Sling Still Upset About Remotely Hosted Slingboxes

from the but-why? dept

Almost two years ago, we wrote about how Sling Media, makers of the popular place-shifting Slingbox, was upset at various services that let people watch TV via their computers. Of course, that's exactly what the Slingbox is intended for -- but the twist here was that the TV was hosted somewhere else. Basically, a few companies set themselves up so that you could buy a Slingbox and a TV connection, but, rather than installing it in your own home, it would be hosted elsewhere. That's useful, say, if your an American living abroad, but still want to be able to watch American television. It was difficult to see what was wrong with any of this, as it seemed to be exactly what the device was designed to do -- and everyone who was supposed to be getting paid was still getting paid. Cable or satellite TV providers got an extra customer (one who doesn't even live in their territory, so it's actually a bonus!) and Sling sells another box.

The good news is that over those past two years, Sling (now owned by Echostar) apparently hasn't done much to stop these services. The bad news is that it's still complaining about them. Newsweek has an article that highlights how creative people have become in figuring out ways to do more interesting things with their Slingboxes so that they can watch content remotely. This is exactly the sort of thing a smart company would encourage. It makes the device more valuable and should help them sell more Slingboxes. So, it's too bad that a company that built such a cool and useful device is instead telling people they're not allowed to do these things with products they bought. Remember the good old days when you bought a product and actually owned it?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Shastadad, Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 3:22am

    Sling still upset

    What Sling refuses to accept is that their product is completely dependent upon the damn router, which almost always needs an occasional re-set. Which means that you have to have someone at home to reset your router, or god forbid your Slingbox. For many people, especially those who live overseas, that is impossible. They do make a product that includes a router but will only sell it to Cable Companies. They (Sling) is scared to death that the content providers will try and bring the Copyright police to their door step so they are "forbidding" remote hosting. "Remember the good old days when you bought a product and actually owned it?" YES, thank the clowns in Washington for the Digital Copyright Act.

     

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      identicon
      Monarch, Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 5:47am

      Re: Sling still upset

      Spend some money on a good router or build a router from an old PC. There are many good applications out there FREE to turn a computer into a router. Most are Linux based, so you may need to learn Linux or Unix to do it.

       

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      fritzbrown, Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 7:19am

      Re: Sling still upset

      Actually I don't blame the clowns in Washington D.C. I blame the consumer who keeps purchasing from companies that restrict him from using purchased products as he pleases.

      The easiest, fastest and most effective way to get a company to change is to stop buying their product. Complaining about what you can't do with a product AFTER you bought is asinine and wanting Congress to fix the problem is even more so.

       

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 2:21pm

      Re: Sling still upset

      The solution to the problem is getting a reliable router. There is not much Sling can do about this. People need to do research when buying a router. There are stable ones out there, especially if you use something like DD-WRT for firmware.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    ijf0, Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 4:01am

    microsoft

    Future Headline: Microsoft Still Upset About Ubuntu users "VNCing" into Windows

     

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  •  
    identicon
    seatec, Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 5:25am

    Just put thre slingbox and the router on a timer and have it reset once a week regardless if it needs it or not.

     

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    identicon
    C, Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 5:38am

    Buy a quality router...

     

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    identicon
    Greg, Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 5:44am

    MLB Gets it

    "Our fans are never wrong," says MLB.com CEO Bob Bowman. "We can never suggest that a fan shouldn't do everything he or she is doing to watch a baseball gameā€¦"

    At least Bowman takes the right position from the start. Siding with the fan is, at the very least, the best marketing strategy. Since MLB is in the driver's seat for topics like this, I'm kind of surprised that's the position. You KNOW the NFL wouldn't want something like this happen.

     

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    identicon
    Don Sanders, Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 6:32am

    Can you spell : myhava.com ? forget sling...

     

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    identicon
    VitaminCM, Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 7:14am

    When did I sign a contract with Sling

    I don't quite understand the legality of a contract that I never signed. I bought the product, took it home and opened it only to find that there was a "legally binding" contract in the box that I should have to obey.
    I've never seen any other contract that gets pushed on me, without my agreement, after I make a purchase.
    I don't think that any of these type of contracts are valid, so I purposely "violate" them every chance that I get.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 7:45am

    To be honest (I have always found this standard phrase somewhat unusual as it seems to sugggest that other comments I may be making are not honest...:)), I had never heard of this device until reading this article.

    Hence, I tried to learn just how this system actually works to establish a connection between my home system and a laptop in, say, Germany. I see many people has asked this question before, but no one has given an anwer that even remotely informs how the system actually works.

    Does anyone have a cite where I can read how this system actually works and establishes remote connections, or can someone here actually answer my question? I can see how it works around my home with anyone connected to my wireless access point, but it eludes me how a remote connection can be established when away from home and my wireless router's signal.

    Any help will be appreciated.

     

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      Mike (profile), Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 10:38am

      Re:

      Hence, I tried to learn just how this system actually works to establish a connection between my home system and a laptop in, say, Germany. I see many people has asked this question before, but no one has given an anwer that even remotely informs how the system actually works.

