CES 2013: Slingbox Links Mobile With TV

Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online

Sling Media, makers of the popular Slingbox streaming device, are showing off two new features at CES in Vegas which will tie in your mobile devices to your television watching experience.

These 2 new features not only sync content from your mobile device, they also allow your tablet to act as a second screen and remote control for Slingbox 350 and Slingbox 500 customers. Each of these new features are said to be available this spring.

The first of these new features, called My Media, is responsible for storing those family photos and videos to a USB stick and serving them up to the Slingbox. Slingbox Companion is the second new feature, enabling your tablet to act as a second screen and remote for your Slingbox.

“These new features bring instant, additional value to Slingbox 500 and Slingbox 350 customers at no extra cost and position Slingbox firmly as a device of choice in the living room,” explained Raghu Tarra, Sling Media´s Senior Vice President and General Manager in a press statement.

“The My Media feature delivers on the platform promise of the Slingbox 500. Slingbox Companion further leverages the Slingbox to deliver a powerful 2nd screen application for the iPad that combines content discovery and navigation with rich media and social media features,” he added.

My Media works in tandem with another technology, aptly titled SlingSync. Once all the right components are in place– My Media USB stick and SlingPlayer app–photos and videos can be synced automatically, providing of course that all components are connected to the same network. These photos and videos are then stored on the USB device, a move which Sling claims will give users room for even more content on their smartphones.

Sling has said they´ll also roll out future features and functionality via firmware updates to both the Slingbox and Slingbox smartphone app. The app will be available in the respective app stores for Android and iOS in the coming weeks. One caveat: Only Slingbox 500 customers will be able to take advantage of My Media.

Slingbox Companion, however, will work with both the Slingbox 350 and 500 models, This app will not only allow users to search for new and interesting content, they´ll also be able to use their iPad as a remote to control their Slingbox. Those Sling users with the My Media USB drive attached will also be able to navigate through these photos and videos on their television through the app. Slingbox Companion also brings in a social element, allowing users to share with their Facebook and Twitter pals what they´re watching via their Slingbox.

The ability to use your smartphone and tablet to serve up content to your television as well as act as a remote for said screen is quite the trend at this year´s CES.

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