The first Slingbox was officially launched in the States in 2005. That was seven years ago. Noticeably, a few models have popped up since, such as the Slingbox PRO-HD and Slingbox Solo. And now, Sling Media is finally ready to augment their line-up with two new Slingbox models, the Slingbox 350 and Slingbox 500.
If you're not quite sure what a Slingbox is, it's essentially a streaming device that encodes video signals into the SMPTE 421M (or VC-1) format for transmission over the Internet. Effectively, a Slingbox enables you to view and manage your TV's cable or satellite feeds via an Internet-enabled computer practically from any location in the world.
Priced at US$179, the rather ostentatious-looking Slingbox 350 will replace the current Solo model. Armed with an integrated IR blaster, the 350 is also able to stream 1080p, compared to the Solo with a resolution cap of 1080i. Similarly, the amorphous Slingbox 500 will carry 1080p capabilities with Wi-Fi thrown in. More importantly, the 500 will feature a HDMI slot as well. Coupled with a new SlingProjector feature, it can replicate media content beamed from any smartphone or notebook onto a TV screen. Besides their newly unveiled hardware, Sling Media will also be introducing new SlingPlayer applications as well as a refreshed Slingbox.com web interface. Here's an excerpt from the press release.
"In conjunction with the introduction of these two new Slingbox products, Sling Media is also rolling out new SlingPlayer software clients across its desktop and mobile platforms. In addition, SlingPlayer software for iOS, Android and Windows Phone is now on sale for US$14.99, a savings of fifty percent, as part of a special launch offer."
The Slingbox 350 and Slingbox 500 will be available for retail in the U.S. on October 14. Canada will receive theirs come November. Both models can be purchased via "www.slingbox.com, Best Buy (online and in stores), Amazon.com and other independent retailers". There's no word about their local availability here as yet, but we'll keep you posted once we hear from Marix, the online retailer for Sling Media products in Singapore.