The trusty Slingbox that lives in my apartment has been a trusted friend for years.
If you’re not familiar with Slingbox, it’s a device that you hook up to your Internet router as well as a device like a cable box or TiVo, and from within an app on your tablet or smartphone, you can control and watch what’s on that device when you’re not in your home. You’re “slinging” your content over the Internet to wherever you are.
It’s let me keep up with many of my favorite shows on TiVo when I’m traveling because I can control and watch my DVR from anywhere in the world where I’ve got WiFi and my iPad.
Parent company Sling Media hasn’t had a hardware refresh in years—quite unheard of in the technology industry. But they announced two new models last week: the Slingbox 500 and Slingbox 350.
You’ll first notice the unique design of both units. While original Slingboxes were stylish and had a high-end look, both new units take that design focus even farther.
The main difference between the 350 and 500 is that the latter also has HDMI input/output, as well as WiFi. (Previous Slingbox units required Ethernet connections, which can be a deal breaker for a lot of homes that don’t keep a wired router where their DVRs are.)
In an addition, there’s a new feature called SlingProjector that allows you to wireless display your photos or videos from your smartphone onto your TV through the Slingbox.
The Slingbox 350, meanwhile, is aimed more at customers looking for something a bit more cost-effective, even though it still offers 1080p, HD-quality streaming.
To coincidence with the launch, SlingPlayer software for iOS, Android and Windows Phone is now on sale for $14.99, which is 50% cheaper than normal. While there is no subscription fee with the Slingbox (like with a TiVo, you do need the app if you planning on using your iPad, for instance, to watch.)
It’s worth it though. I’m someone who has bought the app three times. Once for my iPod Touch, once for an Android phone I used to have and once for my iPad. Yowza.
Both units went on sale officially yesterday. The Slingbox 350 goes for $179.99 and the Slingbox 500 goes for $299.99. They can be purchased online at www.slingbox.com, Best Buy (online and in-stores) and Amazon.com.
To learn more, please visit www.slingbox.com.