CES NEWS: Slingbox goes full HD - and on your BlackBerry

In the February issue of What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision, on sale on January 10, we're testing the Slingbox Pro, which can handle HD content and stream it over a network or the internet in downscaled form. But on the way from Sling Media is the PRO-HD version on the device, which can stream in full HD.

And the company's also opening up its 'TV anywhere' concept to the mobile world - launched alongside the Slingbox PRO-HD at the Consumer Electronics Show will be SlingPlayer Moibile for BlackBerry sodtware. That'll enable all those who live by their personal e-mailer to watch their home TV, too.

When it's launched later this year, the new Slingbox PRO-HD will be able to stream content from sources such as HD satellite and cable boxes, HD disc players and PCs to devices anywhere on the home network. And with the addition of the forthcoming SlingCatcher device, it can even deliver that content to a remote HD TV.

Provided you have an internet connection with an upload speed of 1.5-2GBps, the system can also allow this content to be viewed remotely via the internet, using a laptop while travelling. or even via a remote SlingCatcher into a TV in another location.

The company is also launching an improved version of its SlingStream software: 2.0 is claimed to give better audio and video quality in low-bitrate environments, as well as allowing that HDTV streaming on a home network.

Meanwhile, users of the popular BlackBerry portable phone/e-mail devices will soon be able to contact their Slingbox back home and watch TV on the move.

The new SlingPlayer Mobile for BlackBerry, which will be available as a one-off software purchase, allows users of this device to join other mobile Slingbox watchers, who can access their home system using mobile devices running Windows Mobile, Palm and Symbian operating systems.

The Slingbox PRO-HD is expected to cost $400 when launched in the States, and the SlingPlayer Mobile for BlackBerry $30.

Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.