It’s been several years in the making but Sling Media has finally refreshed their Slingbox placeshifting / media extending device. The company recently announced two new models, the budget-minded Slingbox 350 and the premium-grade Slingbox 500.
For starters, both models are now full 1080p capable, have a built-in IR blaster and have a totally redesigned exterior. The Slingbox 350 features a unique outer shell that best resembles a diamond plate pattern. The unit connects to your DVR, cable set-top box or satellite receiver via component or composite sources. Note that like previous models, you’ll need an Ethernet cable to supply Internet access.
The high-end Slingbox 500 improves on the 350 in a number of categories. In addition to the unique design, the 500 adds built-in Wi-Fi so you won’t need to string an Ethernet cable across your living room. Furthermore, this box supports HDMI, component or composite sources for increased flexibility.
Slingbox 500 users can also wireless archive photos and videos from smartphones or tablets. An attached USB storage drive (not included) is required for this functionality, however, and you’ll need to be on the same network as the Slingbox 500 to make the transfer.
If you aren’t familiar with Slingbox, it essentially allows you to listen to or watch media remotely over the Internet. The box streams content from your cable or satellite provider live over the web. Additionally, you can watch previously recorded shows from a DVR on a number of different devices including Windows PCs and Macs, Apple’s iPad and iPhone, Android phones and tablets, BlackBerry handsets, Windows phones and even home media devices like the Logitech Revue and the WD TV Live.
The less expensive Slingbox 350 will sell for $179.99 while the feature-packed Slingbox 500 will set you back $299.99. Both models will be available starting October 14 through Slingbox’s website, Amazon.com, Best Buy and other retailers.