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Sling Media Adds a SlingBox Trio

Sling Media Inc. is expanding its lineup of portable-TV products with a trio of new devices aimed at analog TV viewers, as well as those with high-definition sets. The products are designed to target specific viewer segments and carry improved hardware and software features, according to Sling Media.

The new $249.99 Slingbox PRO targets customers with multiple home TVs and video devices, offering a wider range of connection inputs as well as an optional $49.99 high-definition jack to connect to HDTV sets. It also supports the HD widescreen 16:9 screen ratio and can remotely tap into as many as four video devices from personal computer.

The $179.99 Slingbox AV, meanwhile, is designed to more easily connect to a cable, satellite or retail digital video recorder, with added widescreen presentation and programmable video-compression features.

And the $179.99 Slingbox Tuner is aimed at the analog TV customer that does not have a digital set-top box. Tapping TV signals over the air, it can connect to a cable modem in an office — even if it is not connected to a TV set. It also provides a secondary TV connection for viewers who are away from home but want to watch TV even while a family member at home is also watching TV.

At the same time, Sling Media also is offering embedded software in the boxes that allow new customers to chat live with customer-care technicians if they need help with hooking up their boxes. If the customer allows it, that same software also can allow the customer-service representative to take control of the customer’s PC to help with the installation.

“With our new products, we have focused on creating a better out-of-box experience for our customers, increased performance and software features and segmented our product family to reach a new set of customers who are now ready to experience the benefits of Slingbox,” said Blake Krikorian, co-founder and CEO of Sling Media.

Sling recently announced its first distribution deals with multichannel video providers, both of them outside the United States: satellite-TV operator Viasat, of Sweden, and TVA, a cable provider in Brazil.