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vladik0070

join:2002-01-25
Costa Mesa, CA

2 edits

My slingbox experience with FIOS

So i finally had time to set up my slingbox in California and by the time i had to catch plane back to Europe i sent it back for refund.

Sole reason i bought Slingbox was to watch my Fios TV while i'm in Europe. I followed their installation guide, forwarded all necessary ports ( just to make sure i forwarded UDP as well as TCP ) but i could not get speeds above 1.1mbps out of my SlingBox solo. ( and at that rate quality wasnt anywhere near what i find acceptable ). ( My FIOS is 20/5 , destination is 10/1 ).

So i called tech support and after 15 minutes of arguing with them they tell me that my ISP ( fios ) is , in their words , " blocking my MTU " WTF ?

I wanted to prove them that nothing like throttling or traffic shaping is happening so i set up on my California FIOS web server and used same port SlingBox was using (5001) and let them download one big file. They were reaching 3.5mbps speeds from their tech support location ( located in Costa Rica btw ) but once Slingbox was plugged in connection topped at 1.1mbps , even after 10 minutes of waiting for "optimizer" to do its thing. I could observe same problem , downloading off my webserver ( using same network , same router , same port , hell even same cable ) i was getting 3-4mbps at my remote location yet once i unplugged web server and started streaming off Slingbox , all Slingbox was able to use was 1.1mbps.

Is there anything else i could have tried ? From my perspective i pretty much tried everything to isolate the problem and its obvious to me that Sling's networking settings ( that end user is unable to change ) have problems with long distance. ( even though i wouldnt call consistent 180ms -190ms all that bad ).


druber

join:2000-04-11
Stow, MA

google around a bit, but i think i've seen all kinds of references to slingbox not working well over a WAN.



pflog
Bueller? Bueller?
Premium,MVM
join:2001-09-01
El Dorado Hills, CA
kudos:3
reply to vladik0070

My first thought was that the sling box hardware or software somehow has a very small TCP buffer, but at 190 ms if it were limited by the buffer, that'd mean the buffer was only:

1,100,000 bits / 8 bits/byte * .190 s = 26125 bytes

a 26 K buffer is awfully small...but not unreasonable I guess for a hardware platform if they were intending for it to work mostly on a LAN...
--
He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have. -Socrates



Onedollar

join:2001-08-27
Pomona, CA
kudos:6
reply to vladik0070

Has this only been tested from the Costa Rica location?

I have a sling at home with fios, remotely i go over the 1.1 mark that you state.



pflog
Bueller? Bueller?
Premium,MVM
join:2001-09-01
El Dorado Hills, CA
kudos:3

said by Onedollar:

Has this only been tested from the Costa Rica location?

I have a sling at home with fios, remotely i go over the 1.1 mark that you state.
What is the latency between your FiOS connection and where you're streaming to, though?
--
He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have. -Socrates


Onedollar

join:2001-08-27
Pomona, CA
kudos:6

oooo, definately always less then 50ms. I know the WAN on the sling has some limitation programmed into it.


vladik0070

join:2002-01-25
Costa Mesa, CA

1 edit
reply to Onedollar

I tried it form Czech republic ( 10/1 connection , ping 180 - 190ms to FIOS Orange county CA location ) Given my FIos' 5mbps limit i was geting solid 3.5mbps in Czech ( prague ) when downloading off my web server

I tried it with 3 different ISP's in Czech ( same results , 900kbps - 1100kbps off slingbox , 3-4mbps off webserver ). SlingMedia tech support was in Costa Rica getting pretty much same speeds.



pflog
Bueller? Bueller?
Premium,MVM
join:2001-09-01
El Dorado Hills, CA
kudos:3

You were getting 3.5 Mbps via HTTP/FTP, not through the sling box.

You can't assume that the Slingbox's TCP stack is the same as your PC's. It likely has some sort of limitation (either hardware or software) on the buffer sizes and that's limiting the throughput.
--
He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have. -Socrates



Onedollar

join:2001-08-27
Pomona, CA
kudos:6

Any chance this is the Slingbox HD version? If its the old solo, im pretty sure I read on the sling forums there is a WAN cap applied. A way around this is to setup a VPN, and fake it into thinking you are on the LAN



More Fiber
Premium,MVM
join:2005-09-26
West Chester, PA
kudos:30
reply to vladik0070

Search here in the »Verizon FiOS TV forum.

