Sling Media has finally launched its SlingCatcher set-top box. The question now is do we actually need another device of this type when Apple, Roku, LG, and Vudu already provide a range of alternatives?
Sling Media has long been a player in the world of Internet TV, but until now, that has been only via the Slingbox, a placeshifting device that allows you to stream cable TV to a PC or mobile device.
The Slingbox, originally introduced in 2005, was a simple yet brilliant product allowing you to broadcast your traditional television signal around your house via the Internet. Any Internet-enabled device could receive the signal, allowing you to watch TV on a number of devices.
With TVs not generally being Internet-enabled, the big-screen television in your bedroom or whatever wasn’t part of the deal. Until now.
The new SlingCatcher fills this void, doing three things:
- Watch video from your Slingbox.
- Watch video from the Internet.
- Watch video from your PC.
The capability to watch video from the Internet is what Apple TV and Roku already enable you to do, but SlingCatcher isn’t limited to content partners. Instead, anything you can watch on your PC can now be watched on your TV. This includes Hulu, YouTube, and Joost.
Apple TV does have one advantage: a hard drive making it possible to store content, which SlingCatcher doesn’t have. Roku may be much more limited, but it’s a lot cheaper (at $100), with the SlingCatcher retailing for $300.
As Web video grows, the range and need for these types of devices will grow with it. SlingCatcher may not be a must buy right now, but it could become as essential as an Apple iPod or PC in the years to come.
SlingCatcher Marketplace – Prices, Deals & Discounts
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