Replacing slingbox

I am trying to find a replacement for Slingbox that is shutting down service & my 2 slingboxes become bricks, so I purchased a year of CHANNELS. I thought channels was the answer, but there is no app called channels and it looks like I have to buy a $99 box to make it work.

My slingbox only required me to provide my cable provider (Charter's Spectrum Cable) and it had me all set up. I downloaded the app on my phone & could watch my home cable channels from my cable set top box anywhere in the world.

(Charter) Spectrum Cable was not listed anywhere as a provider for CHANNELS. I don't like having numerous apps providing separate streaming channels with no access to my local channels (too complicated) and mainly want to be able to watch my local channels when traveling (local channels in our small market don't stream their news or network feed)

Please help before I cancel my Channels subscription. It is very complicated and seems misleading.

You would need to install the Channels DVR software on a PC/NAS/RPI4 and set it up there with your Spectrum login.


Thanks. So my computer would then have to be left on 24hours a day 7 days a week then?(I don't like to leave my computer on while away from home)

If so,, is there a cheap low power consumption computer with enough memory I could purchase to leave on all the time & not have to worry about hacking, big power bill, & possible fire from overheating or power surge (lightning/wind storms when I turn my computer off to prevent problems in storms).

The Raspberry Pi is a cost effective solution:

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I would suggest you install on your existing computer to try it out during your trial to see if it meets your needs first.

Slingbox was a piece of garbage. I'm not surprised they shut down their service. I had a Slingbox until a couple of years ago. I was fairly satisfied with it. But then they decided to start shoving ads down the throats of customers who already paid hundreds of dollars for their hardware. On top of the TV content that Sling Media did not provide! Forget that. I trashed the Slingbox and never looked back.

Channels requires more initial setup and possibly cost than the Slingbox. But it is soooo worth it, and will pay for itself in the long run. Be patient. Ask lots of questions. You'll get there. This forum is great. Lots of smart users, as well as the Channels developers, are quick to provide answers here. Enjoy!

Thanks. Slingbox kept getting more complicated as time went on and I had to use many hours trying to log in & reconfigure with no support, but it was so simple when it worked.

I hope someone will suggest to me an economical computer to leave on 25/7 with no personal information on it in order to use Channels. I don't want to leave my main desktop on all the time with my personal info stored on it.

A lot of us use an NAS instead of a PC, like a Synology DiskStation 220. Others use a Celeron NUC, or an old Mac Mini they have lying around. But the best deal may be the Rasberry Pi suggested by @tmm1 above. Depends how much tolerance you have for DIY...though it sounds like the Slingbox was testing your patience all by itself.

I'm not very tech savvy beyond everyday use of my android phone, my iPad Pro, & desktop & laptop(Windows 10). So could you please suggest which would be easier for me?


A small Intel PC with Windows 10 then. The "NUC" type I mentioned is usually a barebones build-your-own project, but you can buy some of them preconfigured. Or do a search for "Mini PC". If you can't put it far away from where you'll be watching, you may want to consider a fanless model so it will be quiet. Anyway, here's a support article listing the minimum requirements:

Also you'll want to make sure to get one that will come on automatically after a power outage.

Thank you

I would take a serious look at the rpi4 its low power and low maintenance. I started using on a windows 10 desktop then purchased a synology DS 218 just for channels now I moved it to a rpi4 and I think I am finally happy with that. I use it a lot remotely from hotels without problems. The tv at home is on about 18hrs a day with no issues. Just my 2 cents.

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Does my TV at home have to be on to watch "CHANNELS" in a hotel out of town?

No, for remote viewing you will be connecting directly to your server at your home and streaming from there. Unlike the slingbox, Channels provides the video directly, no cable box or other video device is needed.

Is there an app for my android phone to use in order to view "Channels" like my slingbox, or is there a website to sign into? Same for my windows computers and iPad Pro?

Yes there is a great Android app for viewing, home or remote. Download "Channels: Whole Home DVR", that's the one you want, and it's free because it works with the DVR subscription. Don't buy the other one, "Channels: Live", that's for something else. And yes there is a web page for setup and viewing, accessed by inputting the IP address of your DVR. You'll learn about that as you set things up.

You should really check out out site at it has a lot of info.

You can see our apps here:

Consider Channels your personal Netflix. It’s a dvr so you can record anything you want from your sources of tv. After that, the videos can be streamed via any of our apps, at home or away.

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@gallen22 I was a slingbox user forever. I think I had every model. And I feel just like you moving on past slingbox was confusing and I didn't understand all this new world stuff with setting up your home computer system for channels and more. But to be honest it was the best investment in my time. My wife and I love it! Channels is just the best TV watching experience especially when you travel and at home. I hope you stick with it and learn what works best for you I think you'll also find that it was worth the investment!