September 24, 2007

Slingbox Going Corporate Before I Get One!

If you consider we've got our 42-inch plasma TV, a TiVo, a Nintendo Wii and the Apple TV humming along, sucking down our share of electricity, it's clear that only one real TV device is missing - a Slingbox. Though I've considered buying a Slingbox from Sling Media on more than one occasion, so I could catch up on the home TV while away, I've never made the jump - and if the breaking news from is true, I won't be a customer before they jump from being a scrappy tech startup to part of a big corporate monolith. News from says Sling Media is being picked up by EchoStar, manufacturers of the Dish Network, for all of $380 million.

This could be good or bad for current or prospective customers of Slingbox. While it's sure EchoStar has plenty of capital to expand distribution and continue manufacturing the next generation of TV streaming gear, I always have a tendency to want to root for the underdog, and have something resembling distrust for the mega-monolith, as it often seems the bigger you are, the less likely you are to pull off something amazing - instead, being beholden to the quarter by quarter financials and supporting an existing customer base on prior revisions of hardware or code.

I've optimistically had the Slingbox on my Amazon wish list for the better part of two years now, stupid commercials aside, and maybe, just maybe, I'll take it off for the short term and see how this purchase shakes out.