One of the most frustrating thing that can happen when watching your Slingbox is when it stutters or freezes up while playing. Especially if you are thousands of miles away from you Slingbox!
For the most people the Slingbox works just fine but if you are one of the ones that have this problem we are going to go through some things that you can look into and test.
Basic Testing and Trouble Shooting
We are creating a series of articles to help you troubleshoot your remote viewing problems. In this part 1 we will go over some standard things that you should check if you can’t connect to your Slingbox remotely. In the next parts we will get into more detailed testing and diagnosing.
Be able to configure your Slingbox remotely.
Since you can’t run the setup program for Slingplayer remotely we recommend wherever you Slingbox is located you have a computer there that you can log into remotely and operate. This will let you make changes as if you were actually in the same LAN as your Slingbox. It will help you make any changes you need to make in your router setup or your Slingbox setup easily.
There are several programs that you can use to do this. One is LogMeIn Free which gives you remote control of your PC or Mac from any other computer with an Internet connection. You can get it here. Others are Remote Desktop for Windows or VNC which you can get for Windows or Mac.
You should set this up on a computer in the home where your Slingbox is hosted. This computer doesn’t have to be on 24/7 if you have someone there that can turn it on for you when you need it.
This also allows you to check and make sure you can reach your network remotely wherever you are. So if you suspect there is a problem where the internet, your ISP or your router is causing an issue if you can connect to your computer remotely then you know that everything is good from you all the way to your network at home.
This may be obvious but before getting into diagnosing any issue with you not being able to Sling remotely you need to have someone look and make sure both of the lights are on solid, not flashing, on your Slingbox. If the power light is not on you know the box is not powered up.
If your network light is Blinking that means that the Slingbox has not received a valid IP address from your router. The Slingbox needs its own IP address (a unique network number provided by your network router) to work within your home network.
The first thing to do in this case is to have someone power cycle your Slingbox. This doesn’t mean unplugging it and plugging it back in. That could cause damage. Recommended is that you momentarily press the reset button down on the Slingbox and it will then reboot.
If the Network light is off it could be one of these reasons. The Slingbox is not connected to your network or router or your router may be powered off. You will need to have someone take a look at the network cable and check your router and make sure it is turned on.
Install the Stand Alone SlingPlayer Program
Even if you prefer the Sling Website player you should install the stand alone Slingplayer program on both remote and local computer systems. If you are not sure where to get the programs see here. Where to get Sling Media Slingplayer and other programs.
The Stand Alone SlingPlayer program works a little differently than the website player and depending on what problem or changes you need to make sometimes the Stand Alone player is the only way to do so easily.
In addition, if you get stuck trying to fix a problem and post a question in the Forums the person that has the answer may only know how to fix it on the Stand Alone player.
Check to see if your Slingbox is reporting a problem
Your Slingbox sends status updates to Sling Media periodically. Before trouble shooting you should go to the Support site for Slingbox then make sure you are logged into your Sling account and see if it shows you your Slingbox and it does not show you any error messages affiliated with it.
If you see any Slingbox status alerts you should look into them and resolve any issues there before moving on.
While on the Slingbox support site take note of what it shows you below the “Internet Viewing” information.
It should say Set Up Complete “Yes” and it will also show you a Public IP address. You may want to write this address down because that would be the same address that you would use to remotely log into your home computer using LogMeIn or similar software. This is also the address you would use to test for test for specific problems if these steps don’t resolve your issue.
It will also show you what port number you have forwarded to your Slingbox for TCP usage. You can use this to double check your port forwarding setup in your router if needed.
If it does say Set Up Complete “No” Then log into your computer where the Slingbox is and run the Internet Viewing setup.
Check your Firewall
Security or firewall software on your computer can be block communications between your computer and your Slingbox.
Internet security and firewall software products, such as those made by Norton, McAfee or ZoneAlarm, are designed to keep your home network safe from viruses or damaging attacks. As a side effect, some Internet security software might designate the Slingbox as a ‘hostile’ device on your network. They may also block SlingPlayer or Setup Assistant.
If you are running these software programs, consult the user manual or the company’s web site to find out how you can designate the Slingbox and SlingPlayer as safe or trusted.
If running Windows you could try turning off the Internet Connection Firewall. You can temporarily uncheck the “Protect my computer…” option, in your network connection settings.
Then run your SlingPlayer after closing the window and see it it functions normally. Once done testing you can turn it back on or make changes in the settings.
Try Both Sling Players Versions
Now that you have checked the basics you need to check and see if this is a website issue or a stand alone SlingPlayer issue.
If you are using watch.slingbox.com and are having a problem then try the Stand Alone program and see if it does the same thing. If you don’t know where to get the Stand Alone SlingPlayer versions see here.
In reverse if you are having problems with your Stand Alone SlingPlayer try watching at watch.slingbox.com.
Trying both options will tell you if the problem is with the particular software. If you have problems using both then it is most likely not the software but something in your computer or network setup.
Trouble Shooting checklist.
Both lights on solid on your Slingbox?
Slingbox Support site shows no problems?
Not a Firewall or Security blocking problem?
Can connect to the remote computer?
Both SlingPlayer Web and Stand Alone work fine?
If everything checks out fine you should be able connect to your Slingbox. If not we will be addressing more detailed testing and diagnosis in later articles in the mean time you can post your question or issue in the forums here and more than likely one of our members can help.
Just remember when you ask a question that you mention all the checks and results you have done so far and also it helps them to know what operating system you are using and what Sling Player program and version you are running.