Broadcom to Put Sling on a Chip

Several pay-TV operators debuted iPad apps with streaming video in 2011, and most started offering live TV before the end of the year. Now Broadcom is hoping to take those TV Everywhere efforts a step further. This morning the chip maker announced an integration deal with EchoStar to embed Sling place-shifting tech in its dual-tuner HD gateway system on a chip (SoC), the BCM7425. The news means set-top makers, like heavyweights Motorola and Cisco, will soon be able to add a dose of Sling into their set-tops with the help of one of their existing suppliers.

To date, Dish Network is the only service provider offering place shifting with a Slingbox or “Slingloaded” set-top. All of the other live streaming apps on the market require users to stay within the bounds of their home Wi-Fi networks. Thanks to current licensing deals, and programmer squeamishness, TV Everywhere is more like TV Everywhere in Your House. However, Cablevision’s (until recently) COO Tom Rutledge already stated publicly in August that Cablevision is working to change that. The Sling-on-a-Chip news could help pave the way. If  “slinging” becomes more mainstream, it will be hard to argue that operators can’t offer the same functionality in their apps, with our without Broadcom’s SoC.

Broadcom says the new BCM7425 will be available in the third quarter of this year for cable, telecom and satellite TV operators.

3 thoughts on “Broadcom to Put Sling on a Chip”

  1. Very hot! In theory… But someone like TiVo probably wouldn’t bite. And with so many centralized TV Anywhere initiatives already underway, I can’t imagine many would consider moving placeshifting functionality down to the set-top box level (especially given potential licensing complexity and inherent networking challenges).

  2. I’m less interested in the actual tech than the fact that it suggests further momentum behind true mobile TV. Though there is an interesting debate to be had here on the advantages of “slinging” vs. IP simulcast, at least in the short term.

  3. I would *love* Tivo to implement this, as a way to allow slinging without tying up the user interface on the Tivo for the remote user. But as you say, I won’t be holding my breath.

    What IS the legal status of Slinging content around anyway? I know nobody is currently suing Dish over the slingbox but I don’t recall any precedents establishing some right of consumers to use such products and wonder if it actually became more widespread if we’d see a lawsuit…

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