Sling Media Announces Slingbox 350 and 500 Media Streaming Boxes

Tuesday October 9, 2012 8:06 PM PDT by Eric Slivka
Sling Media, maker of the Slingbox set-top media streaming boxes, today announced its first new hardware products in four years, introducing the new Slingbox 350 and 500 boxes. The company has long been one of the leading vendors offering software and hardware solutions to allow users to stream live and recorded television programming from a user's television to their computers and smartphones.

Slingbox 500

The new Slingbox 500, which carries a retail price of $299.99, includes built-in Wi-Fi connectivity as well as integrated IR blasters for controlling a set-top box. The box also includes the new SlingProjector feature, which allows users to wirelessly transmit photos and other content from their phones onto their television sets.
The Slingbox 500 is the foundation of a growing set of features for Slingbox customers. The hardware platform not only has the ability to placeshift content, making a live content stream available anywhere, but can also receive content and display it on the TV. The first example of this is SlingProjector. SlingProjector makes it easy for anyone to wirelessly display their personal media, such as photos, from their smartphone onto the big screen.

Slingbox 350

The Slingbox 350, priced at $179.99, is a lower-cost option that forgoes the integrated Wi-Fi and SlingProjector functionalities but still offers 1080p streaming for improved video quality.

Sling Media has also released updated version of its apps for iPhone and iPad, with each app currently priced at $14.99, 50% of the standard prices.

The new Slingbox 350 and 500 boxes will go on sale in the United States beginning this Sunday, October 14, with Canadian availability scheduled for next month.

Top Rated Comments

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Posted: 28 months ago
Who in the hell designed these ugly things? Good lord, I'm almost scared of them.
Rating: 16 Votes
Posted: 28 months ago
These look like ****. I'd be embarrassed to have one sitting in my living room.
Keelhaul the designers.
Rating: 7 Votes
Posted: 28 months ago
Edgy designs gone awry.
Rating: 6 Votes
Posted: 28 months ago
Damn, tell the designers to put down the crack pipe those are fugly.

The second one looks like a strippers handbag.
Rating: 3 Votes
Posted: 28 months ago
they certainly thought "out of the box".
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 28 months ago

They had me at HDMI.

Keep in mind that HDCP will most likely be a problem for most people.
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 28 months ago
I'm a long time sling user, and have no affiliation to Dish or Sling.

1. I've been very pleased with the Solo.
2. I took advantage of a Best Buy sale to purchase an HD on Monday. I was unaware of the new Products before I made my purchase.

The design of the new boxes doesn't to it for me. It's as if they tried to make them as unattractive as possible. I accept beauty is in they eye of the beholder, but not making a stackable component is an oversight in my view. I think their Dish add-on is quite attractive (although I haven't seen it in person.)

The content blocking through HDMI is real to me. I experience this with Tivo to Go. As much as I want HDMI, the new models would have to be connected otherwise for me to view content. YMMV as this is controlled by your content provider.

I've never used Sling's technical support, but I have helped other people configure their's. I'm no networking expert, but can eventually get things to work. I can see a noob would get lost quickly with things like port-forwarding, etc. I do not have any answers nor claim Sling has their busines model right -- but I can understand why they charge for technical support. I'll add I find it reprehnsible they do this for known hardware failures. As a result of this, I ponied up for the Best Buy extended warranty. Not such a great deal now, but I've had great experience with BB taking my pile of junk and replacing it with no questions asked. I'm not sure it's great customer service. I gather the employees can't be bothered, and take the easy way out.

I've been disappointed in Sling's promises of updates for software. There's always a long lead time with the exception of their initial ipad app.

I was ok paying for my first sling app. It was highly priced relative to other apps, but it was worth it to me. Buying the ipad app was annoying. I use Sling a lot, so I had to make the buy it or cut my nose to spite my face decision.

I did waste time and get steamed at the loss of HD on IOS6. It's reasonable in my view to allow 90 days for them to get it sorted. I can't blame them for my "want it now" expectation. A great company would meet that.

