Slingbox is a device that lets you access your home TV cable and satellite television from remote locations using your PC. View local newscasts or local sports teams programming you might be missing while out of town.
Slingbox executives believe the Internet--as it exists right now--doesn't offer all the options necessary to get to TV programming. The product's biggest lure is for customers who are paying some $80 to $100 a month for cable or satellite service but can't use it when they are traveling. Slingbox says its sales are nearing six figures.
To those who are boy-toy inclined, this will make a great gift--next to their TiVo, their iPod, their HDTV, their laptop, their Sony Playstation PSP player, their mobile phone and the satellite TV systems in their cars--all of which play video in some form.
We are in a wildly growing age of electronic screens. But many would say the same isn't true content-wise--or at least for the quality of content. Even then, where is that new content going to come from--and how desperate are we to get it? Warner Bros. will soon run its old TV library on AOL for no fee, just advertising-supported. This is stuff that regular cable networks don't want to buy.
The goal is to be covered: You don't want to miss an opportunity to get to video content at any time. TV and content executives say: We want to be everywhere our customers are and give them content in any form they want it.
Is content really king then? Maybe we are in an age where electronic tools are king. Perhaps we should take a lesson from the real King.
Remember, Elvis not only had TV in every room--mostly in the ceilings--but when trying to decide on the puffiest shirt in his closet, he could get sleepy, and be in need of some entertainment and relaxation. A couch in that closet would give him comfort. And high above, in his closet ceiling, was another TV.