Dish Box Will Bake In Sling

The guys over at SatelliteGuys.us got first-hand word this week that a new VIP 722 set-top/receiver model from Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) will bake in a Slingbox, giving subs direct access to Sling Media Inc. 's place-shifting capabilities.

Of course, that just confirms what everyone had already guessed after EchoStar Communications bought Sling Media last year and then spun off its set-top and technology division (now called EchoStar Technologies) in early 2008. (See EchoStar to Buy Sling Media and EchoStar Ready to Split.)

But that's not all. The latest HD-DVR box apparently will also incorporate the SlingCatcher, which allows users to draw in video from other sources, including a PC on the home network or directly off the Internet, and display it on the TV. The box will also support Clip+Sling, Sling's video-sharing app.

Now, we'll have to see how this all fits in with Dish's mobile video plans involving recently won spectrum from the 700 MHz auctions. (See Dish to Serve Mobile Video?)

The EchoStar Technologies division, meanwhile, has been billing itself as "operator-agnostic" as it tries to sell the concept of its SlingModem -- a device that integrates a Docsis 2.0 cable modem -- to the cable industry. (See Dish Sibling to Sling Product at Cable.)

But it's quite clear that Dish is going to get first dibs (and is in position to pull the trigger quickly) on the good stuff.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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