Sling works really well for me, and my lifestyle. I'm slightly annoyed at their app policy, and have some anxiety over other's experience (touch wood.) Nevertheless, it works really well for me. I wish there were more competing products to make this better. I don't think the future bodes well for new competitors as streaming and subscriptions continue to be attractive alternatives.
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 28 months ago

The big But however, is when one pays a premium for a good app like Nav or Sling type must haves, it's reasonable to expect timely updates, something Sling seems to fall down on.

Exactly. My biggest beef with the whole loss of HQ streaming after upgrading to iOS 6 is that their developers had all summer to prepare for iOS 6. Clearly, their developers aren't doing much app compatibility testing while iOS is in beta. It seems like the only really begin testing the app on the new version of iOS once it's released to the public. It then takes weeks or months for them to push a release out that's optimized for the new version of iOS. For an app that's $30, that's totally unacceptable.

I also don't know how they can justify releasing a major release since the iPhone 5 came out (version 3.0) that still isn't optimized to take advantage of the iPhone 5's larger screen. It's a big deal for a streaming video application not to have iPhone 5 optimization.
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 28 months ago
I have a Pro-HD and have had almost no issues with it. Once in a while I may have to restart it, but it may be due to my own network. Other than that, it's been perfect. I would like to comment on some of your points:

Don't count on tech support. After a mere 90 days, you have to pay $30 for basic telephone support. They literally won't talk to you until you pony up a credit card.

Very true, they are money hungry and want your wallet for any question. Hopefully the web community can answer any questions you may have.

The updates to mobile apps come at a snail's pace. Before this latest iOS 6 compatible app, they hadn't updated their apps for nearly a year. A year. For a $30 app. To give you an idea of just how bad this is, take the debacle that's been going on for the last two weeks. Though they've had access to developer builds of iOS 6 for months, they obviously didn't bother testing their app. A major "bug" with the new OS made it impossible for users to stream High Quality video to their devices. It took more than two weeks for the bug to get fixed. Meanwhile, mobile users were left out in the cold.

$30 is a steep price to pay, but if you use it regularly, it's worth it. As far as updates, I don't really know how many updates you need. The app does everything, very clean too. I was surprised that the latest update this past week did not include a stretched interface to fill iPhone 5 screens, but I'm sure they will address that soon.

In the past, there have been major issues with hardware failures. The capacitors they use are of low quality. I've had to exchange two of my three boxes in two years.

Sorry to hear that. I've had no issues with this.

Don't even consider purchasing a Slingbox for remote viewing if you don't have significant upload speeds. The quality for remote viewing is directly tied to how fast your home network can upload the video. This isn't Sling's fault, but a fault of the technology.

That's just common sense. If you don't have a reasonable upload speed, then you can't expect to broadcast a nice HD video stream. I have about a 5Mbps upload rate at home and it does just fine to provide me with HD quality remote viewing abroad.

The primary way to watch video from your Slingbox is a service they call "Watch on" It's basically a plugin for your web browser. Many times in the past, they've had significant downtime. When the service is down, it means you cannot watch your content.

You can also download their desktop application which pretty which always works. Never had an issue with it.
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 26 months ago
For those following the thread, you may note my purchase of the Pro HD. I purchased it on October right before the new two models.

A lot of bad feedback on the HD Pro. Turns out I was too hopeful, and they were right. My HD Pro is bricked. The Extended Warranty will be utilised!

It's interesting on Amazon the HD Pro has 164 five star reviews and 128 one stars.

Whilst others may have differing experiences, the Pro HD is a one star for me. It will be replaced with a 500.

It's curious the 500 has 18 five star reviews and 10 one star ones on Amazon. The one star reviews range from no slingcatcher or WD support, protecting content and challenging set-up. I don't take the feedback lightly, but at least there are no equipment failures detailed. I'll actually defend sling with the protected content and sling catcher (ok, a good company would go the mile here. No one is saying Sling is a good company!)

My Solo is still rocking. Never had an issue with it.
Rating: 1 Votes

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