Sling Media discontinues its Slingbox placeshifting media streamers

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,692   +124
Staff member
In context: Although it may not get the credit it deserves, Sling Media was a true pioneer in changing how and where we watch television. Its influence still lingers through Sling TV, the over-the-top streaming service operated by Dish Network.

How and where we watch television has changed dramatically since the turn of the century. Back then, cable and satellite delivery was the norm and most people still abided by traditional scheduled programming. DVRs would gradually change that, allowing users to decide when they watched a show. Later, technology like the Slingbox introduced the concept of placeshifting, or choosing where to watch television.

These advancements helped usher in the era of streaming, where content is available to watch live or on-demand across a range of devices at any time and any place (so long as you have an Internet connection). For many, streaming has rendered devices like the Slingbox obsolete, and now, it is official.

Sling Media in a recent FAQ update said that effective November 9, 2020, its Slingbox products will be discontinued. Existing users will still be able to use their Slingbox hardware for another 24 months, but after that, Slingbox servers will be taken offline and all devices and services will become inoperable.

What’s more, Sling Media no longer plans to continue to develop new functionality for its SlingPlayer apps. Some versions may receive maintenance updates while grossly outdated or legacy versions will likely disappear from app stores entirely, without notice.

Masthead credit Variety

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Knot Schure

Posts: 297   +128
As a frequent traveler, this is awful news. It really is.

I run two Slingbox 350's, one for myself, and one for a colleague.

In the rare event I get a quiet evening, the Slingbox is a lifesaver. ESPECIALLY in a schithole like China, which has only a heavily-edited BBC news on at times.

We, the sling community will likely not take this lying down.

If we can hack the f/w, and get it to use the old application (which did not need a WAN connection to operate), we might be able to crack on as we used to.

< ....................................insert swear words here................................................................... >
 
Programmable VCRs meant you could you record and watch something later, even in the 80s : ) It was very common. People didn't want to miss soap operas while at work, or miss a sit com or big game while spending time with the family. Not quite something new, but PVR with TV guide is certainly easier to use.
Sucks for sling box users. I hate end of life stuff like that.
 

DrSuess

Posts: 35   +12
As a frequent traveler, this is awful news. It really is.
< ....................................insert swear words here................................................................... >
I agree with you, I have one of the original ones and it is still working, I like it because it was under my control, and I didn't have to worry about not having streaming rights in the country I am visiting.
 
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Knot Schure

Posts: 297   +128
I agree with you, I have one of the original ones and it is still working, I like it because it was under my control, and I didn't have to worry about not having streaming rights in the country I am visiting.
The original one was great, but the compression and thus screen quality was better on the newer boxes.

Also with the old ones - it just worked. I have to have adapters to strip off the HDMI 'headers' (if you get me), to get everything to play.