Slingbox Glossary for Non-Techies

05-09-14 - slingbox terminology - wordsIf you’re technologically challenged, reading any instruction manual can be daunting. (We feel your pain.) Even if you’re not, we made our Quick Start Guides (QSGs) for the Slingbox 350 and Slingbox 500 as painless as possible.

To provide a little more explanation on what’s what, whether it’s all new vocab or you just want a go-to glossary of some technical terms related to your Slingbox, here’s a “value-added” tip sheet to quickly make sense of what you’re reading on the box or in the QSG:

AC AdapterAC Adapter
Your Slingbox (and other gadgets) needs juice, right? The AC adapter, or power source, is the cable that connects your Slingbox to an electrical outlet.

Also known as “Full HD,” 1080p is very high video resolution. Slingbox 350 and Slingbox 500 both support up to 1080p picture quality, which is extremely clear.

Component CableComponent video
Analog (as opposed to digital) video output that delivers HD resolution. The component cable has three prongs (red, green, blue) on either end. You must also use the red/white stereo audio cable for sound.

Composite video
Analog video output that delivers standard-definition resolution. Composite cable has a yellow plug on either end and also requires the red/white stereo audio cable for sound.

Your Slingbox needs a broadband Internet connection, which, depending on the model, can be delivered via an Ethernet cable from your router/modem or via WiFi. An Ethernet cable gives your device a wired and direct connection to the Internet. Slingbox 350 requires an Ethernet cable. Slingbox 500 has built-in WiFi, but can also use an Ethernet connection.

Stands for high-definition multimedia interface. With an HDMI cable connecting your TV to your cable set-top box or satellite receiver, you’re able to receive the highest possible HD resolution and, better yet, reduce the clutter of cables behind your TV. When you connect another HDMI cable from your set-top box or receiver to your Slingbox 500, you’re accessing digital content at up to 1080p picture quality. By the way, an HDMI cable incorporates both video and audio into a single strand, which means you don’t need that separate audio cable.

Standard-definition video (or 480i, if you want to get technical) is what you see on those old re-runs of Seinfeld and Friends that don’t look as good on your big flat-screen TV. (Many older shows are still broadcast in SD resolution.)  To watch HD programming, you also need an HD TV cable or satellite subscription. Regardless, SD resolution is always available to you, which is why you might see two versions of the same channel on your program guide. As far as your Slingbox is concerned, connect it to your set-top box or receiver with the yellow composite video and red/white audio cables for SD viewing on other devices.

IR EmitterIR Emitter
IR (or infrared) emitters are built in to the Slingbox 350 and Slingbox 500 and are used to send commands to your cable box or satellite receiver the same way your remote control in the living room is used to change the channel, access the DVR or pull up the program guide. Let’s say you’re watching TV with your Slingbox and you want to change the channel to Mad Men. The SlingPlayer app on your mobile device delivers that command to your Slingbox, which then sends it to your set-top box or receiver, thanks to those nifty IR emitters (also known as IR blasters). And – voila! – Don Draper, here you come!  External (attachable) IR emitters are also included with your Slingbox in case your internal IR emitters are not working properly.

For some of you, this guide might be more of a refresher. For others, it might help you understand what things do without geeking out on you. Either way, we hope it’s helpful. What other terms are you foggy about?

Check out other articles that contain more tips and tricks:


2 comments on “Slingbox Glossary for Non-Techies

  1. John says:

    Does anyone know if Slingbox is working on a chromecast application.

  2. soltltym says:

    Is SlingBox a Windows product? Well if not then why do I have to do a new update every time I want to use it, it wants to install and update . . . I don’t see any reason why this has to be updated more than a couple of times a year. Stop it!! Pleeeeeaasssseeee!

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