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Gizmo Download: Sling Adds Some Twists To Place-Shifting Box

The Hype: EchoStar’s Sling Media launched its first new Slingbox hardware since 2008, featuring support for “full HD ” and the ability to fling photos and video to TVs, tablets, PC s and smartphones over the Internet. Both the Slingbox 350 and 500 support up to full 1080p HD -quality streaming of live or recorded TV programming and Ethernet connectivity. The 500, which looks like a conventional set-top box with the edges twisted up, includes HDMI inputs and outputs, dual-band Wi-Fi and media-sharing features that will initially support photos and eventually video files.

What It Means: The company hopes the new features, along with easier setup, will expand the allure of Slingboxes beyond the “sports fans and techno-geeks” who have been the product’s core constituency, Sling vice president of marketing Jay Tannenbaum said.

Pricing and Availability: The Slingbox 500 ($300) and 350 ($180) were slated to go on sale in the U.S. on Oct. 14.