By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Foster City, Calif. – EchoStar’s Sling Media unit unveiled Monday three clients that will enable video viewing from home entertainment centers on remote devices inside and outside the house.
First, the company said SlingPlayer 3.0 and the SlingPlayer channel on the Roku streaming platform are both available for download today, in addition to a new version of SlingPlayer for iPhone and Android smartphones as part of the Roku channel introduction.
Then, Sling Media said it is also planning to soon add an app for Windows 8.1 devices in December.
“With today’s announcements, Sling Media has clearly brought the Slingbox experience into the living room, changing the way our customers discover, navigate, view and socialize around content,” stated Michael Hawkey, Sling Media general manager and VP. “With SlingPlayer 3.0, we’re giving customers the tools they need to turn traditional prime time into ‘prime time social time.’ Our customers have been asking for Roku support and a Windows 8.1 app. We’re pleased to deliver the Roku channel today and the Windows 8.1 app in the very near future.”
SlingPlayer 3.0 combines viewing live or recorded TV anywhere with seamless discovery and second screen enhancements, the company said. It offers “a visually appealing interface designed to help users seamlessly find content to watch, using filters and personal TV lineups.”
It also enhances sports viewing by offering visuals to easily find which channel a game is on and see live statistics on individual and team leaders and engage on social networks.
SlingPlayer 3.0 uses social media for both discovery and engagement, offering filters for live TV programming based on personal social-media network “likes” while enabling simultaneous viewing and Twitter conversations with a live feed of content-relevant tweets.
For second screen control, SlingPlayer 3.0 will cast Slingbox programming to a TV from a mobile device, and provide split-screen navigation to browse for other content, view show details, engage with social networks or see live sports stats while watching video on the iPad.
The new Slingplayer Channel on Roku enables watching live or recorded TV through a Roku streaming player connected to a TV in another room in the house or in a remote location.
Customers will use either SlingPlayer Mobile for iPhone or Android phone to initiate the video and send it to the TV. The SlingPlayer Channel app must be installed from the Roku Channel Store to use the feature.
Roku devices supported at launch include the Roku 3, Roku 2, Roku 1, Roku LT (models 2400X and 2700X), Roku 2 XS, Roku 2 XD and Roku 2 HD players as well as the Roku Streaming Stick.
Support for the Roku HD (model 2500X) and Roku LT (model 2450X) will be added later this month, the company said.
Users can sling programming to a second TV in the house via a Roku player, and use a smartphone as a remote control.
Sling Media also said a SlingPlayer for Windows 8.1 app is under development for Slingbox owners this December. The app will deliver an enhanced SlingPlayer experience across Windows 8.1 devices including Surface, desktop PCs, laptops and convertible devices.
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