updated 12:40 pm EST, Mon January 8, 2007
SlingCatcher Media Hub
Contrasting sharply against its existing line, Sling Media today announced the SlingCatcher. While similar to the Slingbox line in style, the SlingCatcher is meant instead to challenge Apple's forthcoming iTV by streaming content from networked PCs to a TV. Importantly, the hub can access media even from remote PCs: the SlingCatcher is not limited to local networks, the company stresses. Output for component, HDMI, RCA, and S-video signals will come standard, as should Ethernet and Wi-Fi connections for linking the device to a network. Sling's hub will also bring two new programs, dubbed SlingPlayer for TV and SlingProjector, which will help send content from a computer to the TV; some content may not even need that software, the company says. The SlingCatcher will arrive in mid-2007 for a price under $200.
Sling today further announced new extensions of its SlingPlayer software, adding support for Palm OS handhelds and Windows Vista to the program that lets owners watch their home TV through the Internet. New HP notebooks will also see a version of SlingPlayer that ties into the computer maker's QuickPlay function, letting Slingbox owners watch their home TV without first booting Windows. All three updates should be available this quarter.