Slingbox won't get IP Address from DHCP server
June 30, 2006 8:31 PM   Subscribe

SlingboxNetworkingWoesFilter: I recently got a Slingbox, and while I am quite happy with the product in theory, I'm stalled with networking problems and the Slingbox fails to get an IP address from the DHCP server. Network routing is being provided by Mac OS X's Internet Sharing feature, and while the DHCP log shows numerous DHCP DISCOVER requests from the Slingbox, no IP address is ever assigned. Read on for details.

The network itself is fine, as is the DHCP server. Normally, clients send a DHCP DISCOVER, the server responds, a DHCP REQUEST is logged, and an IP address is assigned. This works with my laptop, a Tivo, another laptop, and numerous other devices. When the Slingbox is connected to the network and reset, all I get is a steady stream of DHCP DISCOVER entries in the DHCP log:

Jun 30 20:13:42 desktop bootpd[215]: DHCP DISCOVER [en0]: 1,0:13:b6:1:87:ef

Thus far, Slingbox email support has been less than helpful, but I haven't had time yet during business hours to contact them when I could be at home and actually manipulate things. As far as I can tell, Google doesn't seem to report any known issues with the Slingbox and OS X's Internet Sharing.

If anyone has any sugguestions on how to get the DHCP server (Mac OS 10.4.7's included 'Internet Sharing') to serve up an IP to the Slingbox like it does for other devices, I'd really appreciate it.
posted by zachlipton to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
i have my sling box connected to my linksys router and it worked flawlessly out of the box. the documentation says that some routers are supported and some are not; you may have to assign a static address to your slingbox.
posted by fumbducker at 8:54 PM on June 30, 2006

I had the same issue with an Xbox 360. My suspicion is that the DHCP client in these products is missing functionality.

The solution I found was to assign manual IP settings on the Xbox.

To do this, in Utilities -> Terminal, type

ifconfig en0

The information returned should be something like, for example:

inet netmask 0xffffff00 broadcast

On your Slingbox, assign an IP like, subnet mask, and router

For your DNS settings, assign the same manual DNS settings handed down from your router (wireless access point, for example, or whatever is downstream of your cable/DSL modem).

If this works for your Slingbox, change the Slingbox's IP address from to something like This makes it less likely that other DHCP clients will use this manually assigned address.
posted by Mr. Six at 8:59 PM on June 30, 2006

Thanks for responding so quickly fumbducker and Mr. Six. Part of my problem involves the issue of assigning a static IP address to the Slingbox. I'd be happy to just do that and be done with it, but I cannot seem to make that work either. The Slingbox has no physical hardware interface; it's not as if you can just type in an IP and router assignment on a keyboard connected to it.

In theory, if you leave the Slingbox alone for a while after it fails to get an IP address from DHCP, it will self-assign an IP address. Given this, here's what I tried: I connected the Slingbox directly to a computer (the computer was set to get its IP automatically from DHCP as well) and waited for both the Slingbox and the computer to self-assign IPs. I then launched the SlingPlayer application. The Player could not find the Slingbox on the network. When I did an address scan of the available address space, the Slingbox did not respond to pings on any potential IP address.

Am I missing something about the way the self-assignment process works? Ideally, I'd like to just be able to reset the Slingbox and have it come up on some sort of known default IP address so that I can configure it from there.
posted by zachlipton at 9:18 PM on June 30, 2006

I'd just grab a cheap router and use that instead of the Mac to share your Internet connection. Go on eBay and buy a used Linksys BEFSR41, it'll sort you out. $20 is less than the value of the time you will and/or probably have already spent on it.
posted by kindall at 9:56 PM on June 30, 2006

I'm starting to sound like a broken record here. Install Ethereal on the Mac, and trace exactly what's happening after the Slingbox sends that DHCP Discover. You can also compare the Discover packets from the Slingbox with similar packets from known-working devices to find out whether there's something odd about what the Slingbox is saying.

It may well be that the Mac *is* responding with the next stage of the DHCP protocol (which ought to be a DHCP Offer, IIRC) and the Slingbox is ignoring it, in which case it's probably faulty (or maybe it's just not securely wired in - I've fixed any number of network faults just by wiggling connections or switching out patch cables). But in any case, Ethereal will show you exactly what's going on, which will be helpful to Slingbox tech support if nobody else.
posted by flabdablet at 12:29 AM on July 1, 2006

I googled something similar the other day (Linksys NSLU-2 wouldn't get a lease from dnsmasq on OpenBSD), and found several references to the OS X bootpd server (which also supplies DHCP functionality) being, and I quote, "buggy as h**l". Seems there's a load of embedded-type clients that have problems with it - Xbox, Xbox 360, Cisco ATA 186, etc

There's a suggestion that configuring a static lease may work - follow those instructions down as far as step 15, then reboot the Slingbox.

There's also a nasty trick you can do with "arp" - basically, you force-associate an IP address to the slingbox. Open a terminal, and type "sudo arp -s ip_address mac_address pub temp", where mac_address in you case is 0:13:b6:1:87:ef, and ip_address is an unallocated IP address on your network. This may get you enough connectivity to the Slingbox to configure it manually to a fixed IP. The changes to the arp table will be lost when you reboot the Mac.
posted by Pinback at 3:02 AM on July 1, 2006 [1 favorite]

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