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Sling shoots AppleTV rival into UK stores

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Sling Media's SlingPlayer-in-a-box gadget, SlingCatcher, is now available to Brits.

SlingCatcher takes the network-beamed feed from a Slingbox tuner and displays it on a TV screen. Sling's pitching the product as an alternative to the laptops, desktops and mobile phones Slingbox users current remote watch their favourite TV shows on.

Sling Media SlingCatcher

Sling Media's SlingCatcher: SlingPlayer in a box

Think of it as way of streaming content from your Freeview set-top box, Freesat unit or Sky+ box over your network to a second telly in the bedroom.

The company's also steering SlingCatcher at folk who might be tempted by Apple's AppleTV set-top or other internet aware media boxes. So SlingCatcher will allow you to view YouTube videos on your telly. It's also compatible with the BBC's iPlayer and other net-based video-on-demand offerings.

Curiously, net-source content needs to be cached to play. If you want to do this, you'll have to plug a Flash drive or HDD into one of the SlingCatcher's two USB ports.

Sling Media SlingCatcher

Standard-def and HD TVs catered for

Got content stored on your PC too? No problem, SlingCatcher will find and display that, Sling said. Indeed, you could even use it without Slingbox, as a gadget hooked up to your main telly. Got content stored on your Mac or Linux box? Tough luck, Sling's Projector software doesn't run on those platforms.

Unlike Apple's box, SlingCatcher intentionally supports composite-video and s-video connections as well as HD-friendly HDMI and component-video links.

Available now, the SlingCatcher costs £200.

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