C.E.S. 2007: SlingBox - Your TV Channels When and Where You Want!

By February 09, 2007

The 2007 CES in Las Vegas will turn out to be a great one for digital television. How will we watch television in the future, on what equipment, and where - these questions were at the centre of the debate. All the major operators have taken up their positions on this subject: the mobile phone manufacturers, who all made their own announcements and presented their products, the TV manufacturers, who have declared war over the biggest flat screen, and the big software designers such as Microsoft, which is launching Vista and, most importantly, its home Media Server... and, echoing this theme, Apple's response straight from the San Francisco MacWorld Expo with the launch of Apple TV. However, there was one original newcomer that caught everyone’s attention this year. And it could well revolutionise our way of watching TV. SlingMedia, a company set up in 2004 in Silicon Valley, is launching the new version of SlingBox. The principle behind SlingBox is so simple. You connect it to your TV reception system, whatever that may be: conventional aerial, cable, TiVo.... and of course to your DVD player. You also connect it to the Internet and then you can access your content from anywhere in the world, from any computer and from most mobile phones...

Let's take a simple example: you have a TiVo, the American system with which you can record all your favourite shows on a hard disk and with which, incidentally, you can avoid adverts. You access the same interface as you have at home via the Internet and a computer and you browse through the menus to watch your programmes, on your office computer, on your laptop whilst travelling, on your mobile phone in the bus, just as if you were at home.....The only thing you need is Internet access. Even the virtual control panel displayed on your screen is very similar to your TiVo remote.

In France, where the product is not yet commercialised, just imagine: you could access your cable or satellite channel provider from your mobile or from any computer....

With SlingBox, the television becomes just one of the many screens on which you can watch your favourite shows. And there is no need to be connected to the network: SlingBox transmits all your content anywhere, with no subscription.

All you have to do is purchase SlingBox at between $179.79 and $249.49, depending on the model. Then all you need do is plug it in.

The major operators in the field have cottoned on very quickly to the importance of the device as well as its business model, which will not encroach on their own subscriptions. Michael Dell, during his presentation to the CES, said that he had become a great fan, and that he believed that SlingBox would be one of the products that would revolutionise the way we watch TV. He even presented the product in public. A similar enthusiastic response came from Leslie Moonves, Chairman of the American TV channel CBS, announcing a strategic partnership with SlingMedia. He even invited one of the managers of the company to give a public demonstration of the product at his presentation. Even John Chambers, the Chairman of Cisco, was lavish in his praise of the system during his presentation, stating that, from now on, our content will be following us around wherever we go. With SlingBox, this is already a reality.

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