Frequently Asked Questions

For answers to questions about setting up access to your Slingbox™, please look here.

How fast does my Internet connection need to be and how do I test it?

That depends on two things: What type of device you display your video on (e.g. a 14" laptop or 52" plasma TV) and how critical your eye is. 500 kbps is enough bandwidth to keep most people happy if they're viewing on a laptop or small computer monitor. If you're viewing on a large flat-panel television, 1000 kbps will keep most people happy.  If your Internet connection can sustain over 1.5 Mbp, the Slingbox PRO-HD™ will stream your video in High Definition (720p) format.  Many of our customers report streaming at over 3000 kbps and a spectacular HD picture.  If you are in Western Europe or Japan, there's a good chance that you can expect similar performance.  

We STRONGLY recommend that you try our Free Demo before you subscribe! This is the only way to know how well our system will perform for you and it won't cost you a penny!  If you have any trouble with our automated demo system, please email us and we will be more than happy to manually configure a demo session for you.

A Note About Speed Tests:  If you subscribe to "15 Mbps" service from your ISP, that doesn't necessarily mean that you can sustain a 15Mbps video stream from our data center in Virginia.  What it means is that you should have 15 Mbps in the "Last Mile" of the network path to your location.  The streaming performance you'll realize with our service is determined by the weakest link in the very long chain of hops from our data center.  If you'd like to test that particular network path, please try our Speed Test here:  

How do I order Pay-Per-View?

You can order Pay-Per-View movies or special events using your virtual remote and your DVR's on-screen menus, through your login, or with the DIRECTV mobile app.

What about local channels?

Local channels are always included in your programming package at no extra charge. This will include programming provided by the major networks through local affiliates in the Norfolk/Virginia Beach, Virginia television market.  Keep in mind that some sports programming will be subject to regional blackout restrictions.

Couldn't I just do this myself and save some money?

If you or someone you know has the ability, you could set something like this up at a residential location in the States, but in order to consistently receive high-quality video, your host must be able to support a minimum sustained upload rate 2.0 Mbps, an unlikely condition at a typical home, even with top-tier residential service. Believe me, we've tried. When we host your equipment at our commercial data center, you will ALWAYS have MUCH more upload bandwidth dedicated to your Slingbox than it could possibly use.  Our customers with good quality network service typically stream at 3-4 Mbps.  We encourage you to try our FREE Demo to see for yourself.

Another consideration is that through our website, we provide a way for you to instantly reboot your Slingbox and DVR yourself, anytime you like, without having to contact Support and wait for a response.

Why do I need a U.S. telephone number to subscribe?

In order to create a new US Satellite Television account for you, you must provide us with a U.S. telephone number which is not currently associated with an existing DIRECTV account. This information is required by DIRECTV because they use it to uniquely identify your account. The number you provide can be a land line, mobile device, or VOIP number (e.g. Skype or Vonage). As long as it is a U.S. number and NOT associated with an existing US Satellite Television account, it will work.

Click here to get a US telephone number from Skype:

Click here to get a US telephone number from Magic Jack:

Can I sign up to receive High Definition content?

Absolutely! Your HD DVR will be connected to your Slingbox™ by analog component video cables. If you watch a HD program, your video will be in widescreen (16:9) format. If your Internet connection can sustain downloads at a rate above about 800 kbps, you will see better quality video on high definition channels, particularly on larger televisions. With a Slingbox PRO-HD™ and a connection speed above 1.5 Mbps, your video will be at HD (720p) resolution.

Can I order a non-recording satellite receiver?

Sorry - We only host High Definition DVRs. Keep in mind that if you do not have a DVR, the time difference at your remote location may force you to watch your favorite shows at very odd hours. In addition, if your Internet connection goes down, you will have no way to go back and view your program later.  Because all of our customers' DVRs are Internet-connected, you have the option to schedule recordings through or by using DIRECTV's mobile app. 

My video quality is not great. What can I do to get great quality video?

The SlingPlayer is challenged with a heavy processing load that constantly adapts to the changing demands of video format conversion. It's a lot to tackle, and it can really push the limits of the Slingbox™. As a result, you may see video that looks "blocky" or freezes occasionally. This should not happen. Click here for a detailed description of how to change a few settings that typically make dramatic improvements in the video quality you're getting. If you're not getting High Defintiion video from our service (including our FREE Demo), then follow the link and try the simple steps we show you.

If you try these setting changes and are still not seeing great video quality, please contact us us for help. We have a whole bag of tricks to try, including a global network of proxy servers we can let you try for FREE.

How is the audio quality?

Your Slingbox PRO-HD™ will be connected to your DVR via a digital S/PDIF cable, so your audio will be in the format of the original source material; i.e., if you're watching a movie with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio and you have your computer configured to play it back, that's what you'll get.

Is this legal?

We get this question a lot. Of course the answer is "yes", or we wouldn't be doing it! There are scholarly works, legal opinions, and plenty of other detailed information about the issues involved with place-shifting out there, much of which our lawyers charged us lots of money to research for us.

If you're interested in learning more about the legal issues surrounding place-shifting, Google is your friend.

My DVR is Frozen. What Should I Do?

If your DVR locks up or freezes; ie., you cannot change channels or the video appears to be paused, here's a couple of things to try:

  • Click the DVR "Menu" button on your Virtual Remote.  If the DVR menu comes up as it should, use the arrow keys to navigate to Settings & Help > Settings > Reset > Restart Receiver

If that doesn't work, then the next step is:

  • Reboot your system by logging into your account and clicking the "Reboot System" link on the left side of the page

If you still see the same problem, then there is likely something seriously wrong with your DVR (these things are VERY reliable), so please email  We are here to help!

I'm already a DISH or DIRECTV customer. What can I do to setup a hosted system?

If cancelled your DISH or DIRECTV subscription 12+ months ago, then you are no longer under any contractual obligation  and may take advantage of the New Customer discounts

When you setup a new DISH or DIRECTV subscription through our website, this does a couple of things for you: 1) You'll enjoy the benefit of "new customer" discounts, which are substantial, 2) you'll get a brand new HD DVR, and 2) we'll have your system up-and-running the same day we receive your DVR

If you are still under a contractual obligation to DISH or DIRECTV 

  1. Follow the subscription process on our website
  2. Select "I am already a DISH or DIRECTV Customer"
  3. Follow the directions for shipping your DVR to us and changing your Installation Address