Slingplayer comes to the Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick!

You’ve probably seen those commercials with Gary Busey, being as Busey-like as possible, using Amazon’s Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. He makes such points as how much more useful the Fire TV Stick is than a seashell:

As of today, the Fire TV products can boast yet another feature that seashells don’t have: a version of our Slingplayer app! Along with Roku, Chromecast and Apple TV, this adds another option for our customers who want a way to watch their home TV content on a second TV, anywhere in the world with an Internet connection.

Like all Slingplayer products, our Fire TV app lets you access your home cable or satellite programming, live or recorded, with no restrictions whatsoever. Whether that means setting up a Fire TV at a vacation home in another country, bringing a Fire TV Stick to a friend’s house if you want to watch a game on a channel only you get, or simply setting up a second TV in your own home, this is another way that Slingbox lets you maximize the value of the TV you already pay for.

The Slingplayer for Fire TV app is compatible with the Slingbox M1, Slingbox 500 and Slingbox 350. With sufficient bandwidth, the app is capable of delivering an HD picture, and it does not require a phone or tablet app to control set-top box commands — the Fire TV remote is all you need for it. The Slingplayer for Fire TV app is available now, for free, in the Fire TV app store.

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!

Slingbox and VOXX partnership will bring Slingplayer to vehicles

Here at Slingbox, our mission has always been about providing the freedom to enjoy your home TV content anywhere in the world. Thanks to the partnership with VOXX International Corporation we announced today, soon we’ll be bringing your home TV directly into your car or truck.

VOXX’s wholly-owned subsidiary VOXXHirschmann, which specializes in automotive consumer electronics, will work with Sling Media to integrate Slingplayer into the EVO system of rear seat entertainment options. The EVO system will be available in a number of form factors, including customized headrest systems, seat back mounted displays or overhead flip down monitors.

So whether you have kids in your backseat who want to watch their shows while you drive to a vacation spot or friends who want to watch pregame coverage while you drive to a game, you’ll soon have the opportunity to make that happen — with the same technology you use to watch Slingplayer on a laptop, tablet, phone or second TV (via Chromecast, Roku or Apple TV). The Slingbox technology is expected to be integrated into the EVO system within 12-18 months.

Slingplayer now available for Roku TV!

Roku’s products are an excellent way to get content onto a big-screen TV, and we’ve long touted Slingbox as the perfect companion product to Roku. Putting them together allows you to watch anything you get on your home TV’s cable or satellite package on a big-screen TV anywhere — whether that TV is in another room of your own house, at a college dorm room in another state, or in a hotel halfway around the world.

Up until recently, Roku delivered its experience only via peripheral devices you hooked up to a TV — either in the form of a small set-top box or a tiny stick that plugs into a HDMI port. But now, Roku has released a new product that integrates its features into a TV set automatically — the Roku TV, which are being manufactured by TCL and Hisense. The first model has been getting great reviews — here’s an “excellent” rating from CNET — and we’re pleased to announce that the Slingplayer channel for Roku, which is available for free in the Roku Channel Store, now supports the Roku TV. Like our existing implementation on Roku devices, you’ll need Slingplayer for iPhone, iPad, Android phone or Android tablet to make it all work — a mobile device is required to send your home TV content to the other TV, control the channels, control the DVR, and so forth.

We’re also happy to note that this update to the Slingplayer channel on Roku increases the maximum picture quality on all Roku devices and fixes a few bugs.

Slingbox is the best way to get live TV on a Roku TV and we’re happy to be part of this cool new product. If you want to watch your home TV content on another TV, we hope you’ll give Roku or one of our other connected device options (Chromecast and Apple TV) a try.

Slingplayer for Android tablet update brings Chromecast, Roku handoff support

Today we’re excited to announce an update to our Slingplayer for Android tablets app! Android tablet users will receive a spiffy new user interface as well as support for Roku handoff and Chromecast on the Slingbox M1, SlingTV and Slingbox 350.

Chromecast support for iPhone, iPad and Android phone has been available for a few weeks, and we’re happy to welcome tablet-using aficionados of the little green robot to the Chromecast-for-Sling world.

Chromecast for Sling has arrived!

Chromecast_1

Every day, we hear your suggestions about how to make Sling better. Over the past few months, we’ve heard about one thing more than any other via your social media messages, emails and calls: Chromecast. We’re ecstatic to announce that Chromecast support has arrived for Slingbox M1, 350 and SlingTV/500 customers using the Slingplayer app on iPhone, iPad, and Android phones. Support for Android tablets will be rolled out soon.

If you’re not familiar with Chromecast, here’s a quick rundown: It’s a dongle (don’t you love that word?) made by Google that you plug into a TV’s HDMI port. It lets you “cast” content onto the big screen wirelessly from apps running on your mobile device. When paired with the Slingplayer app, you’ll be able to watch any of your cable or satellite programming (live or recorded) on any TV that’s been set up with Chromecast. Remember, both the Chromecast device and Slingplayer-equipped mobile device must be on the same network. And when they are, you’ll be able to control your TV with a soft remote interface that shows up on your phone or tablet:

Playback_Chromecast

Chromecast, like the other popular Sling-supported video streamers including Roku players and Apple TV, is compact (less than three inches long) and inexpensive ($35). We feel this will present a simple but powerful solution for our Sling customers who want to watch on multiple home TVs without setting up more than one set-top box, or would like to use Sling to watch their home content on a TV in a hotel, vacation home, office or anywhere else.

For those who have been asking for Chromecast support for a while, thank you for your patience, and for everyone else, we hope you’ll give it a try. As always, we’ll continue to make Sling the best TV anywhere experience possible.

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:

thuuz-nfl-9-8

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:

thuuz-ncaaf-9-8

 

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.