Sling Unleashes a Placeshifting Quartet


So much for getting to bed at a reasonable hour… as EchoStar just hit us with four Sling-related announcements. As I promised last week. Unfortunately, none of these Slingbox devices are headed to retail and will be exclusively offered via cable or satellite provider. Which, in the near term, means solely DISH Network.

The Sling Monitor 150 (above) and the Sling Receiver 300 (below center) represent the evolution of the SlingCatcher concept, if not platform – providing a means to remotely display streamed content from a Slingbox-esque device, such as the upcoming SlingLoaded 922 DVR. The Slingbox 700u (bottom left) looks to be a USB accessory to provide non-SlingLoaded DISH/Echo STBs with placeshifting capabilities. Lastly, we’ve got the sexy looking WiFi & IR Sling Touch Control remote designed to interface with SlingLoaded DVRs, plus your other A/V accessories, and display an EPG. Collectively, DISH Network is branding their placeshifting product line and functionality as TV Everywhere. (Where have we heard that phrase before?)

I’ll be swinging by EchoStar’s booth Thursday AM to get a firsthand look at the new Sling gear and dig a bit deeper into their distribution strategy. Because as it stands, it seems to me that they just announced their intentions to abandon direct-to-consumer retail sales. (When is Palm’s press conference? Maybe they’ll pleasantly surprise me with a webOS SlingPlayer client.)

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16 thoughts on “Sling Unleashes a Placeshifting Quartet”

  1. None that I know of. Who knows if they ever will. They been pushing on a few fronts, not sure they’ve had any bites. Echo does sell hardware to a few providers (may be sat only) beyond our borders, fwtw.

  2. I want that monitor for my kitchen. are they going to sell it to consumers? i doubt verizon fios will offer it. Dave, can you ask when you go to the booth.

  3. BTW, i looked at Sling’s site, and the monitor and the rest of the gear is in their “for business” section, not the “consumer” section. me thinks it wont be sold at retail.

  4. Al, I’m pretty sure they’re done with retail. Echo/DISH doen’t understand it, it’s just not what they do. And the top Sling marketing, press, and sales guys have all moved on.

    Ben, Palm and Sling were talking last spring… we shall see. A paid app store with big partner announcements wouldn’t surprise me.

  5. Dish just needs to provide an API so that sling receivers can be developed for all platforms.

    Sooo tired of their crap.

  6. It still amazes me that the whole PlaceShifting sector never really took off. Everyone I show my Slingbox to is impressed with it and many buy it for themselves. The fact that Sling has retreated from retail and that their only “competitor” (Hava) has not innovated in a real way in years is sad.

    I know I am not willing to rent more crap from Comcast. In fact once they take the regular cable channels out of Clear QAM I will probably bail on them. Unless by then there is some magical USB or Ethernet based CableCard solution.

    It seems to me that we are on the cusp of awesomeness but can’t quite get there.

  7. I still think the networked device is the future, although better integration at the STB level might make it better. Especially is a service provider can also offer better BW and optimization of streams.

    I could see an AT&T offering a FIOS/STB/mobile client/network storage solution that would be a any channel anywhere solution.

  8. I love my Slingboxes, but it really pains me to see how far Sling has fallen under Echostar’s control. It’s no longer a consumer friendly company. The people like Dave who use to jump to help a customer with a problem are long gone, the great new ideas that were coming out of Sling are long history. As other’s have said when I show off my Slings to friends they’re amazed at how great they are, but I don’t think any of these new items would have any of that “cool factor” when you showed them off.

  9. Rakesh, They have live demo hardware, for whatever that’s worth. Guess it’ll ship when DISH Network is ready to deploy it (after working out the kinks).

    Kimberly, I swung by the booth today (floor’s not open, but I know people). They read my thoughts and absolutely assure me they are not abandoning retail.

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