SlingCatcher brings YouTube videos to your TV

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SlingCatcher brings YouTube videos to your TV

Sling Media launched SlingCatcher, a device similiar to the original Slingbox that let you rebroadcast TV video to the Internet, except now in the reverse - the SlingCatcher lets you broadcast Internet video to your TV! Sling Media Inc. just unveiled its upcoming SlingCatcher product at Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

In addition, Sling Media's Slingbox product line and its client software, SlingPlayer, will include multiple new features enabled by Windows Vista. These new features include a full screen viewing mode that takes advantage of Vista's Aero Glass by allowing SlingPlayer controls and customized TV remote controls to transparently overlay on top of the video stream from the Slingbox. The Windows Vista gadgets feature will also allow multiple versions of the SlingPlayer, each attached to a separate Slingbox, to run in the Windows Sidebar. Even cooler, these individual video streams windows can be resized by the user as interest changes from one specific video feed to many simultaneous feeds at the same time.

The new SlingPlayer for Windows Vista will work both for new and existing Slingbox customers and it will be available in Q2, 2007. In the interim period between launch of the Windows Vista OS and the release of the new SlingPlayer software, Slingbox customers can download and use Sling Media's most recent version of SlingPlayer, released in late December, on their new Windows Vista-based PCs.

The SlingCatcher will let you view clips from a video sharing site, such as YouTube, or films downloaded from an online movie service, such as MovieLink, CinemaNow or Amazon.com's Unbox. Unfortunately, there is one major drawback of this product. Users will have to control what they're watching on their TV using their computer and not the TV. So if you want to play your favorite YouTube video and your PC is in the other room, you have to start the video and then run to the other room before the YouTube video finishing buffering. Well, at least this helps counteract this product's bad influence on making you an even more sedentary couch potato.

You can also use the SlingCatcher simiilarly to the now defunct Windows Media Extender devices, such as the Linksys Media Extender that I reviewed. In conjunction with a Slingbox you will be able to wirelessly deliver your cable, digital video recorder or satellite TV content onto any other television in the home that is hooked to a SlingCatcher.

The SlingCatcher will be available in the middle of the year and is expected to be under $200. Surprisingly, I only see the Slingbox on Amazon and not the new SlingCatcher. Usually Amazon coordinates launches with the vendors.

Update: Ah ha! I found it!


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