Remote TV viewing allows a person to view and control his or her home television set from remote locations. Broadband Internet access is required along with a laptop or video-enabled cell phone, and a remote-viewing product such as a Slingbox, by Sling Media.
To enjoy watching TV remotely, one must first setup a network at home, interfacing a remote viewing device with the network and home entertainment system. The device connects to the home entertainment center by RCA cables or, preferably, through an available S-Video port. The outgoing audio and video signals from the cable box, personal video recorder (PVR) or digital video recorder (DVR), are routed to the incoming port(s) on the remote TV viewing device.
This part of the setup brings the television signal from the entertainment center to the network router. Next, the remote device is connected to the router with an Ethernet cable so that the television signal can be sent over the Internet. This stage of the setup requires that the router’s firewall be configured to allow the use of a designated port. This port will be the gateway through which the streaming media or television signal will be broadcast.
On the receiving end, remote TV viewing software is required, normally bundled with the product package. If viewing the television remotely from a laptop, the software is installed and configured there. Once the laptop has broadband Internet access, the software can access the home network’s port to receive the streaming television signal. It only requires that the home network be up and online.
Remote TV viewing software displays a video interface that resembles a TV screen where the owner can view television programming from anywhere in the world. It also features a fully functional remote control allowing the person to change channels, access the DVR, or perform other functions as if he or she was sitting in front of the television in the comfort of his or her home.
This type of viewing is perfect for business travelers, vacationers, and even the office. It allows users to monitor everything from their favorite shows to cable news channels, premium channels, or other programming. If the television at home has it, the remote-viewing product can make it available.
Remote TV viewing devices come with automated software that should make setup fairly easy, though a little knowledge of networks can come in handy. These products will stream television signal to nearly any device with broadband access that can process live streaming video. While this includes handheld portable devices, it would be a good idea to confirm that the package will work with the remote device a user has in mind.