New Slingbox Goodies Coming to CES

Dave Zatz —  December 29, 2009 — 12 Comments

Beyond the WiFi-only iPhone Slingbox client ($30), neutered by Apple and AT&T, it’s been a very quiet year for Sling. No new retail products. Insignificant firmware and software updates to existing products. And fire sale SlingCatcher pricing. Combined with near radio silence, I figured EchoStar has been winding down the Sling line. However, all is not lost, as I received a CES invite earlier today that promises:

You’ll experience an up close view of Sling’s new placeshifting products including WiFi television, ultra-slim Slingboxes, and a next-generation touch screen device.

Of course, a WiFi television was shown at CES last year (pic above). Where it was pitched as a DISH Network accessory for Echostar’s yet-to-be-released “SlingLoaded” VIP 922 Echostar DVR. If I had to guess, that touchscreen device similarly accessorizes the 922 — as a Sonos-esque remote controller. I’m not entirely opposed to a slimmed-down Slingbox, but noticeably absent from this pitch is reference to a next generation Catcher… that lives up to its billing. Stay tuned, as I intend to find out more (with pics) next week in Vegas.

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12 responses to New Slingbox Goodies Coming to CES

  1. All I want for CES is Slingbox for my Droid!! :)

  2. The Catcher is dead, I’m sure of it. When I still worked there, before it released, I was in favor of just killing it before launch and either doing a real media box, or forgetting the whole thing. I feel I was correct in my beliefs, given how the product ended up. It was a good idea, but it launched two years late – and was still pretty much the same box, which made it outdated day one.

    Sling would be better off publishing the API for people to create clients to talk to Slingboxes. Then the likes of Boxee, VLC, Android developers, et al, could create clients, incorporate Slinging into existing media player hardware/software, and sell more Slingboxes. The client is a loss-maker on its own.

    As for a ‘Catcher’ type product – make deals with media center extender vendors to add the Sling client to the boxes. Write a client that runs in BD-J to stream to any network connected Blu-ray player, or PS3 (like the PS3 Netflix BD). Add it into a unified Slingbox/Catcher, maybe. But Sling doesn’t want to be in the media extender business, it is cutthroat and packed already.

    Again, open up the client specs and make some deals to get it in some products and others will follow – and you’ll see client apps for all kinds of platforms Sling will never get around to supporting. And the more useful the box is, the more boxes they’ll sell.

    But, hey, that’s just my opinion.

  3. It’s my opinion too.

  4. Agree SlingCatcher came too late to market would have been nicer to see it when it was 1st announced.

    I would love to see SlingBox and SlingCatcher software on a Roku and other internet enabled devices like BluRay players seems like a perfect match like other services – Netflix, FrameChannel, Pandora, LastFM, Flikr,etc.

    PlayOn does a pretty good job already for me to networked DNLA devices.

  5. if anyone can get a Slingcatcher to work with a popular Linksys WET610N adapter let me know, Sling and Linksys tech support are both clueless on this. many people in the Slingcatcher forum have this problem

  6. I like my catcher, but I think they missed the boat by not having apps like Netflix on it. As for Sling as a company it has really gone down hill, you only need to check out the Sling Community to see the problems people are having with cust service and overall product quality. You go to Sling for help and their response is “pay for any service you want.”

  7. I got my invite yesterday as well and am looking forward to the Press Tour.

    I agree on the Slingcatcher (wasnt the 922 supposed to have one built in?)

    Whatever happened to Clip&Sling?

    I have been a beta tester for the 922 for about 6 months now and its a nice box but some parts are not working (ie the main new feature SLING) and the Web browser has now been removed as well. (No loss it didn’t support any kind of plugins such as Flash, Java, etc anyways…)

    Looking forward to seeing you next week at CES Dave!

    Happy New Year everyone!

  8. I agree with MegaZone (a name I haven’t seen in years) about the concept of an API for clients. This would bring new life into Slingboxes and transform mobility. Of course I said that (as I believe MegaZone did too) many years ago about TiVo too..

  9. I agree with the other sentiments regarding opening up access to collect Sling feeds in other devices. This will keep Sling as a viable device for many years to come.

    It would be nice if someone who goes to their demo at CES asks them when the Slingplayer 2.0 for OS X that we were promised a year ago is going to materialize.

    Honestly, I think that Dish Network is about the worst thing that could have possibly happened to Sling, they seem to want to control everything yet provide outdated products, poor support and a terrible release schedule.

    Would be nice if someone would come out and make a truly kick ass alternative to the Sling box that could be supported on the receive side in media set top boxes, blu-ray players, etc….. cuz, Sling sure as hell isn’t going to do it while Echo star jerkoffs are at the reigns.

  10. Looking forward to seeing new Sling toys. I’m still using my original Slingbox, which comes in handy when travelling for the holidays. Can’t miss my Doctor Who :)

  11. I totally disagree. The catcher is an amazing product, even without HD. I know I represent a small market (expats slinging abroad), but I cannot imagine being without it.

  12. itay you are in a small market. lol I mean I don’t think that the catcher was horrible becuase it was nice having it when I was waiting hours between connecting flights but sometimes it was frustrating with its limitations. I guess I am in the market that is in between: I was happy to have it but would not pay to have it again….

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