October 10, 2012
Sling Media Unveils New Redesigned Slingbox Models
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
No, that´s not a corrugated Xbox 360 or some piece of “modern” art! Those are the latest offerings from Sling Media to stream TV content to Macs, PCs, smartphones and tablets.Often touted as the best and the easiest way to bring streaming television content to mobile devices everywhere, Sling Media has announced the Slingbox 350 and the Slingbox 500, their latest hardware offerings and the first new products in 4 years. Both models will deliver 1080p HD-quality video, as well as live streaming, and the ability for users to stream their own content to the Slingbox device on their televisions.
The magic of Slingbox is the ability to watch both live and recorded content from your television practically anywhere, or anywhere with a reliable connection. So, if you happen to be away on business or simply too lazy to move into a room with a television, Slingbox will stream this content to your smartphone or tablet instantly.
Now, Sling claims these two models will not only add features the existing boxes didn´t have, but they´ll also make choosing how to watch television even easier.
The artsy-looking Slingbox 500 is the show stopper of the two new products, bringing Wi-Fi connectivity to the party in addition to some IR radios for remote control functionality and HDMI, component and composite inputs and outputs. Sling Media is also announcing SlingProjector, a feature similar to Apple´s AirPlay functionality baked into Apple products.
Just as any TV hooked up to Apple´s “hobby” is capable of streaming photos and videos from AirPlay compatible devices (iPad, iPhone and Mac) SlingProjector allows users with the latest versions of SlingPlayer to broadcast their own content to their TV. Sling also says they plan to bring “other exciting ways to display content on their television screens” for SlingBox 500 users in the coming months.
The pock-marked Slingbox 350 is the lower-cost option which doesn´t offer Wi-Fi or SlingProjector capabilities, but does offer the full, 1080P streaming video. As Sling puts it, “The Slingbox 350 offers Sling Media's highest quality, proven "TV Anywhere" technology at a cost-effective price.”
While very interesting looking in their own rites, both the 350 and the 500 can be a step up from the existing, trapezoid set-top boxes Sling has been selling. In a sense, Sling could have made a genius move by going with the twisted-plastic shape of their top-end Slingbox 500. With its pointed top, there is no way anyone will be able to stack anything, ensuring that it´s also on the top of the electronics and gizmo heap. Perhaps Sling is hoping this will translate sub-consciously?
Looking past looks, these 2 models also look to offer greater functionality than the previous boxes. Working in tandem with these boxes are the mobile apps, available for Android, iOS and Windows Phone. Sling has also updated these options and priced them at an introductory $14.99, which is 50% off their normal price.
Sling users wanting to get their hands on these new devices don´t have much longer to wait. According to the company, the new Slingbox 350 and Slingbox 500 will be available in the States this Sunday, October 14th. Both models will be available online at Slingbox.com, Amazon.com, or online and in physical Best Buy stores. The Slingbox 500 is set to start at $299.99, while the 350 starts at a lower $179.
Canadian Sling users will have to wait until November to find these new boxes on the shelves.