There are a number of posts there about the WAN speed being capped on a Slingbox. It has also been suggested there as Onedollar See Profile said to use a VPN to fool the Slingbox into thinking it is going over the LAN (which is not capped).


vladik0070

join:2002-01-25
Costa Mesa, CA

2 edits
reply to pflog

deblin -> i know , i just wanted to point out that it wasnt router , connection at fault. It's pretty obvious that Slingbox was at fault yet tech support wanted to hear none of that.

onedollar -> i asked about capping and tech support denied that and said they removed cap over 6 months ago with firmware. i made sure i was up to date and even allowed slingmedia tech support to connect to my Sligbox to make sure everything was set up correctly.

Also cap was set at 2mbps. and yes , i was using solo.

EDIT -> i know i could have used VPN but my roomate is using computer that i have there and sometimes takes it to work to watch on-line videos via 3G connection ( his work blocks access to hulu and youtube , the balls they have , actually requiring him to get some work done )

Unless there's a way to set up VPN on Westell router Verizon provided ?!?!



pflog
Bueller? Bueller?
Premium,MVM
join:2001-09-01
El Dorado Hills, CA
kudos:3

Sorry, I misunderstood where you were going I concur, it was definitely something on SlingBox's side (either the hardware itself, the software on the hardware or the client).
--
He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have. -Socrates


vladik0070

join:2002-01-25
Costa Mesa, CA

yea , i think i'm done with these things and will try to find out how to do it with cheapo PC or MAC mini sometime in the future.

Or if Sling/Hava come up with new versions that will make 1mbps streams actually look good. I mean even for not-so great WMP codec @1mbps it should look better than it did. Why they use WMP instead of h.264 is beyond me.

I dont want to use ORB or SAGE as i find both of them pretty high maintenance pieces of software.



darcilicious
Cyber Librarian
Premium
join:2001-01-02
Forest Grove, OR
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Frontier FiOS

I couldn't agree with your more about Orb but I'm bummed to hear that about Sage as that's where I'm headed next with the whole recording HD / video media center bit

HAVA is working on a 4mb upload firmware upgrade: »myhava.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f···6#p13636 but apparently, no increase in resolution?

It's a little frustrating to need such a hodge podge of software to get the best of each world. I have so far:

HAVA Wireless HD -- local/remote viewing of live TV on PC (waiting for iPhone release and hope it's better than OrbLive). Not really planning on going with the Sage PlaceShifter at this point.

Orb for streaming video files (some live TV but it won't change channels via the Hava ). Not perfect but currently my Orb software has been up for a couple of weeks now w/o issues. There's still room for improvement for the OrbLive iPhone client.

SimplifyMedia for audio streaming (and sharing actually).


guppy_fish
Premium
join:2003-12-09
Lakeland, FL
kudos:2
reply to vladik0070

Slingbox is limited on the WAN to ~1.1mbit .... Lan it can do more. The new HD box is suppose to be better, but its got zero to do with FIOS


vladik0070

join:2002-01-25
Costa Mesa, CA

1 edit
reply to darcilicious

I was thinking of getting Hava but they REALLY need to step it up in software department. No Mac client , no iPhone client , limited to 320x240 @1mbps ?!

I'm sorry but 1999 called and wants its limitations back

guppy_fish --> i NEVER implied it was FIOS' fault , i just wanted to share my experience and frustration. I know Slingbox works for many people but distant remote viewing is not up to snuff at the moment and ITS NOT because of WAN being capped. IT IS NOT ACCORDING TO TECH SUPPORT( well it is , but at 8mbps ).

Still WMP codec to me is very weird choice that i just don't get. h.264 at 1mbps provides VERY clear picture thats just league or two above of what Sling is able to provide at the moment.



RWild
Them Or Us
Premium
join:2003-09-15
Cary, NC
reply to guppy_fish

I have a Slingbox "classic" and, although neither of my ISPs provide decent upload speed, the little ole sucker hums on my LAN. I run the player on Win2k, XP Home and Pro, Vista Ultimate 64, and OS X 10.4.11. Depending on the amount of "action," all of these platforms have slightly exceeded 2 Mbps - even those connected wirelessly.

