Slingbox Alternative/Replacement

(updated 1/21/23)

New Plug-N-Play Solution

This new solution will literally allow you to just plug your video source into the encoder,
then plug the encoder into your router and then watch your video source from anywhere!
It's that simple.

  • NO NEED to setup the encoder to work on your network!

  • NO NEED to make changes to your router!

  • It will work through any firewall! (for example if you are sharing an internet connection with someone else's router)

  • You will simply enter your Personal Stream viewing URL (website address) into the popular VLC media player app to watch your video source from anywhere!

  • This is the perfect solution for users who feel the other DIY solution is a bit too technical and they do not feel comfortable trying to do it


This Is Why The Original Slingbox Was Easy To Setup

If you remember, setting up your slingbox was pretty easy. The reason why it was so easy to setup is the same reason why your slingbox no longer works - Cloud Servers. Let me explain this in more detail...

One of the main functions of your home internet router it to prevent unwanted incoming connections on the internet from reaching into your home network. The "Firewall" part of your router "blocks" such unwanted incoming traffic. This is normally a good thing, but it is not so good when you want your slingplayer app to connect into the slingbox located in your home because your firewall will block that unsolicited incoming connection attempt. So, one way to get around this problem was to have the slingbox make an "outgoing" connection to a cloud server. A firewall will always allow outgoing connections made from within your home network, so it will allow this outgoing connection from the slingbox. Your slingbox will then stay connected to the cloud server, all ready to connect to your slingplayer app. Then, when you want to watch your slingbox video, the slingbox player app would instead connect to the cloud server and the cloud server would link the player app to your slingbox, and like magic you are now watching your slingbox video even though your slingbox is behind a firewall. So, the point is that without the cloud server, a connection normally can not be made between the player app and the slingbox because your router would block the "incoming" connection attempt that the player app would make trying to connect to your slingbox. But, by using a cloud server, the slingbox is able to make a "reverse" connection (an "outgoing" connection through the firewall because the firewall does not block outgoing connections from your home network), and then the cloud server will link the slingbox to the player app and allow you to watch the slingbox video. And the reason why your slingbox no longer works is because they shut down their cloud servers, preventing the slingplayer app from connecting to your slingbox.

There is however another way to get through a firewall without having to make an "outgoing" connection to a cloud server. This method uses a "Port Forwarding Rule". A port forwarding rule tells the firewall to allow a very specific type of incoming connection through the firewall, such as allowing a video player app to connect *into* a video encoder in your home. However, to configure the firewall to do this, it requires you to log into your router's settings and modify it to add this port forwarding rule. My Do-It-Yourself article dives into the technical details of how to make this change to your router and the use of a new video encoder to replace your slingbox. But since each different brand and model of router has it's own way of creating this rule, anyone attempting to make such a change should have at least some basic networking knowledge, otherwise they may negatively effect the operation of their router if the change is not done properly.

So, if you are not comfortable attempting to make changes to your router, that is why I created this Plug-n-Play solution.

Just as slingbox originally had, my solution uses our own cloud servers, allowing for an easy plug-n-play operation without you having to mess with your router at all! However, cloud servers are not free. There is a monthly cost to keep them running and that is why my solution includes a small monthly fee. By having this monthly fee, it allows us to operate a sustainable business model, which will significantly reduces the possibility of a cloud service shutdown, similar to what happened with slingbox.

Smart Cloud Network Interface:
Our Plug-N-Play solution includes a special smart cloud interface module (an electronic hardware device) that connects in between the encoder and your router and allows the encoder to keep an active connection to our cloud servers. This device comes pre-programmed, so the only thing you need to do is just plug it into your router.

In Summary: Slingbox was easy to setup because it used Cloud Servers. But since cloud servers are not free, so they eventually had to shut them down because they were loosing money. My Plug-n-Play solution also uses cloud servers, so it is very easy to setup and use, but I need to charge a small monthly fee so I can keep them running. However, if you are technically inclined, you can save yourself the monthly fee and configure your own router (using Method #2 of My DIY instructions) so you won't need cloud servers to get your slingbox replacement up and running. But, if you don't feel comfortable with the DIY method, you can get your own Plug-n-Play solution below.

Here's how to get your Plug-n-Play solution:

  1. You will purchase your video encoder from Amazon and have them delivery it directly to my business

  2. I will then configure your encoder to be compatible with our new smart network interface

  3. I will also configure your encoder with my year-long road tested settings for the best possible video quality under various connection speeds

  4. I will setup a new account on our proprietary cloud service and create your own personal stream viewing URL (DDNS) that you can use in VLC to watch your stream and this URL. You also do not have to worry if the IP address of your house ever changes because this URL will never change.

  5. We will determine what method would work best to control your video source (Broadlink, Xfinity app, etc.)

  6. I will ship the system (consisting of your configured encoder along with the smart network interface) to your address in the US

  7. Full phone and email support is available if you need any help getting your system up and running

The cost for our solution has two parts:

  • $299.00 - This is a one-time cost which includes: The Smart Cloud Interface Device, the configuration of it along with the configuration of your encoder, and the shipping cost of both items to you at an address in the US

  • $199.00 - This is for a FULL YEAR of our Custom Cloud Service - This cloud service is required for the smart cloud device to function properly (each additional year of our custom cloud service is $189.00 (=$15/mo)

Note: Our plug-n-play solution requires an Ethernet connection near the video source (wifi is not supported, but you can use Ethernet extenders).

If you are interested in this new Plug-n-Play solution, please email me at