Cable Show 2009: EchoStar Debuts Slingbox-Powered Cable Set-Top

3/30/2009 10:10 AM Eastern

Complete Cable Show 2009 coverage from Multichannel News


EchoStar Technologies will deliver its place-shifting pitch to cable this week, showing off a "SlingLoaded" tru2way-based multituner HD DVR set-top box designed for cable operators.

The T2200S integrates Sling Media's technology to let cable subscribers watch live TV, DVR and VOD content on a range of Internet-connected devices, such as PCs, portable media players and mobile phones.

In January, Charlie Ergen's Dish Network and EchoStar introduced a similar Sling-enabled HD digital video recorder, the ViP 922, which is supposed to be available to Dish subscribers sometime this spring.

EchoStar T2200SEchoStar said the cable version of the Sling-based DVR will be available for testing in MSO labs in June 2009, with volume production set for the fourth quarter of 2009. The company plans to demonstrate the T2200S at this week's Cable Show '09 in Washington, D.C.

The company said the T2200S will include remote-video diagnostics to allow MSOs to provide remote support for subscribers. EchoStar also is offering MSOs the option to provide the SlingGuide, which provides a Web-based search for TV listings and the ability to schedule and manage their DVR away from home.

The T2200S features a 1-Terabyte hard drive -- for up to 1,000 hours of standard-definition video -- and supports external storage via USB or an optional eSATA port. As a tru2way-based device, the T2200S is designed to run any OCAP-based interactive program guide, according to EchoStar.

The box supports MPEG-2, MPEG-4 (H.264) and VC1 video formats; 1-GHz tuners to support expanded network bandwidth; and HDTV formats up to 1080p24.

Separately Monday, Sling Media announced a content-distribution deal with HIT Entertainment, a provider of children's entertainment, to HIT shows like Thomas the Tank Engine and Bob the Builder on the ad-supported entertainment site