updated 09:10 am EDT, Thu September 25, 2008
Slingbox Pro-HD Ships
Sling this morning began shipping its long-promised Slingbox Pro-HD, the company's first true HD streaming device. The device carries its own ATSC and ClearQAM hybrid tuner and will pick up either 720p or 1080i TV from cable, satellite and over-the-air broadcasts that can be shared either at home or online; on the local network, computers can watch and control the TV feed at its native resolution. Dual component video connections also help the Slingbox receive HD without disrupting other devices that might need the signal.
Internet streaming is still an option and downsizes the image to fit either remote PCs or 3G-equipped smartphones; the software as before can also recognize and steer non-traditional TV sources such as an Apple TV, DVR devices such as TiVos and Windows Media Center PCs. Ethernet is the only built-in choice for connecting to the network but can be supplemented by Sling's powerline adapter or a third-party wireless bridge.
The core Slingbox features are supported by both Macs and Windows PCs, though Sling warns that HD streaming is currently only supported by Windows and will come to Macs later as a software patch. The Pro-HD is available online today for $300 and should be available in retail over the next few weeks. Canadians also get access to the Slingbox in October.