Inside the Slingbox booth at CES 2015!

CES 2015 is in full swing in Las Vegas, and as always, Slingbox is being well-represented on the show floor. If you’re in town, come say hi (we’re at booth 8143 in Central Hall), and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter (@Slingbox) and tweet with hashtag #SlingboxCES — we’ll give away one Slingbox M1 a day to a randomly chosen person who does! Here’s a taste of what’s been going down at CES:

This is Vegas after all, so of course we were welcomed to the show with neon lights:

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Before getting to our booth, we passed other sights like the kangaroo mascot of our sister company DISH:

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As well as the Hulk, for some reason or another:

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The wraparound imagery on our booth highlights our “Don’t get fooled by ‘Big Cable'” messaging, emphasizing that Slingbox is the only device that gives you access to 100 percent of your TV anywhere:

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We also provide a charging station, playing off our “It’s On!” slogan:

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Our free swag this year includes stress balls:

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As well as some very nice red metallic water bottles (it’s important to stay hydrated in Vegas, even in the mild winter!):

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And of course, plenty of Slingbox employee rockstars are demonstrating our products to show attendees, like Andy:

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Ann:

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Brett:

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Lauren:

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Michelle:

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and Vik:

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And yes, we even had a magician at our booth:

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Hope to see you soon at the booth!

Slingbox M1 wins Fierce Innovation Award!

FIERCE-456The publishers of Fierce Wireless, Fierce Telecom and Fierce Cable give out the Fierce Innovation Awards, which honor the best technology solutions introduced in the previous year, annually. The winners of the Telecom edition of the Awards were announced on Wednesday and we’re very happy to announce that our Slingbox M1 was the winner in the “Set-Top Boxes & Related Devices” category!

This certainly isn’t the first award Slingbox has won — past highlights have included a Technology & Engineering Emmy, a Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt Museum product design award, and Engadget’s “Home Entertainment Device of the Year” — but we’re ecstatic that the M1 is being recognized in this way. Thanks to the Fierce Innovation Awards for the honor!

Saints-Falcons and Kansas State-Iowa State were the weekend’s most exciting games, as measured by Thuuz

With the NFL starting up and college football already in full swing, we just saw 2014’s first full weekend of good ol’ gridiron action. We hope you enjoyed it if you were watching via Sling or otherwise — but were you definitely watching the most exciting games you could be?

Of course, your viewing priority might be just to watch your favorite teams. But if you’re the type of fan who flips around looking for the most intriguing matchups, exhilarating back-and-forth action and thrilling finishes, there’s an app that uses SCIENCE to help you do that more effectively.

It’s called Thuuz (pronounced like the second syllable in “enthuse”). It uses a proprietary algorithm, which takes into account game data and social media signals, to give sports contests a real-time “Excitement Rating.” Thuuz’s app, which is free on iOS or Android, includes Sling deep-linking — meaning you can identify exciting games on Thuuz and then open them on your Slingplayer app with one click. You also can customize Thuuz to alert you whenever games pass a certain Excitement Rating threshold. In addition, Thuuz (for NFL and college football, NBA and college basketball, MLB and NHL) is integrated into Slingplayer for iPad as well as the upcoming SlingTV.

In addition to real-time ratings that change constantly as games are in progress, Thuuz also provides pre- and post-game Excitement Ratings, and the latter gives us interesting insights into which were the best games to be watching over the weekend.

On the pro side, the Falcons’ 37-34 win over the Saints — in which Matt Ryan threw for 448 yards and Matt Bryant kicked field goals of 50+ yards to both tie the game as time expired and win the game in OT — was rated a maximum 100 by Thuuz. (According to Thuuz’s metrics, 85-100 indicates a game is great, 65-84 means it’s good, 40-64 is OK, and 0 to 39 is dull.) Other great games included Bengals-Ravens (96) and Colts-Broncos (92). On the flip side, unless you’re a Minnesota fan or a Cordarrelle Patterson fantasy owner, you probably didn’t enjoy the Vikings-Rams contest which rated a paltry 6.

You can check out graphs of every game’s excitement profile by clicking this image:

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As for the college ranks, the highest scorer from Saturday was the Big 12 throwdown between Kansas State and Iowa State, in which the Wildcats’ 15-point comeback produced a 93 Excitement Rating. Other great college games included USC-Stanford (90) and Buffalo-Army (88). Graphs of the 16 best NCAA games’ excitement profiles are here:

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We’ll check in on Excitement Ratings as the football season continues, and we hope you’ll find Thuuz as interesting and useful as we do.

