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Arris Teams With Sling

Arris and Sling Media have introduced a media streaming device that will work in tandem with an Arris-made gateway and be capable of shipping live TV and recorded content to tablets, smartphones and other IP-connected devices on the user’s home network or when the customer is on the go.

The new Sling-loaded device, called the Media Streamer 4000, will work in tandem with the MG5000 media gateway and support up to four simultaneous HD streams, said the companies. The product will also feature a next-gen version of Arris’ Moxi user interface, and work with the Moxi mobile app for iOS and Android devices, and the Arris Services Portal.

Arris, which will show off the combo at this month’s IBC Conference in Amsterdam, said the MS4000 will become commercially available to service provider customers in the first quarter of 2014. Blogger Dave Zatz first came across evidence of the Arris/Sling Media combo at The Cable Show in June.

By pairing up with Arris, the deal will help Sling Media establish a stronger, if indirect connection to more pay-TV operators.  EchoStar Technologies, Sling Media’s parent company, closed down its U.S. cable set-top unit last April after it had trouble gaining sales traction with domestic TV service providers. Corporate cousin Dish Network has built Sling's place-shifting technology into its latest Hopper-branded whole-home HD-DVR.

"The MS4000 is a strategic addition to our evolving follow-me TV portfolio that empowers service providers to keep pace with consumer demand," John Burke, Arris SVP  of corporate strategy & development, and president of the company’s Cloud Solutions unit, said in a statement. “The MS4000 combines our joint expertise with the popular Whole Home Solution platform to bring full-featured media streaming solutions to the global stage. Together, ARRIS and Sling Media are empowering service providers to go to market with the kind of media experiences that consumers demand."

"Together we will deliver an unrivaled multiscreen video solution to MSOs and MVPDs who are looking to add more value to their current customer offerings and extend the entertainment experience beyond the living room TV,” added Sling Media VP and GM Michael Hawkey.

Sling Media, citing a customer survey of customers who use the company’s newest line of retail devices, said live content is the most watched form of content, with about 75% of total Slingbox usage occurring outside the consumer's home.