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sling media slingcatcher slingplayer-for-TV

CES 2007 Slingbox maker Sling Media today unveiled a box that takes a TV pictures sent out over a network by Sling's signature device and displays it on a TV. SlingCatcher will also show internet-hosted content on a telly without the need for a computer in between.

It's a logical move. Slingbox was all about sending TV content out across the internet to remote users. Since Slingbox requires a local network connection to the home's broadband modem, it's already possible to pick up the transmission on a laptop or PC elsewhere in the home, and now you'll be able to watch it on a TV set too.

That's made possible with SlingCatcher's integrated SlingPlayer application. It also runs what Sling calls SlingProjector: a way to show internet content on the TV. Which services it will hook up to have yet to be announced, but it's likely to be all the usual suspects. Netgear, for instance, said this week it was partnering with YouTube and BitTorrent, and it's hard to imagine Sling isn't talking to them too, along with Google, Yahoo! and co.

SlingCatcher will support standard-definition and HD TVs, Sling said, through a bevvy of ports, including HDMI; s-, component- and composite video; and digital and analog audio. Unlike the Slingbox, SlingCatcher is a wireless device, though it has the usual Ethernet port too. There will be USB ports for Flash-stored content and the ability to hook up a hard drive, we understand.

Due mid-year, the SlingCatcher will be priced at under $200, Sling said - $199.99, presumably...

Sling also said today it was preparing not only a Vista-friendly version of its SlingPlayer app, but also a version for Palm's 3G-enabled Treo 700p. It already has a version running on Windows Media-based Palms, but this is the first Palm OS incarnation. It's due to be made available for download later this quarter. ®

Read our complete CES 2007 coverage at Reg Hardware

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