The Slingbox news hasn't stopped just because Dish made its big splash. An update to the Slingbox 500 at first, and the 350 later this year, adds a local My Media sync component that lets Android or iOS users offload photos or videos to a USB drive attached to the Slingbox -- they just have to stream their content instead of chewing up their mobile device storage. Both Slingbox 350 and 500 owners are also promised the new Slingbox Companion app you see above. As long as they're toting at least an iPad 2, they can find shows, share their tastes through social networks and use their tablet as a remote without the usual live video of the SlingPlayer app. My Media is arriving first, both as a firmware update and a new SlingPlayer release, in the weeks ahead. Would-be Companion users will need to wait until the app hits iPads in the spring.
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SLING MEDIA UNVEILS EXPANDED SLINGBOX PLATFORM AT CES
Personal digital media management and 2nd Screen
Social TV app for iPad broaden Slingbox 500 and Slingbox 350 capabilities,
enhancing the overall Slingbox experience
CES 2013 LAS VEGAS – January 8, 2012 – Sling Media, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of EchoStar Corporation (NASDAQ: SATS), introduces new Slingbox platform developments designed to enhance the TV-viewing experience for customers who own the recently released Slingbox 500 and Slingbox 350 placeshifting devices. My Media™ and Slingbox Companion™ will give Slingbox customers a new way to discover, watch and share content on the TV and portable devices.
My Media, featuring SlingSync™, will be available exclusively for Slingbox 500 customers as an extension to the SlingProjector features currently available. SlingSync makes it easy for customers to sync photos and videos to a Slingbox 500 with a connected USB drive and view them on the TV. Slingbox Companion, Sling Media's 2nd screen social TV app for iPad, will be available for Slingbox 500 customers initially. Slingbox 350 support will follow later this year.
Live demonstrations of the expanded Slingbox platform as well as other features will take place in the Sling Media booth at the 2013 International CES® (Central Hall, Booth #8143).
"These new features bring instant, additional value to Slingbox 500 and Slingbox 350 customers at no extra cost and position Slingbox firmly as a device of choice in the living room," said Sling Media's Senior Vice President and General Manager Raghu Tarra. "The My Media feature delivers on the platform promise of the Slingbox 500. Slingbox Companion further leverages the Slingbox to deliver a powerful 2nd screen application for the iPad that combines content discovery and navigation with rich media and social media features."
The new Slingbox platform expands on placeshifting to take advantage of additional technologies that provide an enhanced overall experience. Customers will find they can do more with their Slingbox (both inside the home and remotely) making it an integral component of the home entertainment system.
My Media is part of the company's digital media framework. Now Slingbox 500 customers can transfer and enjoy personal photos and videos from a USB hard drive attached to the Slingbox 500. Customers can play back any personal content stored on the USB drive directly on their TV screen using the Slingbox 500's remote control.
SlingSync, a feature of My Media, acts like a personal cloud that allows Slingbox 500 customers to archive and store their captured moments onto a secure, compact USB drive while creating more space on their smartphone to collect new ones. With the Slingbox 500 and a smartphone installed with the SlingPlayer app on the same local area network, photos and videos are synced automatically -- from the phone to USB drive. My Media features will be delivered via firmware and software updates to both Slingbox 500 and SlingPlayer software for iOS and Android smartphones in the coming weeks.
Slingbox Companion is a free 2nd screen application that will be available to all Slingbox 500 and Slingbox 350 customers who also own an iPad 2 or higher model. Slingbox Companion will feature content discovery tools that help customers find shows based on their interests. They can then navigate to the selected show to watch on the TV using the tablet app as a remote.
Slingbox 500 customers who have connected a USB drive to their Slingbox 500 can use Slingbox Companion to navigate to photos and videos from My Media and play them on their TV. In addition, Slingbox Companion will feature supplemental TV program content like live stats during a sporting event, enhancing the TV-viewing experience. Finally, customers can share what they are viewing with friends on Facebook and Twitter and see what's trending on TV. Slingbox Companion will be available this spring.