May 19 2008

Dish Network HD Receiver Adding Sling Technology

Sling Media LogoI don’t like jumping all over stories Engadget carries, but this one is fairly exciting to me.

I’ve mentioned Sling Media products in passing on this blog, but never in depth.  So, what is it?  Essentially it is a “place shifting” device that allows you to hook up a piece of hardware to your Internet connection, and then you run your receiver through the device so that you can log-in to the device via a piece of software on your computer from anywhere in the world.  You then have full control of your tuner from the computer and can watch your television at your convenience, from wherever you like.

There has been some questions over the legality of this, mainly from Major League Baseball, but that seems to all be in the past now.  So long as it is for personal use, there really isn’t much that can be said.

ViP 722 HD-DVRThe exciting bit I mentioned above was that I somehow missed the news this past September that EchoStar, the owners of Dish Network, bought Sling Media.  As one would suspect, they are going to integrate the Sling technology into their upcoming ViP 722 HD-DVR.  While it’s nice to see the all-in-one idea, the best part for those familiar with Sling Boxes is that this means no “IR Blasters”!  If any part of the Sling system irritates me, it is those stupid little black IR (infrared) shooters you have to position above and below your IR receiver so the box can take control.

I’m a DirecTV subscriber, so this won’t be an option for me, but it excites me for the possible future of the technology.  What other types of devices might we see it built on to?  Not only that, but this will also make setting the system up a lot easier for people who might have feared that they might not be able to handle it.  Now all it should take is plugging in an Ethernet cable, and installing their software on the computer.

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