Sunday, September 18, 2005

The Slingbox looks neat.

Check out Sling Media. Their Slingbox product looks pretty sweet!

I totally buy into "place shifting". Tivo pioneered "time shifting" by allowing you to watch TV when you want. Sling allows you to watch TV where you want.

There are 2 things stopping me from buying one of these today:

1. No support for HDTV

2. No support for multiple tuners (I don't think my housemate would be very happy when I remotely change the channel through an IR blaster)

Ideally though, I'd also like to see:

- Place shifting integrated into existing devices (cable boxes, Tivo, Media Center) as a feature rather than requiring its own additional hardware

- Wireless support (I'm lucky that my wireless AP is near my cable box, but most people probably aren't in this situation)

- As little 3rd party software as possible (Content available via a web server, etc - also leads to platform independence)

- An API

Also check out this interview with Sling's CEO.

And while we're on the topic of TV technologies - why is there still no decent recommender system in place for TV? Why hasn't anyone tied TV into social networking apps? I want to see what my friends, family, and people with generally similar interests are watching. Every interview/demo I've seen of the future of TV talks about these features as being in the pipeline, but isn't it possible now? Why is TV still completely isolated from the Internet -- not just in terms of distribution (IPTV) -- I'm talking about the metadata. There is no technical barrier standing in the way of enabling these scenarios today.

1 comment:

Blake Krikorian said...

Hey Adam,

thanks for the post and suggestions.

a couple of comments:

Slingin' one TV channel while your roommate watches another: with the new version of the Slingplayer that is about to come out (free upgrade), you will be able to switch inputs on your, if you happen to have cable TV service, you could have your cable box/dvr plugged into the slingbox, but also have basic analog cable/coax going into the slingbox as well. In that situation, your roommate could be watching the stb/dvr on the tv, and you could be watching live basic cable in another room/location. Not perfect 'concurrency', but a possible solution. of course, you could also get an additional cable/sat box and have it dedicated for your slingbox and the new 'virtual room' it created. just some thoughts/suggestions...

For those who don't have an Ethernet jack by their TV source: one great solution is to use a pair of Powerline-to-Ethernet bridges/adapters. We have found them to be more robust and easier to set up than wireless. The downside is that they are a bit more expensive since you need to buy a pair...BUT, this week (until Saturday) CompUSA is running a promo where you can get a pair of Powerline adapters Free ($120 savings) with the purchase of a Slingbox ($249).


Blake Krikorian
CEO, Sling Media