UPDATE: I’ve gotten my hands on the hardware and posted a review of the Slingbox 350 & Slingbox 500 here.
Whoa! I hit Best Buy looking for this unannounced Logitech Harmony Touch… but, instead, stumbled upon a pair of unannounced Slingboxes. To put these new products in perspective, the last significant retail Slingbox hardware refresh was announced four years ago — back when I was part of the team. And, frankly, I had worried that under Echostar’s stewardship they’d abandon retail in favor of SlingLoaded cable and satellite solutions. Good thing I was wrong?
The new Slingbox 350 and 500 both appear to stream at up to 1080p, as opposed to the standard def Slingbox Solo and 720p Slingbox PRO-HD. They also feature redesigned hardware chasis, as different from each other as they are from the prior generation boxes. But, like their predecessors, it seems their core function is to
liberate placeshift your home television content around the house or the world to desktop and mobile software clients. Yet some mysteries remain… as the presumably higher end Slingbox 500 includes an HDMI input & output, remote control, and USB storage, with indications of a television-based setup. Further, this marks the first Slingbox with integrated WiFi capabilities. Finally! On the other hand, it doesn’t look like the ATSC tuner of the PRO-HD is being retained.
Unfortunately, Best Buy wouldn’t actually let me leave the store with a new unit and there was no shelf pricing… but they suggested the existing Slingboxes were on the way out and to check back October 14th or 15th for more info on the new placeshifters.