A New Slingbox… Headed to Verizon?!

I told you Sling had some unexpected and positive news here at CES. In addition to the upcoming Google TV SlingPlayer functionality, they’ve announced a partnership with Verizon. Not only is it  huge accomplishment to broker a deal with a major US carrier, for those of us who remember, it’s also somewhat ironic… As early in Sling’s history, Verizon was the one who said something like three Slingbox customers hitting a single Verizon tower could bring it down. Which, of course, was nonsense. But it gives you a sense of how far Sling has come. And perhaps how far Verizon’s network has come.

While at Sling’s booth, I got a general sense of how this partnership will work. In a few months, as LTE smartphones launch, Verizon will offer a complete Slingbox package to include a new placeshifter, powerline networking gear, and software. I suspect there’ll be some sort of upfront hardware fee or deposit, along with a monthly service charge. I also assume that even though offered through Verizon, the new Slingbox will function identically to existing Slingboxes… and given the mobile focus, I imagine the resolution will be comparable to the 640×480 SOLO (versus PRO-HD hardware).

Engadget managed to snap some pictures of the new Slingbox. And, as you can see, it’s quite small and can be positioned either horizontally vertically. Although it’s not nearly as attractive as DISH Network’s cheese grating Slingbox. Unfortunately, I still haven’t heard of any new retail Sling gear. So I guess it continues to be the SOLO or PRO-HD.

Click to enlarge:

4 thoughts on “A New Slingbox… Headed to Verizon?!”

  1. This is the stupidest thing I’ve seen out of CES yet. Who is going to pay a subscription fee for a FREE service — that’s the whole point of Sling.

  2. JPB, the value (or not) will depend on the monthly fee and what’s required upfront. For some, an initial ~$200 investment (Slingbox hardware, mobile client) could be a barrier to entry. If Verizon leases this new hardware and/or let’s you return it in some way, it could be a valuable service to get people onboard. Also, they could educate tons of people if they decide to display these bundles in-store. But it’s not clear if/when that might happen…

    RSR, At the very least, we know smaller Slingboxes can be produced. Presumably more energy efficient, and lower cost. However, the PRO-HD is worth the extra shelf space in terms of what it offers.

  3. Wow, CES 2011 and Engadget are 3 months late! I saw this at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2010 in October… This Slingbox is not for retail sale, but for cable providers. I Did not hear anything about exclusive rights to Verizon when speaking to the Slingbox representative. I have the official spec sheet and name for anybody interested. I might post them on a site soon!

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