Sling debuts entry-level Slingbox M1, revamps interface of high-end SlingTV

Sling Media has announced a couple new Slingbox streaming devices including a lower priced entry-level model and an improved interface for its high-end unit.

EchoStar-owned Sling Media makes placeshifting devices that allow users to access video on their DVRs remotely using an Internet-connected PC as well as iOS and Android-based smartphones and tablets.

Sling seems to be releasing upgrades at a fortuitous time. Aereo, another disruptive technology that ports broadcast TV signals to mobile devices, has just been ruled illegal by the Supreme Court. But Sling's nine-year-old technology--which is used by Dish Network in its Hopper DVRs--was just given an A-OK by a lower federal court.

Available starting July 20, the Slingbox M1 will have a retail price of $150, compared to $180 for its entry-level predecessor, the 350 model, which was introduced two years ago.

The M1 features a new hardware design and integrated dual-band 2.4/5 Ghz Wi-Fi. Sling says the box also comes with a new and improved desktop app that it claims reduces setup time to under 10 minutes. And for the first time, Slingbox is configurable via iOS or Android apps.

Meanwhile, retailing for $299.99 and replacing the high-end SB500, SlingTV touts a proprietary gallery interface designed to make the process of program selection easier. Other "smart TV" features include a live sports-score scroll, as well as various other data goodies, like movie and TV show critic ratings from Rotten Tomatoes.

SlingTV's new interface

SlingTV will be available from retailers including Best Buy in August. At that time, the box's upgraded SlingTV software will also be available free online for SB500 users.

"Once again, Sling Media is totally redefining the 'TV Anywhere' experience with the introduction of the Slingbox M1 and SlingTV," says Michael Hawkey, senior VP and general manager of Sling Media.  "Customers interested in a no-compromise entertainment experience using the most popular devices will be delighted by the affordability and new features of the Slingbox M1. SlingTV completely enhances the living room TV experience with a visually stunning on TV user interface that takes ultimate advantage of social media data activity."

For more:
- see this Sling Media press release

Related links:
Court doesn't buy Fox's Aereo argument, won't block Dish's Hopper
Sling expanding to Roku and Windows 8.1 devices
EchoStar signs Arris as exclusive distributor of Sling Media products