The Chromecast is a great little piece of kit, especially for its $35 price tag. But the HDMI dongle could become even more attractive once Slingbox adds support for it, allowing users to enjoy their cable subscription wherever there’s a TV and an Internet connection.
The Slingbox is a set-top device that connects to a cable or satellite feed and beams it over the internet (Wi-Fi, 3G, or 4G) to a PC or mobile device. Put simply, it lets you watch subscription TV on the go, and, because it only allows one stream per box, it’s completely legal. Here’s how Sling Media describes its service:
Flip through your local channels with the virtual remote control. Pause, fast-forward, rewind and even schedule DVR recordings. Watch video on demand and pay-per-view programs. Never miss another show or game — whether you’re in the back yard, out to lunch or on the other side of the world. It’s your TV. Now it can go with you wherever you go on your Android Phone.
Answering queries on the Slingbox forums, a support representative with the company said that, while he can’t give a timeline, “Chromecast support is in development.” Further confirming the development, Dave Zatz, a well-connected blogger specializing in digital lifestyle and the connected home, tweeted that support for Chromecast is coming to the Slingbox “soon”.
Once the Sling Player gains Chromecast support, users will be able to watch their cable or satellite channels on any TV equipped with an HDMI port, even if it’s on the other side of the country. Granted, the initial investment for a Slingbox + Chromecast setup is quite hefty. The basic Slingbox set-top box costs $180, while the more advanced Slingbox 500 goes for $300, to which you add $35 for the Chromecast and $15 for the Android app. But the convenience it brings may well justify the investment. And, if you’re already a Slingbox user, buying a Chromecast will be a no-brainer.