When the concept of TV Everywhere was devised, it sounded quite a bit like capabilities already available through the Slingbox, a product that had been around for years before. Even though it seems to be a good fit for some of what the major cable TV operators want to do with TV Everywhere, the Slingbox still has not found traction with these companies, according to a story in BusinessWeek.
Part of the problem may be that the product is owned by EchoStar, which is closely affiliated with cable TV competitor Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH). (The BusinessWeek story says the technology is "controlled" by Dish, which I don't think is the case, though the EchoStar-Dish relationship is sometimes hard to fathom.) The theory is that the cable guys don't want to buy something closely connected with a major competitor.
There could be other issues at play here: Maybe cable TV firms are still hesitant to roam outside the lines of their traditional set-top vendor relationships--the Slingbox isn't the only alternative box they have passed on in recent years. Maybe things will change as TV Everywhere continues to play out, particularly if cable TV companies aren't happy with their level of success, but for now it appears EchoStar is directing Slingbox sales efforts at smaller cable TV operators.
- read this BusinessWeek story
Dish leveraged Slingbox for an iPad app
Vulkano has developed a Slingbox alternative