EchoStar To Show Off The SlingModem At The Cable Show

Last August, I was the first person to realize that Sling Media was working on a combination Slingbox/cable modem, which was later announced as the SlingModem at CES this year. To emphasize the separation and Dish Network and EchoStar, and that EchoStar, which owns Sling Media, is an independent hardware vendor and not tied solely to Dish Network, they’re presenting the SlingModem at The Cable Show as their first product targeting the cable industry. They’ve kicked out a press release (below) as well as new official photos of the SlingModem. Click on the photos for larger versions.

SlingModem Front SlingModem Back SlingModem Back Cover

EchoStar Develops Products and Services for Cable Industry

EchoStar Announces DOCSIS® 2.0-Certified SlingModem

Englewood, Colo., May 14, 2008 — EchoStar Technologies L.L.C, a subsidiary of EchoStar Corporation (NASDAQ: SATS), today announced its entry into the cable industry with the introduction of CableLabs Certified® DOCSIS® 2.0 SlingModem at CableNET® in New Orleans, La. Earlier this year, EchoStar Corporation™ spun-off from DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH), retaining its set-top box business and certain infrastructure assets. EchoStar purchased Sling Media last fall and is now pursuing OEM relationships with cable operators worldwide.

“The introduction of the SlingModem demonstrates our operator-agnostic philosophy, as well as our dedication to the cable industry,” said Sling Media CEO Blake Krikorian.

“We are firmly committed to becoming the vendor of choice in the cable industry, leveraging decades of systems and manufacturing excellence,” said Mark Jackson, president of EchoStar Technologies. “We are excited to announce our first cable-ready product at the annual Cable Show, where we can meet face-to-face with industry veterans looking for innovative solutions that will reduce churn and increase average revenue per user.”

SlingModem is one of Sling Media’s newest place-shifting devices, combining a DOCSIS 2.0-certified cable modem with the award-winning and innovative features of the Slingbox™. Cable subscribers can use the device as a traditional DOCSIS cable modem that includes the added benefit of built-in Slingbox functionality. By connecting SlingModem directly to a coax cable input or set-top box, subscribers can receive live or recorded television on any Internet-connected device. SlingModem is easily installed through a single coaxial cable, eliminating the need for additional home networking connections.

EchoStar enters the cable industry with a strong consumer electronics background in innovative and intuitive products, including state-of-the-art, award-winning DVR set-top boxes and value-added features such as Sling Media’s placeshifting technology. EchoStar’s set-top box veterans have more than 35 years of experience in engineering, manufacturing, product development, and end-to-end systems.

SlingModem is the first product from EchoStar and will be sold to cable operators. EchoStar is working on a variety of other products and services for cable operators to be introduced later this year.

The Cable Show is an annual convention for members of the cable and telecommunications industry to gather for networking, training, and discovery of new products. The Cable Show, sponsored by the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA), takes place May 18-20, 2008 in New Orleans.

About EchoStar Technologies L.L.C.

As an operating entity of the publicly traded EchoStar Corporation (NASDAQ: SATS), EchoStar Technologies L.L.C. spans 25 years of delivering innovations in TV entertainment, products, and end-to-end systems. EchoStar services satellite, IPTV, cable, terrestrial, and consumer electronics markets worldwide by combining engineering, supply chain, manufacturing, and service into one company. With over 1,600 professional employees worldwide, EchoStar is focused, dedicated, and ready to service our customers in creative and cooperative development efforts. Through extensive experience with set-top boxes and end-to-end systems, EchoStar is able to provide more competitive business strategies, practices, and reduced product and operational costs.

EchoStar is headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, with operations in Foster City, California; Denver, Colorado; Atlanta, Georgia; Steeton, UK; Almelo, Holland; and Kharkov, Ukraine. Visit for additional information.

About Sling Media
Sling Media, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of EchoStar Corporation (NASDAQ: SATS), is a leading digital lifestyle company, offering consumer services and products that are a natural extension of today’s digital way of life. Sling Media’s product family includes the internationally acclaimed, Emmy award-winning Slingboxâ„¢ that allows consumers to watch and control their living room television shows at any time, from any location, using PCs, Macs, PDAs, and smartphones. For more information on Sling Media or the Slingbox, visit

Press Contact
For inquiries and additional information, please contact Brian Jaquet, at Office: (650) 293-8022, Mobile: (415) 235-4844, or

DOCSIS, CableLabs and CableNET are trademarks of Cable Television Laboratories, Inc.

Disclaimer: I am currently employed by Sling Media.

About MegaZone

MegaZone is the Editor of Gizmo Lovers and the chief contributor. He's been online since 1989 and active in several generations of 'social media' - mailing lists, USENet groups, web forums, and since 2003, blogging.    MegaZone has a presence on several social platforms: Google+ / Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn / LiveJournal / Web.    You can also follow Gizmo Lovers on other sites: Blog / Google+ / Facebook / Twitter.
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  • Gryphon

    Heh, wow. Especially in the view on the left, with nothing to give it scale: “audiovisual device or experimental solar-powered car?” It looks uncannily like something a few grad students at MIT would build to win some engineering test vehicle race in a desert somewhere. :)

  • lutton

    Uhh, okay…

    So it needs a set top box to actually get a full complement of programming? (No cable card slot, so even if it can decode QAM, it can’t get the encrypted programming). And without loopback, it needs a dedicated STB? Even if it didn’t, it seems like you’d need to have your TV viewing equipment and home networking equipment in close proximity to utilize this device (which I do, but I know not everyone does or wants). Plus it needs to be hooked up to a router to service a home network?

    I guess like some VOIP products, it’s an attempt to get the high network-utilization device as close as possible to the main internet connection, but overall it seems to me like a mediocre solution to a non-existent problem.

  • MegaZone

    Actually one of the main issues we see with the Slingbox is the home router. Many home users aren’t too tech savvy, and even though Sling tries to automate the router configuration as much as we can with UPnP, router config scripts, etc, it is the sticking point for a lot of users. Normally the network looks something like this:
    Cable Modem -> Router/Firewall -> Slingbox

    With this it is:
    Cable Modem/Slingbox -> Router/Firewall

    The Slingbox is outside of the router, so no router configuration to get the streams out of the network. And most home routers are configured out of the box to allow devices on the LAN to connect OUT to devices, so it should work without any effort for LAN clients as well.

    While it has an analog cable tuner, you can think of it as a Slingbox SOLO and a DOCSIS 2.0 cable modem in one box. It relies on an external source – cable box, TiVo, etc. And while it doesn’t have pass-through connectors, the Slingbox AV didn’t either. Many STBs have a second set of outputs, and you can always split one set to two devices. And the analog cable tuner is enough for anyone with just basic cable, which is likely to be the less tech savvy users as well.

    Yes, you would need to have this co-located with your A/V equipment. But a growing number of people are doing that. You don’t need to have a second cable drop somewhere else, and with WiFi just where the cable modem is doesn’t matter as much, if at all. It is no longer critical to have the data connection co-located with the computer as home users increasingly use WiFi for all of their networking.

    And, of course, there is the business opportunity to market this product to user through cable MSOs, as well as at retail as an option instead of two devices – a cable modem and a Slingbox.

    It is another product in the family, and while it won’t be for everyone (for example, I have DSL not cable broadband), that’s why you have a family of products. Different offerings for different markets.

    Disclaimer: To reiterate, I’m currently employed by Sling Media for my day job.