For years SlingBoxes have been the gold standard in placeshifting, which allows you to watch your costly cable service live on nearly any mobile device, desktop computer, or HDTV with a streaming media player. Since Aereo, a controversial cloud antenna broadcast service, was dealt a major blow last month, Slingboxes are your best option to enjoy live TV anywhere.
Late last night, Sling Media announced the SlingBox M1 and SlingTV, the return of its desktop apps, and a fresh update for its mobile apps…
The SlingBox M1 replaces the SlingBox 350 as the most budget-friendly device in the Sling lineup. Priced at just $149.99, the M1 is $30 cheaper than the list price of a 350, but it also has built-in WiFi. You had to either hardwire or utilize a wireless bridge to get the 350 connected. Preorders start today (Amazon, Best Buy) and it’s scheduled to ship at the end of this week.
SlingTV will be superseding the SlingBox 500 (on sale for $275), but the only difference will be updated software. The hardware of the two units is identical. What’s more, this update will be rolled out to 500 owners for free in late August. Sling says that this new software “delivers a “Smarter TV” experience for the living room:”
You can filter what’s on via your favorite channels, all the movies or TV shows playing or kids programming and also see what’s on now vs. what’s coming up later in the day or in primetime. SlingTV also incorporates live game scores and sports statistics without having to change the channel.
On the app side of things, Sling is bringing back its PC/Mac desktop apps for free, which is great considering the iPhone and iPad apps cost a total of $30. These mobile apps have been updated with deeper Roku and Apple TV integration, which allows users to “exit the Slingplayer app after sending their Slingbox video from their mobile device to the Roku or Apple TV-equipped television.” These app updates are not yet live.
Full announcement here.