Oct. 9, 2012 at 8:59 PM ET
There's a new Slingbox on the block, and it offers the same ability to send your TV's signal to any of your devices — but now it does it in 1080p from slick new hardware.
The basic idea of the Slingbox is to take your TV's signal and allow it to be accessed from any number of compatible devices. You paid for HBO, why not watch it on your iPad in bed, or your laptop during your lunch break?
But it's been years since Slingbox put out new hardware, and HD enthusiasts may have moved onto something that can handle their beloved 1080p content. The new Slingboxes add 1080p support and a little more into the bargain, which makes them much more competitive than the old devices.
The Slingbox 500 is the new flagship product. It has a funky new design that, while cool, may prohibit putting any other devices on top of it. More importantly, it has HDMI, component, and composite outputs as well as Wi-Fi, meaning you'll be able to hook it up wirelessly to a home media server or Internet-connected set-top box. It'll set you back $300.
The Wi-Fi also lets you send content from your iOS or Android device if you want to share your home movies or Instagram photos on the big screen.
The Slingbox 500's little brother, the 350, lacks Wi-Fi and HDMI, but still does 1080p if you don't mind an analog connection. It also has a unique and strange design, and perhaps a more practical shape. It'll be $180.
The SlingPlayer app is getting an update, and will be on sale for $15 for a while as a launch promotion.
Both devices are available Oct. 14 online and at retail locations. If you're not sure whether your home setup is compatible, visit the Slingbox website and check if it'll work with your TV, cable box, and whatever else you've got sitting in the living room.
Devin Coldewey is a contributing writer for NBC News Digital. His personal website is coldewey.cc.