||A major contributor to this article appears to have a close connection with its subject. (May 2013)|
|Type||Public under EchoStar (SATS)|
|Industry||Placeshifting, Internet Video, Computer hardware|
|Headquarters||Foster City, California, USA|
|Key people||Michael Hawkey, Vice President and GM
Ilya Asnis, Vice President of Engineering
|Products||Slingbox 500,Slingbox 350,Slingbox, SlingCatcher, Sling.com, Dish 922, SlingGuide, SlingLoaded|
Sling Media Inc. is an electronics company that specializes in audio and video placeshifting technology. The company is a subsidiary of EchoStar Corporation (purchased in the fall of 2007 ) and is based in Foster City, California. Their flagship product, the Slingbox, debuted on the US market on July 1, 2005.
The company was founded in 2004 by brothers Blake and Jason Krikorian, who hail from San Francisco and are devoted San Francisco Giants fans. During the 2002 Major League Baseball season, they often traveled far from home, and faced missing the best games of the season, leading to the initial concept for the Slingbox.
Criticism and controversy
Early in its history, the Slingbox caused widespread speculation of its possible legal implications. High on the list of issues cited by critics, was the ability to provide a loophole around proximity control, potentially allowing people outside the approved viewing area for events, especially sports, in which distribution traditionally has been restricted by time and region. However, the practice of placeshifting is not unlike that of timeshifting, which has been upheld in courts across the world due to the personal nature of a timeshifted rebroadcast, which is deemed "non-infringing fair use". Furthermore, Sling Media's secure technology limits access to a single authorized user, which prevents unauthorized or multi-user access thereby maintaining the personal nature of the placeshifted content. The early concerns regarding this technology have not impacted Sling Media's business and product line, and the Slingbox technology has now evolved into a family of retail and OEM products used by millions of consumers worldwide.
The original Slingbox, now referred to as the Slingbox Classic connects to any standard audio and/or video signal, and streams the video and audio to a computer over a high-speed broadband internet connection. It has the appearance of a "foil-wrapped chocolate bar". It was released July 1, 2005, garnering significant media attention.
Improvement came with the introduction of the second-generation line of Sling Media products: the Slingbox AV, the Slingbox Tuner, and the Slingbox Pro. While the Slingbox AV became a simplified unit with s-video and composite inputs only, the Slingbox Tuner provided service for the other end of the spectrum, with only a single coaxial input for use by basic cable and antenna-only applications. The Slingbox Pro introduced a four input design, combining the capabilities of the AV and Tuner units while also allowing for the connection of high definition sources with the use of an accessory cable adding component and digital audio inputs. Along with a line of accessories, including the SlingLink power line network interface and additional software for mobile devices, Sling Media's products have become more diverse in order to appeal to consumers in the electronics market.
New generation Slingbox
- Full-Featured HD Slingbox.
- Improved and easy set up
- Suite of mobile SlingPlayer apps.
- Top of the line HD Slingbox
- Built-in HDMI
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- TV Interface and On-Screen Setup
- Personal media on all your screens
- Television Ads: "Sharkbait", "Gorman", "Kruk and Kuip"[San Francisco Giants Broadcasters]
- Radio Ads: featured by Howard Stern, WEEI-AM 850 Boston, Jim Rome, Rod Brooks, and KKFN-AM 950 Denver.
- Print Ads: "80 lb. Basketball", "Condolences", "Gospel", "Sling Family", "Pay Per View Porn", "49ers"
- Sling Media website. Convergence Emergence: The Sling Story." 2005.
- Wallenstein, Andrew. Slingbox could spark new lawsuits. Place-shifting Slingbox at edge of new legal frontier, July 6, 2005.
- Block, Ryan. The Engadget Interview: Blake Krikorian, CEO of Sling Media. Veteran journalist J.D. Lasica (speaks) with Sling Media CEO Blake Krikorian about the rollout of the Slingbox. July 18, 2005.
- Brown, Michael. Sling Media Slingbox. Maximum PC review. December, 2005.