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Sling Media, with CES drawing near, has unveiled a new Slingbox PRO-HD device for “placeshifting” video in full 1080i with Dolby 5.1 surround sound and new SlingPlayer Mobile software that will allow Blackberry Pearl owners to watch video from their current Sling device.
Both products will be on display in Vegas, but aren’t available to purchase yet. The new Slingbox is due to ship this fall for $399.99; the software will be available at some point this year as well, for $29.99. The new device is an upgrade from the SOLO announced last September. The company already offers a mobile player for Symbian, Palm OS and Windows Smartphones.
Sling, which was purchased by satellite broadcaster EchoStar last fall, offers great solutions for shooting, say, a satellite television signal to another television, a computer, or your phone. For those of you lucky enough to have a fiber-optic Internet connection, the PRO-HD model will even allow you to route video to a remote location.
To be honest, the main appeal seems to be for sports fans — I really don’t see a reason to spend $400 to watch reruns of Guiding Light sent to my cell phone. But if you’re going to bet few hundred with your bookie on the home team or shell out for the Sling, I say go for the Sling. Nothing like watching the football game in high-definition and showing up for church on a Sunday.