Sling takes its video portal public


Sling.com, the streaming site of Slingbox maker Sling Media, has emerged from private beta and is opening up access to its video content to the public.

With the move, which was expected, Sling.com delivers TV episodes, clips, full-length movies, and professionally produced Web videos to a single destination. The free content is provided by the NBC-Fox partnership Hulu, along with CBS (parent company of CBS Interactive, CNET’s publisher), PBS, BBC America, and Web video sites like College Humor and Break.com.

Viewers can subscribe to the video feeds of shows currently on the air like The Soup and House, as well as recently and long-canceled shows like Arrested Development and MacGyver. The movie selection, which appears to be imported from Hulu, is limited, but Sling says all categories of video will expand in the future as it works with studios and other content providers.

The site also has a social-networking element, allowing users to create profiles that show which videos, programs, and movies the person subscribed to or marked as a favorite. Users can also become a fan of other Sling.com members.

Sling.com appears to be a natural progression for the small Silicon Valley company, which was bought last year by EchoStar.

Sling Media first grabbed consumers’ attentions with the introduction of its Slingbox, which allows owners to watch their own subscription TV channels remotely from a computer. Then the company began releasing the SlingPlayer as downloadable software for Symbian, Palm OS, and Windows Mobile that lets Slingbox owners also get their TV channels on mobile phones.

Sling then turned from just moving TV to the Web, and began pushing the idea of moving Web video to the TV with its SlingCatcher product, which started shipping last month.

CNET News’ Erica Ogg contributed to this report.
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. Before joining CNET News in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers. E-mail Steven.

Sling.com, the streaming site of Slingbox maker Sling Media, has emerged from private beta and is opening up access to its video content to the public.

With the move, which was expected, Sling.com delivers TV episodes, clips, full-length movies, and professionally produced Web videos to a single destination. The free content is provided by the NBC-Fox partnership Hulu, along with CBS (parent company of CBS Interactive, CNET’s publisher), PBS, BBC America, and Web video sites like College Humor and Break.com.

Viewers can subscribe to the video feeds of shows currently on the air like The Soup and House, as well as recently and long-canceled shows like Arrested Development and MacGyver. The movie selection, which appears to be imported from Hulu, is limited, but Sling says all categories of video will expand in the future as it works with studios and other content providers.

The site also has a social-networking element, allowing users to create profiles that show which videos, programs, and movies the person subscribed to or marked as a favorite. Users can also become a fan of other Sling.com members.

Sling.com appears to be a natural progression for the small Silicon Valley company, which was bought last year by EchoStar.

Sling Media first grabbed consumers’ attentions with the introduction of its Slingbox, which allows owners to watch their own subscription TV channels remotely from a computer. Then the company began releasing the SlingPlayer as downloadable software for Symbian, Palm OS, and Windows Mobile that lets Slingbox owners also get their TV channels on mobile phones.

Sling then turned from just moving TV to the Web, and began pushing the idea of moving Web video to the TV with its SlingCatcher product, which started shipping last month.

CNET News’ Erica Ogg contributed to this report.
Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. Before joining CNET News in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers. E-mail Steven.

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