Knowledge Base 11/29/2016 12:00:00 AM

Video Performance Tips

For Slingbox/SlingPlayer versions and compatibility information, please click here

Web-Based SlingPlayer Setup

  1. Connect to your Slingbox using your web browser or start a Web-based demo here
  2. Click the "gear" (Settings icon) below the video pane
  3. Change the mode from "Auto" to "Best HD"
  4. "Best HD" should get you the highest bitrate most quickly after you connect to your Slingbox, but if you see freezing, stuttering, or dropped connections, then "Auto" is probably your best choice.  If you use "Auto", be patient - it may take as much as two minutes after you connect to find a stable bitrate.  If you still ave trouble in "Auto", then give "Best" (near-HD quality) a try or for Slingbox PRO-HD users, try changing your Slingbox Network Mode, instructions here

Here's what you should see:

Web Player Quality Settings.jpg

SlingPlayer 2.0 Setup

This version of SlingPlayer is no longer supported by Sling, but you can download it here (Windows) or here (Mac) and it still works great with the Slingbox PRO-HD.  For some users, this method works better than the Automatic method, but follow these steps to force your Slingbox to stream your video at HD resolution by doing the following:

  1. Start SlingPlayer
  2. Use ALT+O or click "Settings" > "SlingPlayer Options"
  3. In the "Options" window, select the "Encoding" tab
  4. In the "Internet Access" pulldown, select "1280x720"
  5. Click "OK"

Here's what you should see:

Windows Desktop App Encoding Options.jpg

HD DVR Setup for the Slingbox PRO-HD (does not apply to the Slingbox 350)

When you feed your Slingbox PRO-HD 1080i video, it down-converts this video to 720p format (or lower if you have a slow connection). This down-conversion is a computationally-intensive task which pushes the processor in your Slingbox to the limits of its performance and as such, can cause your Slingbox to run hot. When this happens, you'll generally see low bitrates and/or video that "freezes" briefly every few seconds. By disabling the 1080i output mode of your DVR, the down-conversion to 720p is handled by the more powerful processor in your DVR and allows your Slingbox to "relax" a little bit more and stay cool. In no way will doing this degrade the quality of your video, it just shifts the processing burden to a more powerful VPU.  We recommend that you do the following:

  1. Connect to your Slingbox
  2. On your virtual remote control, select the Menu key
  3. Using the arrow keys, navigate to "Parentals, Fav's & Setup" > "System Setup" > "HDTV" > "TV Resolutions"
  4. De-select the all but "720p" mode
  5. Navigate back out using the left arrow key

Here's what you should see:

DVR Resolutions.jpg

Changing resolutions in your DVR setup menu doesn't necessarily place your DVR in that mode off-the-bat.  You need to do this manually!  We recommend the following:
  • Press the "Info" button on your virtual DIRECTV remote
  • Right-arrow over to "Audio/Video"
  • If the current mode starts with anything other than "720p":
    • Select "Change Resolution & Format"
    • Press "Select" until the mode is "720p Resolution + Pillar Box Format"
  • Here's what you should see:
DVR Res & Format Setting.jpg

We hope these suggestions improve you experience. As always, if you have any problems with these procedures, please let us know. We are here to help!