      Basically, it just takes your TV signal output as an input into the device, and then lets you log in remotely via software (it effectively acts as a server), and reformats the output from your tv so it can be watched over the internet on a computer.

       

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    identicon
    Glenn, Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 7:45am

    Huh?

    Wanting Congress to fix a problem created by Congress in the first place? How... typical. (Since when does Congress actually listen to "the people"? ...instead of the lobbyists who give them money & gifts & parties & jobs once they get run out of Congress.)

     

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    identicon
    Tomhas Darrel, Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 7:54am

    DMCA

    Congres = the most corrupt institution in the history of USA. There is no other country in the civilized world that have registered lobby who actually contribute openly (= bribe) to members....and you are worried about a meazly sling issue !!! hahahaha !

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Bob Winters, Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 8:21am

    Download video & high bandwidth streaming video sucks!!!

    Download video & high bandwidth streaming video sucks!!!

    Download set top boxes and download portable players ( ie Blockbuster, Sling box, XBOX 360, Apple TV, VUDU, Hulu, PS3, Boxee, Silverlight, joost ) and high bandwidth streaming video ( ie Netflix ) are things of the past, only to be replaced by the technology used by service providers such as MyTVPAL ( mytvpal.com ).

    Service providers like MyTVPAL ( www.mytvpal.com ) offer 1080p instant blu-ray streaming video on demand and live tv over PC Player, set top box, and I think they will have a portable device out soon.

    Keep in mind also that P2P is on the way out because it uses to much bandwidth, both up and down, and is unstable. I?m refering to service providers such as VUDU ( a one trick pony ) and Joost, who latest foray into portable video on demand on the itouch / iphone is freezing, buffering, and providing a horrible user experience even on my 6mbps connection.

    Streaming video is a great addition for live tv an video on demand, but at the end of the day only those technology companies like Matrixstream ( www.matrixstream.com ) will be able to support the best quality over the best effort public internet when doing a triple play ( set top box, PC Player, and portable device ) because currently where Netflix requires 8mbps for 720p streaming, MyTVPAL ( www.mytvpal.com ) can support 720p streaming a 3mbps and 1080p blu-ray streaming at 6mbps.

    Keep the above in mind when considering the average person today in the United States and Canada has between 1.5 - 3.0Mbps. So While MyTVPAL ( www.mytvpal.com ) can service the majority of broadband users today in the United States and Canada in both 720p and 1080p today it will be years before Netflix can service a fraction of the broadband population in high definition instant video streaming.

    At the end of the Day service providers such as Netflix and Blockbuster will have evolve to provide a service like MyTVPAL or suffer the consequences of not providing low bandwidth, instant playing, 1080p blu-ray high definition platform that we?ve come to expect from MyTVPAL ( www.mytvpal.com ) on PC Player, set top box, and soon I would imagine, portable player.

    Comment Guy

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 9:26am

      Re: Download video & high bandwidth streaming video sucks!!!

      it was the end of the day twice? dang that was a two day comment.

       

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    identicon
    Randy, Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 9:03am

    I think Bob Winters REALLY REALLY likes MyTVPAL (nt)

     

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    chris (profile), Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 9:31am

    why bother?

    i don't know why any company would risk getting into a business that involves the copying of media for any reason or purpose. if you do anything with copyrighted material it seems like you are begging for a lawsuit.

    i would seem to me that if you were able to do anything with music, movies, television, or books and your device or service was even remotely useful you would be facing a lawsuit from someone somewhere that would put you out of business.

    i am surprised there aren't more innovations coming out of countries with questionable enforcement of US copyright law. those seem to be the only places where you have a decent shot at getting your product to market before the big american media companies decide to destroy you.

    i think it would be funny to see a country in the third world become a haven for media devices and services. when the lawsuits, treaty shenanigans, and economic sanctions fail, we would see pressure from the media companies to use military action.

     

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    identicon
    reg, Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 12:27pm

    I imagine they're worried about getting sued by tv companies and rights holders, not that you give a shit about that

     

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      Mike (profile), Dec 22nd, 2008 @ 2:02pm

      Re:

      I imagine they're worried about getting sued by tv companies and rights holders, not that you give a shit about that

      Under what law? Place shifting has been shown to be legal. In this case, everyone who is supposed to get paid, gets paid... so what's the threat of a lawsuit?

       

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    identicon
    Bill CZ, Sep 1st, 2010 @ 3:31pm

    Legal US TV in Europe or eleswhere

    The http://a2btv.eu/ service seems to be the only legal online streaming service and uses hosted slingboxes.

    For me its great as I really love the fact that I can watch on my Iphone - I didnt realise that I need an app for that! But app was only 29$ from Sling Media so worth the extra money. And its a sale of a box and an app that Sling wouldnt have had if it wasnt for http://a2btv.eu

     

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  •  
    identicon
    bob, Jan 21st, 2012 @ 8:58am

    Slingbox hosting

    I agree, they cant sell you a piece of equipment and then tell you how to use it or how you cant use it. Its yours! No one is losing out here as mentioned Sling sell another box and sat providers get another customer! I found a good list of slingbox hosts at anytv2u.com

     

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