How to Control a Home Security Camera With a Slingbox

by Patrick Nelson

For those who are unfamiliar with the Slingbox, ostensibly it's a device for capturing your television media at home and streaming that source live onto the Internet for your remote viewing on a laptop, say in a hotel room. The idea is that you can take your cable or satellite channels with you. However, the Slingbox will stream any video source, and that includes a video camera's output. Simply plug in a video camera and presto, instant security camera.


Decide on your camera's location and application. Probably the simplest location--because that's where the Slingbox is--would be above your television in your living room. You can run cable to the Slingbox and monitor a babysitter or see what the kids are doing in your absence. You could also look at your room for extended periods if you had nothing better to do--or missed it while on the road.


Place the camera. The beauty of the living room location is that you can use the cheapest and most basic camera. It doesn't need to be wireless and the most basic of composite cables with RCA connections will work. They are the cables with the red, white and yellow connectors. Place the camera on top of the TV and run power to it.


Take the video signal's output cable, which is the one with the yellow connector, and plug it into the corresponding yellow jack on the Slingbox. If the yellow Slingbox jack is already in use by the television source, you should replace the television source cable with an S-Video cable. Run an S-Video cable between the S-Video jack on the Slingbox and the S-Video jack on your source. This will give you a better television picture anyway. Forget about the sound from the camera; you need the red and white jacks on the Slingbox for the television source audio.


Test your installation. Go into the Slingbox software on your PC, connect to your Slingbox as you usually would, and toggle between video inputs. To do this, look under the Connect tab and you will see a menu item called Video Input. One option will be Composite--the RCA connection and one will be S-Video. If you toggle between these, and your wiring is correct, you will alternately see the camera output (Composite) and your cable or satellite box output (S-Video). The audio will be your cable or satellite box in both cases.


Remotely view your two streams--camera and TV.

Items you will need


About the Author

Patrick Nelson has been a professional writer since 1992. He was editor and publisher of the music industry trade publication "Producer Report" and has written for a number of technology blogs. Nelson studied design at Hornsey Art School.