SlingBox

Chris Nuttall

The Slingbox 500 costs $300

When Dish Network bought Sling Media five years ago, I feared the worst for Slingbox, a remote TV viewing device on which I had come to depend.

I saw the technology being incorporated into the satellite TV service’s DVRs, which has happened to some extent, while the standalone boxes would slowly be allowed to fade away.

The signs have not been good in recent years, with no new consumer hardware since the Pro HD in 2008 and I’ve found little improvement in the video streaming software, with services such as HBOGo, WatchESPN and the BBC iPlayer offering me better quality video of late than my Slingbox’s relaying of my TV source at home. 

Paul Taylor

‘Place-shifting’ technology, pioneered by companies like Sling Media with its SlingBox and SlingPlayer Mobile service, has proved popular with consumers but has not always lived up to expectations when the content is streamed and the end user device is a smartphone.

Now however AT&T, the US telecommunications group, has rolled out a new free iPhone and Blackberry Torch app that it claims will enable subscribers to its U-verse IPTV service to download and watch select TV episodes on their device over a Wi-Fi network as well as schedule DVR recordings.