updated 01:40 pm EDT, Fri September 28, 2007
Slingbox Cable Modem Leak
Sling Media may be prepping a Slingbox media hub with its own built-in cable modem, according to a new FCC filing. Most likely to be known as the SlingModem, the device includes a cable modem with support for the DOCSIS 2.0 standard, as well as the necessary co-axial jack and an Ethernet connection. The device is not single-purpose, according to the report: the V-Modem007 would include component, RCA, and S-video inputs, pointing back to the original Slingbox role as a hub for streaming TV-related sources to the Internet.
No video outputs are present, suggesting that the device may be intended as a cable modem for a home theater rather than as a traditional Slingbox with connections to reroute video feeds back to the TV. Though unstated, the device in the FCC example could theoretically share an Apple TV, DVR, or other device over the Internet and a local network without first having to pass through a router that might block some or all of the stream. In this view, the Ethernet connection would connect either to a home PC or a router of the user's choice and provide the same access to the Internet and SlingPlayer as before.
Currently shown without coloring or complete documentation, the SlingModem is likely still in the prototype stage and may be several months away from shipping. Its nature as a cable modem may see it in stores as a bundled option for cable Internet providers rather than as a stand-alone purchase like conventional Slingbox devices. The fate of the device is also uncertain after EchoStar bought out Sling this week, though the satellite network firm has said it would let the smaller company operate independently.