 

Slingbox 350 Launches in Mexico

Sling Media & Eckhert Teams at Slingbox Launch in MexicoGood news, Slingbox fans: Slingbox has launched in Mexico!

Mexico follows our recent launch in Brazil and comes at a perfect time for sports fans as the World Cup is a mere 99 days away!

Why are we launching in Mexico? (There’s the Sling Media team in the photo at right with the Eckhert team during launch activities.)

Back in 2011, The Economist reported that there are more TVs in Mexican homes than there are refrigerators or showers, based on the 2010 census. And, being the avid a sports fans that they are, this trend could grow as the World Cup draws near. Continue reading

Social TV: Sling Media’s 2014 Predictions

SlingPlayer for iPad - Sports Stats ScreenEarlier this week, we posted Lost Remote’s 2014 predictions for social TV. Now it’s our turn to weigh in. We don’t have a Magic 8-Ball, but we do have something better – our Product team.

Here are some of our own predictions, thanks to a few staffers at Sling Media:

  1. Social TV will drive story-lines for scripted shows.
  2. Facebook will track what you want to watch in order to fill your News Feed with recommended shows.
  3. More episode-specific hashtags will be generated by the content creators to drive deeper engagement.
  4. You will be able to instantly tune in live to a show from your social media feed on any device.
  5. “Shows” which start out as user-generated, DIY-type programs will gain enough social cachet that they will be picked up by a major broadcast or cable network (i.e., “Sh*t My Dad Says” was picked up based on the wildly popular Facebook and Twitter accounts).
  6. Appointment TV will continue to see a resurgence as more and more people either want to join the social media conversation live during a program’s first run or they don’t want to see spoilers on their social media feeds for a show they watch.

If you haven’t downloaded SlingPlayer for iPad, check it out to see what we’re already doing in the area of social TV. Not only can you post comments on Facebook and Twitter as you’re watching your favorite show on your iPad, but you can also look up sports stats while watching the live game (see image above). More social features will be rolled out later in the year.

What do you think will happen to social TV in 2014?

Lost Remote’s 2014 Predictions for Social TV

Magic 8-Ball

Anyone got a Magic 8-Ball for social TV?

Lost Remote might have one. Last December, the website revealed their 7 predictions for social TV in 2014. Here are a few we thought were interesting:

  1. Scripted television shows will create the next wave of social TV innovations
  2. Twitter will control your cable box
  3. As social TV grows, so will spin-offs and sequels

Check out the rest of the list on the Lost Remote website. Later this week, a few Sling Media staffers will share some of their own predictions for the rest of the year.

Photo Highlights from CES 2014

Sling Media had a terrific turnout at CES this year. We certainly worked our butts off, but with a work-hard-play-hard mentality, we still had a lot of fun after hours and got a lot of stuff done at the show.

Check out some highlights in pictures:

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Sling Media’s SVP/GM Michael Hawkey with the 2014 CES Innovations Design & Engineering Award for the SlingPlayer for iPad.
 
 
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Sling Media’s senior marketing managers Andy Panizza, Lauren Adams and Brian Jaquet. 
 
 
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An Ocean’s 11 moment: Watching dancing waters in front of Paris Hotel (not the Bellagio).
 
 
 
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Maria Menounos, host of ExtraTV, talks to Sling Media.
 
 

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Sling Media’s Yash Shah chills out with Vanilla Ice at the Scripps party.
 
 

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Dancing kangaroos – Hopper, Joey and SuperJoey – at the Dish press conference.
 
 

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Engadget’s Richard Lawler talks with Michael Hawkey during an Engadget Fireside Chat.
 
 

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Everyone knows…it’s the Slingbox Slinky!
 

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Rockin’ it out  with Jane’s Addiction at the CNET party.
 
 

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Lot of traffic at the Slingbox booth.
 
 

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Even the Jabbawockeez (winner of the first season of MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew) love Slingbox – and Product Manager Justin Cauchon.
 
 

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First stop at the Slingbox booth: The Info Counter.
 
 

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Dish’s SuperJoey in stuffed-animal form. Up, up and away!
 
 

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Fleetwood Mac (sans Christine McVie) play a few sets at the Monster Cable party.
 
 

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See you back at CES in 2015!