In a move that should spur more multiscreen viewing without set-top boxes, Sling Media's new retail Slingbox M1 will shortly introduce Chromecast support for users who have the HDMI streaming stick and a new SlingPlayer for Chromecast app.
Details of the coming software upgrade were discovered on a Slingbox user forum over the weekend by Zatz Not Funny. According to a member of Sling Media's support staff, who posted on the board, Chromecast support will also be available for the Slingbox 350 and the SlingTV/Slingbox 500.
The upgrade will enable Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s Chromecast streaming stick to extend the reach of a single Slingbox to other TVs in a viewer's household. The Chromecast device essentially plays the role of a thin client set-top connected to a more robust gateway or primary set-top in the home. (See Can Cable Stick One on Chromecast?.)
With the Slingbox, any video that a consumer can 'sling' to his or her PC or mobile device will be accessible on a Chromecast-connected TV set.
So far, there is no indication that Chromecast support is also on the roadmap for the Dish Hopper with embedded Sling technology. Dish Network LLC (Nasdaq: DISH) currently uses its own Joey boxes for in-home video networking, although the company has also started experimenting with a Virtual Joey app that's available on select smart TVs and game consoles. That effort could mean that Dish would consider a broader software or thin-client solution for networking its Hopper DVR. (See Playing Catchup With CES .)
Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) has ventured into similar territory by making its television apps available on smart TVs, gaming systems, Roku boxes, and the Fan TV set-top. (See Fan TV Scores With TW Cable.)
As of yet, there is no confirmed date of availability for the Slingbox software update and Slingplayer for Chromecast app. However, with the marketing language already crafted, it's reasonable to expect that the launch is coming soon.
— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading