How Do People Sling?

Within the past decade, the time-honored tradition of viewing TV shows and movies has experienced a resurgence, partly because of the quality of programming that is being produced. The other part is due to technology, which has helped expand the delivery of content to mobile devices like tablets, smartphones and computers. With these improvements in delivery and the wide variety of high-definition and portable devices being used by consumers, the second TV screen is swiftly becoming the first screen.

Slingbox played a significant role in this paradigm shift. Back in 2005, it was the first consumer product to deliver live TV to mobile devices. Since then, Slingbox has become a must-have gadget – especially for those who are big sports fans, frequent fliers or avid TV-watchers. Slingbox makes their channels more accessible, which contributes to greater content consumption and the demand for great programs.

Check out the infographic below to find out how people Sling and stay tuned to our blog for ongoing usage statistics.

infographic on how people sling

Sling’s Halloween TV Costume Contest

Sling Media staff dressed up for Halloween, 2012If your favorite TV show was the inspiration of your crazy-cool Halloween costume this year, take part in Sling’s Halloween TV Costume Contest!

Whether you’re dressing up like Walter White from Breaking Bad or Elmo from Sesame Street, you could win a Slingbox 350 and a Netgear NeoTV MAX.

Here’s how:

(1)    Like our Facebook page.

(2)    Post an image of yourself in your costume on our Timeline.

(3)    Include this comment, fill in the blank: “INSERT NAME OF TV CHARACTER loves Slingbox!”

Ground rules:

  • Your costume must be TV-related. No generic witches, pirates or skeletons – unless you can attribute them to a TV show (or at least a movie that’s been on TV).
  • All three steps must be completed.

Contest ends Thursday, October 31, 2013 at 11:59 pm PT. Winner will be announced the following day, Friday, November 1st, on Facebook and Twitter.

Good luck and Happy Halloween!

(Yup, that’s us in the top image, from Halloween 2012.)

How TV Intersects with Social Media

Social TV“Who is the Next Doctor?”

In August 2013, the BBC generated excitement and mystery around the 12th actor to assume the role of Doctor Who by posing this question on BBC stations throughout the world. On a special live broadcast, called Doctor Who Live: The Next Doctor, the network revealed the new actor (Peter Cataldi), and social media activity exploded. Fans flocked to Twitter, Facebook, GetGlue and Viggle to voice their opinions, making it the No. 1 ranked show with the most social media activity in a given day, according to Trendrr.tv.

Doctor Who is one among many TV shows that receives a good amount of social media activity. Content creators, like the BBC, recognize the relationship between TV and social media and how one affects the other. But why is this happening? Why do people turn to social media as they watch TV?

To understand the connection between TV and social media, Viacom, the mass media heavyweight, conducted a study (May 2013), in search of answers to the following questions:

  • What drives audiences to social media?
  • How does social media activity affect viewing behavior?

The goal was to figure out how to extend the life of their programs beyond the televised broadcasts.  How can content creators drive conversations off-screen and strengthen connections between fans, shows and characters?

The study revealed three distinct motivations that drive TV viewers to social media:

  • Functional: Updates, news, schedules
  • Communal: Connect with shows and other fans
  • Playful: Show-related games, quizzes, freebies

In addition to Doctor Who, here are a few other examples that illustrate how TV and social media are intersecting and creating the new virtual, real-time water cooler:

  • Jimmy Fallon, host of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, asked his audience to tweet made-up spoilers for the series finale of Breaking Bad with #fakebreakingbadspoilers. It became one of the top trending hashtags at the time.
  • Live programs – like the Oscar Awards and sports games — often receive a good amount of Twitter action because people can tweet as the action is happening. According to Trendrr.TV, the Super Bowl received three times more social media activity in 2013 than in 2012.
  • The Red Wedding episode of The Game of Thrones inspired a ton of tweets that resulted in even more blog posts, articles and YouTube videos.
  • CBS designated a week in April 2013 as “Tweet Week,” where TV-show celebs tweeted – along with their fans — as their respective programs were broadcasted. Fans and celebs were able to interact with each other.
  • AMC created the official Mad Men blog, but other indie blogs have cropped up that are just as popular, giving fans multiple ways to connect with the show.
  • Even Slingbox owners can watch their cable channels on their own Facebook page or invite their Facebook friends to watch in a web browser.

What other ways do TV and social media intersect for you? Go to Twitter (@Slingbox) and weigh in (#slingsocialTV).

New Slingbox Features: Movies, Media and More

updatesSeveral new Slingbox features were recently launched:

  • Blockbuster On Demand
    Part of a firmware and software client update, Blockbuster On Demand is the premium video service for the Slingbox 500,  allowing owners to search, browse, view trailers and rent movies for viewing on their big-screen TVs.
  • My Media
    Customers can now access their personal photos and videos stored on a USB drive when it is attached to the Slingbox 500.  Through the SlingPlayer client, users can open their PC/Mac or iPhone to view images that are loaded onto the drive back home.  Coming soon on iPad and Android tablets and smartphones.
  • SlingPlayer for Web
    Updates have been made to include the following features:

    • Support for Microsoft Windows 8.1 and IE 11
    • Support for Apple OS X Mavericks and Safari 7
  • AirPlay
    We’re also providing AirPlay support for SlingPlayer Mobile for iPhone and iPad. This feature gives Apple TV customers the ability to watch their home TV on another TV — inside the home or at a remote location. Airplay support is available for customers who own a Slingbox 500, Slingbox 350, Slingbox PRO-HD or Slingbox SOLO.

Want to take advantage of these new features? Visit our website for specific instructions.

Check back here often for firmware and software updates and other tips and tricks. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook!

Slingbox’s Brand New Blog

Welcome to the Slingbox blogWelcome to the Slingbox Blog!

In the coming weeks and months, this blog will keep you informed about Sling-related news – product updates, events we’ll be attending, special offers that we make available just for our readers – and perhaps providing more detailed information on our products, features and services, than what we share on Facebook and Twitter – and of course much more.

We’ll provide general tips, how-to’s and “Did You Know’s” that will complement our Support site. Learn how other folks watch TV with their Slingbox. You’ll find stuff that will make your own Slingbox experience that much better.

We’ll also talk about the world of TV and help you navigate through it. From trends in the industry to the buzz on social media, this Blog will aim to give you more insight into the Slingbox products and ecosystem and be a repository of information you can always reference and share.

So, stay in touch with us!

Hope to see you back here soon.