New Slingbox 'placeshifting' video products debut

Sling Media on Thursday took the wraps off a new line of Slingbox-branded television/computer interface hardware. Three new devices are headed to stores now at prices ranging from $179.99 to $249.99.

Sling Media coined the term “placeshifting” to describe what the Slingbox does. It’s a hardware device that lets you watch your television on a computer or mobile device from anywhere on the Internet. The devices work in conjunction with SlingPlayer software that’s installed on a Mac (as a Universal binary), PC or Windows Mobile handheld device.

The $249.99 Slingbox Pro is aimed at consumers who use multiple A/V devices or high-definition televisions. Its features four sets of A/V inputs and outputs, and works with an optional $49.99 HD Connect interface (coming later this fall) that will support HD set-top boxes. Features include 16:9 aspect ratio widescreen video support, programmable video compression and remote control of AV devices.

The optional HD Connect interface includes all necessary cables to connect HD component video and audio to the Slingbox Pro.

Slingbox AV is aimed at consumers who are using standard definition television instead. The $179.99 interface works with SD cable set-top boxes, satellite receivers and DVRs, and allows you to control and watch TV from any Internet-connected Mac, PC or Windows Mobile device. It also includes widescreen support and programmable video compression.

Slingbox Tuner is also $179.99. It’s designed for customers with cable who want to easily view their television channels but don’t need access to a set-top box, satellite receiver, DVR or other AV device. It connects adjacent to your cable model or other basic coaxial cable connection, and even works without a TV present.

In conjunction with the three new products, Sling Media has amped up its customer support with “live” chat support through the setup wizard software, and remote control of the customer’s computer (with their permission, of course) by a Sling Media tech support rep.

Finally, Sling Media has announced that effective today, Canadian customers can order its SlingPlayer Mobile software — a registration code is available online for CDN$34.99.

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