I got the world on a sling, sitting on a rainbow…

Well okay, it’s not the whole world – it’s just the bits that Sky TV in New Zealand broadcast, and it’s not sitting on a rainbow either, it’s hooked into the home network and running over the internet.

For those of you still confused as to what I’m talking about (i.e. probably everyone), I’ve recently hooked up a SlingBox to a Sky STB Decoder and am now able to placeshift my sky viewing across the internet to my PC or my mobile phone.

Right then – here’s the ‘HowTo’ for setting up the SlingBox in New Zealand – retrospectivly, it’s not complete as the IR codes are still not working – but I hope to be able to update this post to reflect what needs to be done.

So – on with the guide.

The software setup is fantastic, it�s set-by-step and easy to follow (though, admittedly � I didn�t give it the �your mother could set it up� test, as my Mum wasn�t available and I REALLY wanted this thing working.)

Now, I found this to be a really nice feature which seems to becoming a bit more common in the CPE devices that I’ve seen recently (first half 2006) – the ability to pull the most recent firmware and/or software allows the manufacturer to retrospectivly resolve any issues with the shipping build of their devices and, in turn this should lead to a much more enjoyable (and pain free) installation experience – after all, once the device hits the market, your number of product testers increses substainsially! 🙂

Since Sling isn’t officially supported in New Zealand, I simply chose USA at this point – I figure it doesn’t matter since I’ll be controlling a box myself.

Now, here�s the first problem, the SKY Satellite box in NZ which is currently (2005/2006) being distributed is a Motorola DTH335-4 which doesn’t apear in this list – so we’ll need a set of customer IR codes. We sent a Sky Remote to the folks at SlingMedia (who in turn appear to have got the IR codes from the community Sling forums), anyway, we needed to load these files [will link if allowed/they work] to the SlingMedia bin directory.

This is an important step, be aware that when you setup your router to allow incoming connections, you expose at least part of your home network – consider carefully the impact of someone gaining access to all the data sotred there and potentially redistributing or deleting it (baby photos, personal documents etc… you have a backup strategy – right?)

That’s it… from here your sling box is ready to be connected to from your network (and externally, if you made that avalible – the following image is from a 2006 Commonwealth Games highlights package, featuring the NZ Mens Hockey team goalkeeper (I don’t know if we won or not, I just don’t want anyone thinking I was promoting NFL)

Now – I’m using the word ‘work’ in a loose sense as, I’ve yet to get the IR codes to function, but – assuming I just want to ship a predetermined channel around the net, we’ve got things running. The process was painless, the box works and the quality is adequite. I think that the quality out of Orb is better and it’s certainly faster to get a stream up and running – but as an appliance which basially front-ends windows media encoder, the SlingBox is what I’d be pointing the non-techie types toward.