+HD box, as the HDFury3 has an issue with poor amplification from the 3.5mm analogue jack, which manifests itself as the distortion of the audio. If you wish audio from the HDFury3 it’s best to use the optical output as a Digital to Analogue Converter (DAC) because of this issue.

The HDFury3 comes with the required component connection cables in its box, so you'll only need a stereo phono to phono cables (supplied with the Slingbox 350) and standard HDMI cable to connect the Sky+HD box to the HDFury3. And the HDFury3 only comes with a 2 pin shaver style mains plug for supplying a USB 1 amp 5V supply, personally, my recommendation is to use a UK USB adapter for feeding a USB supply, luckily an Apple USB 1 amp supply was freely available in my collection of spares.

The FTV has a SlingPlayer that is a free self-contained native player, not requiring any external phone or tablet to receive the Slingbox signal before transmitting it to the FTV. This is another good reason to pick an FTV over other streamers, the FTV was discussed on this site along with other streamer boxes. These other streamer boxes necessitate an intermediate device to stream from; such as an iPhone, iPad or Android tablet or phone.

Also tests were done with iPhone and iPad, but the quality of the picture was poor in comparison; performance and reliability was also terrible and unusable using AirPlay to an Apple TV 3 and mirroring to a Roku 3 streamer from an iOS device, even an iPad Air 2 that is well up to the task performed terribly. This isn't an issue with the Slingbox 350, but the SlingPlayer on those devices that cost approximately £10, and that I consider is terrible when comparing it to the FTV or PC SlingPlayer, especially considering the latter two SlingPlayer are completely free.

The picture at its highest HD quality is quite good and approximately 85% of its original source, but does suffer artefacts in the blacks and the refresh rate isn't sufficiently good that does show up in fast moving action with slight jerkiness in the picture performance, edges look very slightly fuzzy; mainly all these points are owing to the compression employed by the Slingbox 350 and encoding in H.264 for the HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) protocol, which isn't very fast on the SlingBox 350 resulting in a 2-3 second delay between the sender and receiver. This generally shouldn't cause problems with the exception of controlling the Sky box as a delay of 2-3 seconds from pressing a key to the response on screen is quite some time. If you're on a local LAN then controlling the Sky box by the Sky+ app is highly recommended for the best experience.
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Re: Slinging Sky+HD programmes using a Slingbox 350 in HD

Postby embleton » Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:04 am

The FTV SlingPlayer is slightly buggy, as with prolonged use the picture completely freezes, usually, this occurs after about 4-5 hours of continues use, and it seems to be especially troublesome in the early hours of the morning GMT.
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Re: Slinging Sky+HD programmes using a Slingbox 350 in HD

Postby embleton » Sat Jul 25, 2015 12:11 pm

Had an issue with a black HDFury3 not handshaking HDCP correctly with the Sky+HD DRX890 box with the latest released Sky+HD box firmware model R011.075.63.00P, upgrading the firmware on the HDFury3 (Google 'HDFury3 firmware upgrade') to the latest firmware, which is on the HDFury forums website that was posted on 17th April 2015 and this solved the issue. The HDCP issue only occurs when the Sky box is powered off and back on completely, so watch out for this and upgrade the HDFury3 firmware as necessary.Similar issues have presented themselves with PS4 gaming boxes for software firmware release 2.50 and above.
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Re: Slinging Sky+HD programmes using a Slingbox 350 in HD

Postby embleton » Sun Mar 13, 2016 4:25 am

Had an issue with SlingPlayer playing content over the 4G network on the mobile network o2, which doesn't work directly because of firewalls on the o2 network. This was solved by running an OpenVPN connection through my Ubuntu box on the SlingPlayer LAN and running OpenVPN on the iPhone 6 Plus I use for watching TV programming. Block that o2. :mrgreen:
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