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SlingPlayer products for mobile devices get poor video quality, either at home or away

The quality of your network connection, whether it's Wi-Fi or a mobile network, makes all the difference in the video quality that you receive. Here are some things to try to improve your video quality.

Different situations can have different issues, and sometimes it takes a few tries before you find a course of action that helps. Here's a checklist of suggestions for you to work with. If you've already tried one or more of these things, just click the bullet point to skip to the next suggestion:

Try a different location

First, try to improve the signal by moving closer to the Wi-Fi source. For a mobile network, try moving closer to a window or going outside. A completely different location may help as well.

At home, make sure that your Wi-Fi source (usually a wireless router) is working properly and is providing an adequate signal. Refer to your router's documentation for more information.

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Check your upload speed at home

If trying another location doesn't help, you'll need to dig a little deeper and check the speed of the Internet service at your home. Often most people only think about download speed, which is how fast the data comes into your home network. But your Slingbox mostly sends data the other way, as it uploads TV signals from your house out to the Internet. So a faster upload speed at home means that your Slingbox can stream better video and audio to you, no matter where you're watching your TV.

In fact, having home Internet service that includes fast upload speeds is the most important factor for ensuring the best quality video when you're away from home.

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One easy way to check your network speed at home is to install an Internet speed test app like Speedtest.net on your mobile device. Generally, if you have a Wi-Fi upload speed at home of around 1200 Kbps or higher with a SlingTV/Slingbox 500, Slingbox M1/M2, or a Slingbox 350 (600 Kbps or higher if you're using a Slingbox PRO-HD; 800 Kbps if you have a Slingbox SOLO), you're on your way to getting high quality video when using SlingPlayer away from home.

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Check the download speed on your mobile device

Just like the desktop version, the Speedtest app or a similar app for your mobile device runs a test and displays your current download and upload speeds. When you want high quality video away from home, your download bandwidth on your mobile device is key.

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Check your quality mode setting

Mobile networks can be inconsistent. Depending on network conditions, your bandwidth may fluctuate, creating conditions that aren't optimal for smooth streaming. What you really want is a somewhat consistent and sustained bandwidth. If your Speedtest numbers vary a lot between concurrent tests, you might not have enough sustained bandwidth for high quality video.

When SlingPlayer is in its default Quality setting of Auto, it does a great job of adapting the video stream to your current network conditions ... it does the best job possible with the network capacity that it has. For that reason, we strongly recommend keeping SlingPlayer in Auto mode for the Quality setting.

But if you're not getting the kind of video quality that you expect, or if for some reason you're just not getting the sustained bandwidth that you need, you can try switching to other options in the Quality setting, depending on which SlingPlayer product you are using. That can help sometimes, but if it doesn't, we recommend switching back to Auto mode.

By making sure that your home network has an adequate upload speed, as well as knowing your download speed on your device and choosing the optimum Quality setting, you should have the best possible streaming experience with SlingPlayer.

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Check that your Slingbox is properly set up

One last consideration is whether your Slingbox is set up correctly for Internet viewing. There are a couple of ways to do this, depending on which Slingbox model and which type of SlingPlayer you have.

Check the dots

For these products:
  • SlingPlayer for iPhone/iPod touch
  • SlingPlayer for Android Phones
  • SlingPlayer for Android Tablets
Check the dots! Here's how:

For SlingPlayer for iPhone/iPod touch: While connected to your Slingbox, tap the Options button. Two or four green dots in the lower left corner of the screen indicate that Internet viewing is not set up correctly, which can degrade your video quality. For best results, consider reconfiguring for Internet viewing (see below for more info).

If you have three blue or yellow dots, you're in good shape.

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For SlingPlayer for Android Phones; SlingPlayer for Android Tablets: While connected to your Slingbox, tap the Sources button. Typically you'll want to see three blue dots in the upper right corner of the Sources box. If you don't, consider reconfiguring for Internet viewing (see below for more info).

SlingPlayer for iPad: three-finger tap

For SlingPlayer for iPad, there's a different way to check whether your Slingbox is properly set up for Internet Viewing:

  1. Connect to your Slingbox with SlingPlayer for iPad.
  2. While video is streaming, tap the screen with three-fingers at one time.
    The Diagnostic Info panel appears (click to enlarge the image):
Diagnostic info
×

Don't bother with any of the statistics except for the Connection listing:

  • If it says TCP, you're in good shape.
  • If it says Relay, you should consider reconfiguring for Internet viewing (see below for more info).
To dismiss the Diagnostic Info panel: Tap the X in the upper-right corner of the Diagnostic Info panel.

Reconfiguring for Internet viewing:

If you have a newer-model Slingbox such as the SlingTV/Slingbox 500, Slingbox M1/M2, or Slingbox 350, make sure your router has a feature called UPnP activated. If it is not activated, enable this feature on your home router, reboot your Slingbox and your router, and try the setup process again.

If you have a Slingbox PRO-HD, Slingbox SOLO, or older Slingbox, go back to Watch on Slingbox.com on your computer and either manually or automatically configure Internet Viewing. For more details, see the articles linked below.

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Helpful Videos

Having playback problems? Learn about bandwidth!
A look at how bandwidth and Internet speed at home can the quality of your Slingbox streaming. Watch this if you'd like to get higher quality video!

Related Information

How to optimize SlingPlayer video on your iPhone or iPod touch
Making some minor adjustments can help you get the very best video and audio.

Troubleshooting SlingPlayer for iPad video issues
SlingPlayer for iPad uses the latest streaming technologies to display excellent video quality. If that's not what you're seeing, here are some things to check out.

Network speed requirements for SlingPlayer for iPad
Want to get the most from SlingPlayer for iPad? Here are the requirements for network speed (sometimes called "bandwidth").

How to optimize streaming performance in SlingPlayer for mobile devices
If you're experiencing performance problems including buffering, choppy video, flickering, and hanging, here's how to optimize streaming with SlingPlayer for mobile devices.

What if the automatic router setup doesn't work?
With the Slingbox M1/M2, Slingbox 350, and SlingTV/Slingbox 500, we've simplified Internet viewing setup. But if you have problems connecting to your Slingbox outside of your home, here are some things to try.

Affected Products
  • SlingPlayer - All Mobile Versions
Affected Countries
  • All
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