Sling Media intros simplified Slingbox
Pro model comes to UK too
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'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'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'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.
There is a Mac client at http://downloads.slingmedia.com/object/KB-005352.html
I have a Slingbox, and for ages I didn't upgrade the firmware in it because they added encryption to the stream (there were slingbox video ripping products around until then). I figured some media companies probably leaned on them about it because as a company they were quite liberal about everything for a while.
In the end I had to upgrade and lost the ability to record TV.
Not only that but they charge more for a Windows Mobile version, about £30 which is a bit of a rip off given that they give away the Windows player.
Tom- this is a similar situ as the BBCs iPlayer screw up, slingmedia are tied into Windows Media technologies with some kind of DRM, thats what the box encodes to and so its unlikely we'll ever see a Linux/OS-X player (but maybe a separate slingbox for all platforms???). It also goes some way towards explaining why they charge for the mobile version.
Heres hoping some years down the line they release the slingbox firmware source code after it dies out - I'm looking forward to there being some open source alternative encoders coming along. vive-la-revolution.
I'm confused :-)
"It also streams images at up to 640 x 480 resolution, and can handle 16:9-ratio widescreen input."
Ermm so can the existing (now old I guess) UK model - I'm watching it now.
Also what's the point in streaming at 8Mbps when all the Freeview TV stuff is at 2Mbps (max), as is your DVD player, and probably all your DivX/Xvid encoded media is at WAY lower bitrates? Unless it can stream multiple sources concurrently then what's the point in a bitrate somewhere in between DVD and HD? Overkill for DVB-T/DVD and nowhere near fast enough for HD - or am I missing something obvious?
They need one more thing
...clients for non-windows machines (Linux, OS-X). Then they might have a product!
From where I sit, they are in the business of making "transmitters", and giving away the "receivers". At least that is what they currently sell. The sooner they realize this, the better off we all will be!