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SlingTV aims for a unified TV experience at home and away

Susie Ochs | July 17, 2014
If you're paying tons of money for a cable or satellite TV package, you deserve to be able to watch that content on all your screens, both around your house, and on your mobile devices when you're out and about. Sling Media's Slingbox products have let you "place shift" live TV and DVR recordings for years, and on Tuesday the company announced both a new entry-level Slingbox, the M1, as well as a new software interface for its flagship Slingbox, now rechristened SlingTV.

The new SlingTV comes with a small hardware remote, like the Slingbox 500 did, but you'll also be able to use a software remote built into the SlingPlayer app for iPhone and Android phones, which are each $15 add-ons not included in the price of the $300 SlingTV or the $150 Slingbox M1. (The Slingbox M1 doesn't get the SlingTV software update.)

Like the Slingbox M1 and past Slingboxes, the SlingTV will let you access your cable box or DVR when you're away from home. You can use native apps for Mac and PC, which replace the browser-based software Sling used in the last generation. Or you can pick up the SlingPlayer app for a huge range of mobile devices, but again, each of those costs $15. It's a shame that Sling Media doesn't include, say, one free mobile app with the purchase of a new SlingTV. The SlingPlayer apps for iOS support streaming to an Apple TV over AirPlay, but we'd also like to see Chromecast and Fire TV support.

The Slingbox M1, without the SlingTV software, goes on sale July 20 — we've got a full review here. SlingTV debuts in late August, both in retail stores and as a free software update for the Slingbox 500.


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