As you say, this has zero to do with FIOS. Wonder if the OP has tried connecting on his LAN?



darcilicious
Cyber Librarian
Premium
join:2001-01-02
Forest Grove, OR
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Frontier FiOS

said by RWild:

Depending on the amount of "action," all of these platforms have slightly exceeded 2 Mbps - even those connected wirelessly.
Huh. I get upwards to 8Mb/s on my Hava on the LAN... (HD version).

vladik0070

join:2002-01-25
Costa Mesa, CA

1 edit
reply to RWild

I'm OP

anyway , yes i did try it locally and it worked , humming along 5-6mbps. Picture looked OK but i really see very little reason getting Slingbox for LAN viewing.
Extra 10 or so bucks per month for additional DVR isnt gonna kill me , i'll just have couple donuts less per month when budget gets tight

and you hit the soft spot of slingbox' compression. Fast action is big no-no. When my GF was watching her talk shows remotely she said can live with it even at 320x240@1mbps ( 640x480@1mbps was very jerky ) but i wanted it mostly for Formula1 , NHL and HBO/ESPN boxing.

darcilicious -> from what i've read on-line , Hava is much better than Slingbox when connected locally. Ability to record , multiple users logged in , 60 minute buffer .....



RWild
Them Or Us
Premium
join:2003-09-15
Cary, NC

Certainly the main reason to get a Slingbox is for remote viewing.

Since my home upstream speed is limited to 384 kbps theoretically, any fast action is jumpy when viewed remotely. Watching football games drove me nuts on pass plays.

I am a little surprised that you can get 1.1 Mbps remotely and are still not pleased with the image quality, but to each his own.


davepdx

join:2004-06-25
Portland, OR
reply to vladik0070

I was reading this thread out of interest because I have a Slingbox Pro-HD that I've used only on the LAN in my house up to this point in time. After doing a bit of research in the forums at Slingcommunity.com I found out that in order to get HD over the internet that you have to set the SlingStream optimization manually to force the HD resolution that you want to see and to increase bandwidth on the internet. You cannot use the Automatic setting as it defaults to a QVGA resolution when it determines that the client is non-local. This information was gleaned from a series of messages from early 2008. I have not been able to determine if a newer firmware has modified this behavior.

I post this as a heads-up for others that might have the Pro-HD model and want maximum resolution over the internet. Up to this point I was under the impression that the automatic selection would provide HD over the internet. I guess I was wrong. I've have the 20/5 FiOS service. I intend on using the web capability later this year so I'm glad I found this post and it prompted me to do some research. I apologize to the OP as I don't mean to hijack his thread.


vladik0070

join:2002-01-25
Costa Mesa, CA

1 edit

davepdx --> i played around with slingbox software , toggling on and off optimizer as well as resolution and bitrate. but once i set it above 1100kbps video got jerky.

Please report back what speed you get when you access your PRO-HD over the WAN. Are you going to be accessing it from US or are you going overseas ?

EDIT --> if you want you can set up temporary view only account ( i did that for sling tech support ) and see what if it goes above 1100kbps.


davepdx

join:2004-06-25
Portland, OR

vladik007:

My trip is to Florida in October so it will be a while. Right now my friends with a good broadband connection either 1) don't have HDTV or 2) don't have a computer that is up to spec for HD reception. My notebook doesn't meet the minimum spec for HD either. My brother in Florida has a system that meets spec for HD viewing.

I just re-read your original post where you said that you sent the Solo back so I assume you don't have a Solo to test on at the moment. Assuming you are using a PC I was going to ask if you were using SlingPlayer version 2.0 or 1.5. I've read a number of messages on the forums at slingcommunity.com where people experienced a drop in bandwidth with the "upgrade" to version 2.0 from 1.5. They seem to be very helpful in that forum when users run into SlingBox problems. (Just like here).

I typically get 7500-8300 Kbps video bitrate on my LAN with my Pro-HD. Using Shift-Alt-i in SlingPlayer to get the Statistic window I see that the video codec is H.264. I have not set any manual settings for video bitrate but rather I only adjusted Internet Access and Local Access video resolution (changed from auto to 1920x540 - 540 for interlaced I guess).

