Remember the SlingCatcher from last year? Through with the delays, it's finally back! But while we've been eagerly awaiting for its launch, Sling Media's obviously been hard at work on all kinds of crazy new products. Ready? Here we go.
So the SlingCatcher. First up, we've finally got a price and date: $250, Q2. And yes, as we've long expected, it'll play just about every possible video format they can feasibly support out of box, including XviD, DivX, WMA, H.264, avi, mov, vob, etc. Also, unlike last year's launch, there won't be any external drive attachment -- users are expected to bring their own. Also launched with the Catcher: the SlingLink 802.11b/g adapter for $50, which is great and all, but the Catcher can't stream video files over your network (you're expected to manage your media with new SlingSync software or stream using the Projector software or another Slingbox), so it's not as practical or useful as it could be.
Next up, Sling's new software suite: SlingPlayer 2.0 with Clip+Sling and Projector. The new player software has a few new noteworthy bits like an EPG, but the good stuff happens with the other bits: Clip+Sling adds a 60 minute timeshifting buffer á la a DVR recording a live stream, so what you're watching can be paused, rewound / fast-forwarded, and most importantly, grabbed and exported to Sling's to-be-released TV clip sharing service (hence the name Clip+Sling). Users can grab up to five minutes of video, which Sling hosts on co-branded pages that network owners can sell their own ads and merch on -- has TV clip sharing online finally found a way? Another hot new software feature is Projector, which acts like a software-emulated Slingbox, sending the contents of a box, window, or your entire screen to a Slingbox, SlingCatcher and TV, or another SlingPlayer.
And, finally, Sling is announcing our old pal the SlingModem, originally outed in the FCC. While there aren't any cable providers yet announced, the SlingModem experience would completely simplify the process of adding a Slingbox to your life by putting it just outside your LAN.