Well, news continues to break. Dave Zatz got the scoop on the SlingCatcher. This is the rumored Slingbox client hardware. The basic use is as a receiver for your Slingbox. That makes it a perfect companion for TiVo – and might explain a bit why TiVo just started selling the Slingbox on TiVo.com. So you buy a Slingbox to go with your TiVo, which lets you access it from anywhere on the net – including portable devices running Windows Mobile and Symbian, and soon PalmOS. Then you can put a SlingCatcher in other rooms of your home, so you can use the TiVo from the other TVs. Unlike MRV, this is streaming so you have all the functionality of the TiVo immediately. And it is a one time purchase, not a subscription like TiVo.
But, more than that, Dave is reporting that Sling Media will also be releasing PC software that will act as a server for the SlingCatcher. This will allow you to play video on your PC on your TV. He also reports that it will offer numerous connectivity options – HDMI, component, USB, integrated WiFi – as well as an optional hard drive. I’m not sure what they have up their sleeve for the drive, but I could see broadband video downloads, and caching content.
It is targeted for a mid-year release for under $200.
I’d love to see a combo Slingbox Pro/SlingCatcher – something that is both a server and a client. It would be the server from your main A/V stack – connected to the TiVo, etc – but would also be able to receive from the PC, and use whatever other services they roll-out. That way you won’t need two Sling products in your main environment.