380 million dollars and 2.5 years in the making, the world’s first DVR containing Slingbox functionality has arrived. Of course, this is exactly the sort of hybrid product we expected when Echostar acquired Sling Media in 2007. Although it wasn’t actually until CES 2009 that our suspicions were confirmed. And DISH Network’s 2009 launch plans have obviously slipped. Yet, the wait is now over!
In addition to placeshifting capabilities and other remote access functionality, the dual tuner VIP 922 SlingLoaded DVR pairs a brand new and possibly app-alicious UI (see below) with a roomy 1 terabyte drive and powerline networking. Fortunately, Echo/Sling/DISH drew the line there and chose not bundle the horrible prototype touchpad remote control. Not only was it difficult to navigate one handed, like Sezmi, it did away with the number keys.
It’s not clear (to me) from DISH’s site what the VIP 922 and service run, but Engadget came across a memo which indicates a MSRP of $695 for the hardware, with leases starting as low as $200 (whatever that means). I don’t have many options as a potential reviewer with an obstructed satellite view. So, like most, I’ll resign myself to waiting for the pro journalists to chime in and and early customer testimonials. But on paper (or LCD), the VIP 922 sure looks hot.