Place-shifting with the Slingbox

I’m happy to announce that Sling Media has shipped their first product, the Slingbox Personal Broadcaster, and that Walt Mossberg’s review of the Slingbox appears in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal. I’ve posted about Sling briefly in the past, here and here, and have been actively involved with the company as a board member since Mobius VC invested in them last October.

Since that time, the team managed to garner several awards at January’s CES and build some buzz, all while keeping their heads down in product development mode to meet an aggressive goal of shipping the product in the first half of 2005, which they did with a day or two to spare. You can buy a Slingbox online at CompUSA right now, or you can walk over to your local CompUSA store and pick one up off the shelves on Friday, with more retailers to be announced shortly. Congrats to everyone over at SlingMedia for a job very well done!

I may be biased, but I’ve been a beta tester for the past couple months and wouldn’t want to part with my Slingbox, which I’ve got hooked up to my DirecTiVo. Just yesterday, while at the office (hey, I’m a multi-tasker, what can I say), I managed to watch the last 15 minutes of Six Feet Under and also reactivate my Sopranos season pass using my laptop. And a month or so ago while in Pittsburgh, I watched the most recent episode of Entourage (which was sitting on my Tivo) from the comfort of my broadband-enabled hotel room. Pretty damn cool.

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  • I need to go pick one up at CompUSA. My only concern is that it won’t work on my MAC. When can we expect a MAC compatible client?

  • The launch of the sling box has been awaited by many here in Singapore since I started talking to people about it some time ago. With total control over television, poor scheduling and censorship which causes even children’s DVDs to be stopped at customs, the ability to watch International TV is attractive, particularly to US citizens who cant wait to be able to watch their local sports teams. Their plan is to buy a box and ask a friend or relative to install it for them.
    I also believe that this marks the start of the end of the walled garden approach of cable networks. In Singapore, soccer fans were worried last year that an agreement wouldn’t be reached between ESPN and the local monopoly cable network over English games (undoubtedly the most viewed sport here). In the future, it will be great when these fans can access the game directly.
    As such, I believe that there is a fantastic opportunity here for sling boxes to be sold (I’m genuine in being interested in the Asian franchise!). My only concern is that as IP-TV develops, their business will be threatened