If they haven’t already, and I don’t think they have, linear networks and cable service providers should embrace Slingbox and its new M1 over-the-top device: it may become the only thing to prevent people from cutting the cords until networks allow cable operators to provide more robust TV Everywhere solutions.
The M1 hit shelves on July 20.
Slingbox made TV Everywhere a reality back in 2005, allowing people to access their cable boxes from any computer (mobile streaming was too slow at the time to be a viable screen). Now, with the M1, Slingbox has released its most-affordable ($149.99), easiest to set-up (it took me 10 minutes) device yet.
The M1 offers Dual-band 2.4/5Ghz WiFi connectivity and Ethernet ports and users can access their content via the Slingplayer desktop application for PCs and Macs or via the Slingplayer app for iOS and Android. The Slingbox M1 contains no monthly fees, and in addition to using the native apps, viewers can access Slingplayer on a second TV via Roku and Apple TV.
“Once again, Sling Media is totally redefining the ‘TV Anywhere’ experience with the introduction of the Slingbox M1 and SlingTV,” says Michael Hawkey, senior vice president and general manager of Sling Media. “Customers interested in a no-compromise entertainment experience using the most popular devices will be delighted by the affordability and new features of the Slingbox M1. SlingTV completely enhances the living room TV experience with a visually stunning on TV user interface that takes ultimate advantage of social media data activity.”
Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Google’s Android TV, and a host of others are making it easier for consumers to cut cords. But with Aereo out of the mix, people still cannot access local channels without a digital receiver, and a number of other highly-watched channels aren’t options. At this point in time, with more players entering the original content fray (Yahoo, AOL) and networks (NBC with the Olympics, for example) finally figuring out how to truly monetize TV Everywhere broadcasts, people should be able to access all the channels they pay for at all times. The Slingbox M1 shouldn’t be necessary for pay TV consumers, but until networks and cable operators take the next step, it is an affordable and easy-to-use panacea.