I guess I need to find a friend close by who has an internet connection, HD, and a computer that is up to spec and do a test locally first. I hope you are able to find a solution to your situation so you can view your TV remotely.


dmodert66

join:2007-04-02
Ontario, CA

I bought mine mostly for LAN (So I could watch football/basketball games on the Lappy while entertaining/bbqing outside). For that it works great.

I also used it at work a few times, but that was only 30 miles away. I'm not sure if it has anything to do with distance. Unfortunately, the video was good enough for me to watch at work in a small window (I was doing chat support/software testing), so I never bothered to check the speed. I'll see if I can get one of my friends to test tonight, but it would likely be in the same state, so I don't know how much help that would be.

I am running a Slingbox Solo over a 25/15 connection (was 20/20) for informational purposes...


reply to vladik0070

I have a question for anyone that can help. I'm military about to go to Japan. I wanted to get a Slingbox Pro-HD to use with Verizon Fios in the states (25/15) to access while I'm over there for 3 years.

My question to the board is it worth it? Will the quality be there? Thx

Sorry If I'm hijacking the board



darcilicious
Cyber Librarian
Premium
join:2001-01-02
Forest Grove, OR
kudos:4
Reviews:
·Frontier FiOS

1 edit

Click for full size
Hava, 2mb/s max, slightly fast action, on 22" monitor
It depends on your expectations. If you're willing to watch a "small screen" and put up with artifacts during fast action video, you'll be fine. If you're expecting a true HD experience on a HD monitor, you'll be very disappointed. I kinda like my TV too much so I'm happy with whatever I can get

(This is a HAVA HD Wireless box, btw; I expect Sling is very similar)


wesm
Premium
join:1999-07-29
Redmond, WA
Reviews:
·Frontier FiOS
reply to vladik0070

My Slingbox Classic with whatever firmware came with the 2.0 software upgrade has been able to hit ~1300kbps via WAN. That's about what it hits when accessing it over the LAN, and my upload is 15mbps, so I figure we're both hitting an upper limit of the device itself.
--
Opinions expressed here are mine and not my employer's. This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.


vladik0070

join:2002-01-25
Costa Mesa, CA
reply to dmodert66

dmorter --> yes i'd very much like to know what you get. I unfortunatelly didnt get a chance to try it locally so i'm not sure if its Slingbox Solo's hardware limitation or just networking settings in the firmware that didnt allow it to go above 1.1mbps in my case.

I'm also wondering if 15mbps vs 5mbps upload will do any difference.

by the way , i tried in Windows and Mac. Even though both were reaching same speeds , Windows' 2.0 version looked better.

To anyone who's considering getting Slingbox i'd go for Pro-HD just for H.264 codec vs any other Slingbox that is using WMP.

Also if anyone wants to try , there's a option to set up temporary guest view account and see what speeds Slingbox reaches.


vladik0070

join:2002-01-25
Costa Mesa, CA

1 edit
reply to AirForceNJapan

AirForceNJapan --> it all depends what speed and latency you get from your Japan post to your US FIOS location. If you'll be able to keep it around 150ms and get ~2mbps , quality will be there. ( not like sitting in front of your HDTV but just as good if not beter than SDTV )

When i forced my Solo to encode at 1500kbps @640x480 , picture looked very good but it was not smooth at all. ( that's because my Solo wasnt able to upload at that rate so it had to buffer every 10 - 15 seconds )

After reading up Slingbox fan forums about current offerings i get the feeling if you're gunning for quality , you want Pro-HD. Only Slingbox to offer h.264 encoding. I'm probably going to wait for next version or if i'm impatient and will come over to US before that i'll try PRO-HD.


Thx for the info. I would like to add the slingcatcher to my 32" tv to make it easier and more like watching tv in the states. I don't expect HD quality, but during my year in Korea, downstream Megavideo titles looked great on my 17" laptop.

A 2Mbs downstream should be very easy to obtain in Japan. I believe they offer higher speeds as well, I know Korea did. As far as latency, I have no clue. I'm actually unsure of the terminology and how it applies.