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What is Remote TV Viewing?

By R. Kayne
Updated May 16, 2024
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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.

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Discussion Comments

By anon127551 — On Nov 16, 2010

How can I obtain a wireless router to use with a tv at home?

By anon74153 — On Mar 31, 2010

Yes, indeed, you can certainly utilize the CAT5 cabling with the appropriate adaptors at each end. I am an DISH Network installer, and we do this predominately in commercial buildings when we have unusually long cable runs that exceed the maximum allowable with coaxial cable. And a couple times a month when a residence wasn't pre-wired with coaxial cable, but was with CAT 5 cabling. Works very well, and in particular with high definition signals from the receiver to another room.

Hope this answer helps. Jay

By anon40635 — On Aug 10, 2009

This article portrays the concept as "easy" to install. I found out, after several hours spent with tech support over the phone, that nothing can be further from the truth. Even after several calls my set up is not working yet. The concept is good and it should work. However, it's not there yet.

By danny — On May 13, 2008

how do i send tv signals via the ethernet rack? my basement has a mini-ethernet rack that has cat 5 cables leaving from it to different rooms in the house. i do not have tv jacks in many rooms and want to watch tv in some of those rooms without having to wire coax through the walls. Can I use the cat 5's that are already there?

thank you, Danny

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