California-based Sling, maker of the ingenious Slingbox devices, announced that it has finally pulled the trigger and integrated support for the Chromecast dongle. The update opens Google’s already-multifaceted piece of hardware up to even more potential applications, including bringing big screen action from their home DVR on the road.
For those unfamiliar with Sling’s particular brand of TV-on-the-go transmission, the company’s Slingbox devices have helped pioneer the “TV Everywhere” format. They work by allowing users to connect to their home DVR and send live and recorded TV just about anywhere with Wi-Fi via mobile device or PC.
The company revealed in a blog post this morning that Chromecast support has arrived for Slingbox M1, 350, and SlingTV/500 customers using the Slingplayer app on iPhone, iPad, and Android phones. Android tablet support “will be rolled out soon,” as well according to the blog post. Slingbox users have been eagerly awaiting the release since late March, when a Sling employee divulged to a few curious users on a forum that the company was, in fact, in the midst of developing Chromecast support for Sling’s product line.
Now that Slingboxes are finally compatible with Google’s popular dongle, users will be able to watch any of their cable or satellite programming, be it live or recorded, on any TV rocking a Chromecast. No longer chained to a mobile device for viewing away from home, Sling users can essentially now take the big screen, and all of its content, anywhere they roam — as long as the place they roam to has an HDMI-equipped TV and Wi-Fi, of course.
Using their Wi-Fi connected smartphone or tablet, Sling users will be able to control their TV with a soft remote interface that Sling has integrated into the app. And since Chromecast doesn’t hijack the mobile device’s internal resources, they’ll also be free to multitask and use other apps, send texts, check email, etc., even while simultaneously transmitting video from their home DVR/cable box.
To break it down, the Chromecast support gives users two new chief capabilities that are worth mentioning:
- Chromecast as a DVR tuner: Users can employ a Chromecast as a separate tuner to send DVR content to other TVs in the house. Just grab the Chromecast, stick it into the upstairs TV, and you’ve suddenly got all of your DVR content ready to go, without even having to buy or rent a new cable/satellite box.
- DVR everywhere: As with the Slingplayer app for Roku, Chromecast users can now bring their Chromecasts along with them to a vacation home, hotel, or Grandma’s house, and all of their favorite DVR content is ready to transfer via tablet or mobile device straight to the big screen.
If you’re not a Sling user but this new Chromecast update intrigues you, you can take a look at Sling’s comparison guide to figure out which of their devices is best for you: the newest Slingbox M1, which is more oriented toward on-the-go users, or SlingTV, for those desiring a full smart home entertainment solution.
Updated 2/2/2015: “The DVR everywhere” portion of this article has been edited to outline Chromecast support is for tablets and mobile devices, not PC. While PCs are available to stream anything to a Chromecast through Google Chrome, Sling boxes are not optimized for PC delivery with Chromecast.