Sling Media at CES

2007 International CES wrapped up today, and the announcements I found most interesting came from Sling Media. Sling Media are the makers of Slingbox, a gadget that broadcasts video signals over the Internet. By connecting the box to your cable outlet, you can tune into local television from anywhere you can get an network connection. Shows are watched on a computer or mobile device using SlingPlayer software.

The first announcement was SlingCatcher, their latest product. In essence, SlingCatcher is the reverse of Slingbox. It allows you to view television signals from one TV on any other TV in your house. This is useful if you only have one digital cable set-top box, which is hooked up in your living room. Using a Slingbox and SlingCatcher combination, you can watch digital channels on your bedroom TV.

Accompanying SlingCatcher is the new SlingProjector software. SlingProjector will take whatever is displayed on a PC monitor, and stream it to a TV. YouTube videos can now be viewed from the comfort of a couch.

The second announcement was the new Clip+Sling feature, which will be built into SlingPlayer. Clip+Sling lets you record short clips from your favorite TV shows, and share them online. You can clip Jon Stewart’s latest quip, and sling it to your friends via the web.

This sounds like something that would garner the ire of the major broadcasters. However, they’ve partnered with CBS for a beta test of the feature. If this works out, and they can secure the cooperation of other media companies, this will help Sling market their products virally.

Dave Zatz has excellent analysis of the two announcements in his posts: SlingCatcher Is Real! and Sling Media Is Insane.

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