How to turn your PC into a slingbox

Written by david weinberg
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How to turn your PC into a slingbox
Your computer can send video from cable, antenna or satellite. (tv antennas image by JoLin from Fotolia.com)

Slingbox users can stream video directly from their home video connection to computers around the world. Slingboxes are designed to be easy to install and configure, but this convenience comes at a price. Instead of purchasing a Slingbox, you can add a TV tuner to your computer and install some free software to get the same functionality. Any TV tuner that is compatible with your computer will work for this task. The only software required is video conferencing software, such as Skype, and virtual network control software such as UltraVNC.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • TV tuner card
  • Video conferencing program
  • VNC program

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Install the TV tuner according to the instructions that came with the device. Connect a coaxial video feed to the coaxial jack on the back of the tuner. Insert the software CD that came with the device into your computer and follow the on-screen instructions to install the drivers and software for your new device.

  2. 2

    Download and install video chatting software on your computer. There are many free video chatting programs available such as Skype, Google Talk and Eyeball Chat. You will only need one of these programs.

  3. 3

    Open your video chatting software and use the on-screen prompt to create a new username. Open the program's options menu. Open the video options page and set the video source to your TV tuner. Set the video to be used automatically for all calls. Open the audio options page and set the audio source to your TV tuner. The software is now configured to stream your TV signal.

  4. 4

    Download and install a VNC program on your computer. Free VNC programs include UltraVNC, TightVNC and RealVNC. You will only need one of these programs.

  5. 5

    Open the VNC server software. On the options page create a new password. Write down the password, the computer's IP address and the currently selected port number. Close the options menu.

  6. 6

    Install the same VNC and video chatting software on the computer that you will be using to view the video feeds (the remote computer). Create a new username for the video chatting software on this computer.

  7. 7

    Open the VNC viewer on the remote computer and type in the IP address of the server computer followed by a colon and the port number in the address bar. Press "Enter." Input the password that you created. The VNC viewer will display the screen of the server computer. You can use this window to view and control the server computer.

  8. 8

    Call the server computer using the video chatting software on the remote computer. Answer the call using the VNC viewer on the remote computer. Close the VNC viewer. The video chatting software on the remote computer will stream the audio and video directly from the server computer's TV tuner.

Tips and warnings

  • Consult the VNC and video chatting software's included help file for more information about configuring the software.
  • You must leave the VNC server and video chatting software running on the server computer in order to stream video to other systems.

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