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Over the last month or two there seems to be many complaints regarding the SlingPlayer Solo and it freezing, get stuck on optimizing, dropping the network connection, etc.
There can be several things that can cause this from poor router conditions, week or bad power supplies, high latency issues and more. As an example in this topic thread, Slingbox Pro-HD Freezes ("Optimizing") while Streaming, alone there are over 900 views and 56 posts about different things to test and try. Some things have worked others not.
There are over 3,000 views and hundreds of posts about it on the answers.slingbox.com site. Some of the tips or tricks others have said worked but a lot of them have not.
If you have tried just about everything to get your Sling Media Slingbox SOLO working and your are at your wits end you may want to try this.
Please note; We are not recommending you take apart their Slingbox and void your warranty or if you just aren't comfortable doing so, but there have been several reports of capacitors going bad in a SOLO.
If still under warranty we recommend you read a few posts ask a few questions and see if anything helps. If not the call Sling Media Support and have them walk you through some testing up to returning the box for warranty replacement.
What you want to do is look for bad capacitors. Because as the capacitor ages or starts to go bad , its capacitance decreases while its equivalent series resistance (ESR) increases. When this happens, the capacitors no longer adequately serve their purpose of filtering the direct current voltages on thedevice , and instability results.
To take the box apart look for the four screws under the rubber feet of the slingbox solo. You have to pull the footpads off in order to see them. After you unscrew those screws under the feet, the black main chassis comes apart in HALF.
Then you will see the red plastic. Flip it upside down and there are 5 screws at the bottom. unscrew that and you can finally pull off the case.
Now you have access to the internal circuit board.
What you want to look at are the capacitors.
- Bulging of the vent on the top of the capacitor. (The 'vent' is the impression stamped in the top of the can. The impression forms the seams of the vent. It is designed so that if the capacitor becomes pressurized it will split at the vent's seams relieving the pressure rather than making it explode.)
- Sitting crooked on the circuit board as the bottom rubber plug is pushed out
- Electrolyte (a crusty brown substance) leaked onto the motherboard from the base of the capacitor
- Venting from the top of the capacitor, visible as rust-like brown deposits, or a visible hole in the vent.
Capacitors look like this.
If you see any that look like they are bulging at the top then those would be the suspect ones.
Here is an example of a bulging capacitor.
Here is an example of one good and one bad capacitor. The one on the left is good the one on the right is not.
What you would want to do is replace any capacitors that are bulging. If you have gone this far I would guess if you are out of warranty ans ideas so it won't hurt to try this.
You may just want to do this yourself. If so here is a great video with a little humor that tells you all about capacitor basics. Thanks to http://www.afrotechmods.com for the video.
If not into soldering motherboards or worried about messing something up the any good TV repair shop should be abe to replace them for you. They surely won't guarantee that your Slingbox will work but they will be competent enough to do the job.
If you do take your SlingBox Solo apart and find bad capacitors we would love to hear about it. Even if you decide not to fix them. If you do fix them and your problem is resolved then we would love to hear about that too!
Special thanks to jin for supplying the pictures and directions on taking apart the Slingbox Solo!.
You may also want to refer to these posts regarding tips, tools and techniques on replacing capacitors.
October 22, 2011
Finally got home to repair my Slingbox SOLO – as with many others, two bulging capacitors. Once replaced, reliability is restored.
For the people who can't immediately repair their box use the better mode from the browser plugin viewer. One person didn't understand that for some reason. There is a standalone application to watch Slingbox that is now obsolete. Watching the Slingbox is now best performed by using Firefox or Internet Explorer browsers and going to
A plugin will be installed that becomes the program to watch your slingbox. On the bottom right corner you'll see the word "Auto". Clicking this with your mouse will reveal resolution choices, Auto, Good, Better, Best, etc. For some unknown reason, using the "Better" setting from these choices stabilizes the Slingbox even with the bad capacitors. You'll get fewer disconnects but they will still happen. Any of the other choices reveal the instability of the Slingbox with bad capacitors.
If you ask for support on the official Sling Media website, your post will be deleted. I have given up trying to assist people on the official site. The moderators delete any mention of the capacitor issues.
There are many posts on the official site which purport to be actual users satisfied with customer service and even claiming that Sling Media is shipping replacement boxes to people who pay their $30 fee. They look a little suspect to me, possibly posted by shills not actual users, but I suppose it's possible they will send you a replacement box – eventually. The repair is actually fairly easy and the step by step instructions on the You Tube video are the best reference you can have if you are going to try and do it yourself. Any TV repair shop should be able to do it for you if you're worried about screwing up soldering the board yourself.
Thanks for posting this. Have had Slingbox problems for months and just discovered 2 bulging capacitors.
1) I'm overseas and currently don't have access to the broken ones. Does anyone have the exact specifications for replacement capacitors?
2) A friend recommended getting higher voltage capacitors, since the originals were unsatisfactory. Any ideas on whether this is a good or bad idea?
May 10, 2012
Another success story from bad capacitors. My Solo was out of warranty so I had no problem opening the box. Sorry kinda long story.
1) Opened my Solo from instructions above.
2) Noticed the 2 capacitors were only slightly raised but decided to replace anyway.
3) Replaced the capacitors, powered back up but now only have the power light on and no link (2nd) light on.
4) After about 5 minutes I heard a big pop. Ooops, installed 1 of 2 caps backwards (+/- crossed). Back to the Shack for another cap. I was surprised I didn't blow the whole board.
5) Soldered the new cap, powered on and now no lights.
6) Opened the Solo up again and noticed the solder was touching both positive and negative leads. I was surprised I didn't pop another cap. Fixed the solder job.
7) Powered on. Now getting the power light and no network/link light.
8) Went to Best Buy and bought a new Solo, BUT wait, decided to do one more test. I cut open the old AC Adapter and long behold I had popped caps in the old AC adapter. I took the new AC Adapter from the new Solo I just bought and plugged it in to the old Solo.
9) SUCCESS! The old Solo is up and working again. Whew!
10) I ordered a replacement AC adapter from ebay and will use that when it comes in. When the replacement AC Adapter comes in I will be taking back the new Solo for a refund next week and a savings of $160.
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