Television's Savior: Place Shifting
Recently launched Sling Media believes programming and content be accessible on any digital device anytime, anywhere. The company plans to tie together the explosion of digital devices with an "embrace - not replace" approach to digital content management.
It's first product, due Q1 2005 and called the Slingbox Personal Broadcaster, is an intelligent device that allows people to enjoy live TV from any device, via any network, anywhere in their home or around the world. The Slingbox connects to and "placeshifts" content from any cable box, satellite receiver, or personal video recorder. The device,which falls into the growing home media server category, will attach to home entertainment systems, connect with programming received through cable, satellite, over the air or from a DVR, and deliver it via the Internet to other digital devices such as a computer, PDA or cell phone. The device will retail for $250 and will have no subscription fees.
For television, this could be the crutch medium been looking for. If this pans out, Sling Media, along with other media servers, will make it possible for television programming and, presumably, advertising, to be seen by a broader audience or at least, make it easier for the same audiences to "carry" their favorite shows around with them. TiVo and Replay have features where programming can be forwarded to a friend but Sling Media's approach appears to go further. It adds the anywhere component to TiVo's anytime feature.