Support
  • System Status
All Slingbox network systems are OK

Using an HDMI video source with the Slingbox 500

What is HDCP and why should you be concerned about it when using an HDMI video source? And what is SOC?

For the best possible viewing experience, configure the component (red/green/blue) input from your set-top box to use with your Slingbox 500 ... instead of only using HDMI as your primary placeshifting video source.

(You could also use the composite (yellow) output, if available ... but it's Standard Definition only, while the component input offers full High Definition.)

HDMI connections are easy and convenient, but they also allow for the use of an industry-standard copy protection technology called HDCP (High-bandwidth Digital Copy Protection). Many content providers, including popular channels like HBO and Showtime, use HDCP to curtail illicit use of their content.

The problem? HDCP-protected content can't be placeshifted ... meaning, it can't be streamed via your Slingbox, even though it's perfectly legal to do so.

That's why we recommend that, to ensure that you can watch your TV anywhere at any time, you consider configuring the Component (HD) or Composite (SD) input with your Slingbox 500, in addition to HDMI. These connection types do not have HDCP restrictions. That way, if you're having trouble watching TV remotely via your the HDMI input on your Slingbox, all you need to do is switch over to the Component (or Composite) input.

Remember, the Component input offers the same HD streaming resolutions and picture quality as HDMI! This is the cable hookup method that the Slingbox 500 Quick Start Guide suggests too, so check it out the Quick Start Guide you haven't already - it's included in the Slingbox 500 retail box.

For more information, check out the short video linked below entitled HDMI, your Slingbox & you, which explains these concepts in greater detail.

 

Another option if you prefer to keep using HDMI

Another option you can use, if you'd like to keep using the HDMI input from your set-top box with your Slingbox, is an inexpensive third-party product called the HDMI Adapter (or HDMI Splitter).

This third-party product (not sold by Sling Media) is very simple: it takes an HDMI signal from your set-top box, and converts it to Component video (and stereo audio). Using this product can help you in a couple of ways:

  • It offers Component video/stereo audio connections if you'd like to use that connection method, but your set-top box doesn't offer Component;
  • It can help if you're experiencing a "blank screen" problem while streaming (either your home TV goes blank when you're streaming remotely, or certain programs don't appear).

The HDMI Adapter product is easy to set up and requires no further attention once that's done. For more information, take a look at the manufacturer's website:

HDMI Adapter website



What is Selectable Output Control (SOC)?

A very limited number set-top boxes and video sources use yet another layer of copy-protection called Selectable Output Control, or SOC. Used in devices where both HDMI and analog outputs (component, composite, etc.) are available, SOC disables any analog outputs when HDMI is also hooked up.

Does the video over component go "dark" when you attach an HDMI cable to your set-top box? Then you likely have an SOC-capable set-top box. Currently, there are only a handful of SOC capable set-top boxes on the market.

To enable your Slingbox 500 to placeshift HD content with an SOC (Selectable Output Control) capable set-top box, make sure that you have component cables connected to and from the Slingbox 500, and configure your Slingbox 500 to use component only. Doing this does not affect picture quality. You can still watch your HD content anywhere.

The HDMI Adapter device (mentioned above) can also help solve SOC issues.

 

Watch this to learn more about HDMI, HDCP & the Slingbox 500

HDMI, your Slingbox & you
A primer on digital copy protection and its impact on placeshifting.

Related Information

Why is your HDMI input disabled in Watch on Slingbox.com?
If you select HDMI to view video in Watch on Slingbox.com and find that your HDMI input is disabled, here is why.

When I connect my set-top box to my TV with HDMI connections, I can't stream video at all using any version of SlingPlayer. Why?
If you have video equipment that connects to your TV using an HDMI cable and you try to stream, you may get extremely poor or no video using Watch on Slingbox.com, SlingPlayer for Windows or SlingPlayer for Mac. Here's the reason and a way to fix it.

More information on SOC
This Wikipedia article explains Selectable Output Control in depth.

Affected Products
  • Slingbox 500 - SlingTV
Affected Countries
  • United States
  • Canada
Need Help?
  • FAQ
  • Get answers to your questions here.
×

Slingbox Support Site Feedback

Please complete this form for web site feedback only. For technical support issues, click Contact Us.
Please select a topic for your feedback *
Your Feedback *
Please enter your email address *


We appreciate your feedback, but we cannot reply or give product support here. Your contact information will only be used if we need more information on the feedback you provide. If you require a response, please click Contact Us.
×

Slingbox Support Site Feedback

Please complete this form for web site feedback only. For technical support issues, click Contact Us.
Please select a topic for your feedback *
Your Feedback *
Please enter your email address *


We appreciate your feedback, but we cannot reply or give product support here. Your contact information will only be used if we need more information on the feedback you provide. If you require a response, please click Contact Us.