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Sling Media intros simplified Slingbox

Pro model comes to UK too

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Sling Media has revamped its UK Slingbox TV-over-the-net gadget line-up, a move that will see the year-old Slingbox Pro finally come to Britain, alongside the global launch of a brand new Slingbox, the Solo.

Sling Media Slingbox Solo
Sling's Slingbox Solo: ideal for DVR owners?

The black-clad box is a trimmed down unit that can take just one feed from its array of three input types - composite-, s- and component-video - and stream it out across a local network or even the internet. Other Slingboxes have on-board tuners, but not the Solo. It's aimed, Sling said, at consumers who already have a digital TV set-top box or DVR.

The Solo features more advanced video compression chip than the original Slingbox or last year's models, Sling said, allowing it to stream pictures at rates of up to 8Mbps - previous models could only reach 2.5Mbps. It also streams images at up to 640 x 480 resolution, and can handle 16:9-ratio widescreen input.

Sling Media Slingbox Pro
Sling's Slingbox Pro: enhanced codec for 8Mbps video streams

Sling launched the Pro in the US almost a year ago, but the UK version incorporates the same new video chip as the Solo, giving it the same picture processing and streaming capabilities. The unit has a built-in digital TV tuner, along with two on-board s-video, composite-video, and an equivalent number of outputs of the same type.

Sling Media Slingbox Pro
Sling's Slingbox Pro: multiple inputs, multiple outputs

Here in the UK, the Pro will come bundled with a dongle, the HD Connect, that incorporates a set of component-video input and output ports.

US consumers still have to buy the dongle as an optional extra, so here's at least one instance where UK consumers fare better by an electronics company.

The Slingbox Pro is due to go on sale this weekend for £200, with the £130 Slingbox Solo following a week later.

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