Video services


We've got word that CableLabs has certified a new Slingbox model with an on-board Docsis 2.0 cable modem. The next question is… Why? (See CableLabs Certifies Secret Slingbox Gear.)

First the easy one: The Docsis-powered model, reportedly dubbed "SOLO," will remove some of the home networking configuration hassles. It's unlikely that granny will feel too comfortable forwarding ports, even in the unlikely event that granny has a Slingbox.

It's also possible that Sling Media Inc. has built the device at the request of some cable operators that see the technology as a way to goose high-speed Internet subscriptions. Perhaps they're looking to subsidize it and give it away to new customers who sign up for the MSO's flagship or high-end speed tier.

While that may or may not push numbers up, the connection could go much deeper than that. Maybe there are some cable-approved or cable-controlled IPTV apps or services to consider. Here are some guesses and suggestions:

  • A programmer or "network-friendly" place-shifting video service that accounts for signal retransmission content issues, or only redistributes signals approved by the networks
  • It's a precursor to Sling-enabled cable set-tops. Many of the new models already have an embedded Docsis modem.
  • A "pay to Sling" service with a managed bandwidth component that is controlled by the cable operator
  • An IP-enabled, cable-run, out-of-market sports package

Again, those are just some wacky suggestions. What other sorts of cable services or applications might an operator hope to enable with a Docsis-powered Slingbox?

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 3:01:52 PM
re: CableSling Update: some confusion on the name of the forthcoming Sling product that will embed a TI Docsis modem...it's not "SOLO," and probably won't emerge until late this year...or perhaps at CES in early '08. SOLO is the name give to the cheaper HD Slingbox announced today: http://slingmedia.com/go/solo

Sorry for causing any unnecessary corn-fusion...we'll do some digging to see what Sling might name the Docsis-powered device.

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