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Echostar Buying Sling Media
$380 million deal: Echobox? Slingstar?
by Karl Bode 09:03AM Tuesday Sep 25 2007
Echostar, operators of Dish Network, say they've struck a deal to acquire Sling Media, makers of the Slingbox, for $380 million. Echostar, who was already an investor in Sling, apparently decided simply to buy the operations during funding discussions. Technically, the deal won't close until the fourth quarter of this year. Echostar resells WildBlue satellite broadband, but has also recently struck a deal to offer Clearwire WiMax.
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"As an early investor in Sling Media, EchoStar has been pleased with the progress and commitment the company has made establishing Sling Media and the Slingbox as powerful and beloved digital media brands," said Charlie Ergen, CEO and co-founder of EchoStar. "With today's increasingly mobile lifestyle, EchoStar's acquisition of Sling Media will allow us to offer innovative and convenient ways for our customers to enjoy their programming on more displays and locations, including TVs, computers and mobile phones, both inside and outside of the home."
Well, not over WildBlue broadband -- since use of the Slingbox would quickly gobble up the service's meager caps. Echostar also announced it's planning to split itself into two separately traded public companies, one focusing on consumer TV and broadband services, and the other on wholesale and international operations.

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moonpuppy

join:2000-08-21
Glen Burnie, MD

Hmmmm....

Wonder what this will do to older Sling products and if they will be supported.

Jahntassa
What, I can have feathers
Premium
join:2006-04-14
Conway, SC
kudos:4

Re: Hmmmm....

As of right now it seems like it will be similar to the Dell / Alienware deal. EchoStar buys out Sling but it's yet to be seen if it will really change anything.

They did say they were keeping all of the Sling top-people in place, so as of right now i'm guessing there'll be very little change, if any.
Mechano

join:2004-05-30
Antarctica
Aren't they supposed to work by accessing the IP directly ?
I think you can bypass the servers if you have the IP or Dyndns in place...For future products....well, that may be another thing.

Jahntassa
What, I can have feathers
Premium
join:2006-04-14
Conway, SC
kudos:4

Re: Hmmmm....

said by Mechano:

I think you can bypass the servers if you have the IP or Dyndns in place...For future products....well, that may be another thing.
Huh? Slingplayers don't connect to any servers. They act as servers. If you're on the same LAN they directly connect. If you want to access it from the web, you need to open a port on your firewall and you access it via your WAN IP.
acs12798

join:2006-03-13

Re: Hmmmm....

Hes talking about the Slingplayer DNS server. You know your SlingFinder ID? You Slingbox reports its IP address to a server Sling maintains. The Slingplayer connects to that server, and finds your IP from that Server based on your Slingfinder ID. He is talking about the ability to connect a slingbox via direct IP, which is also possible.

S_engineer
Premium
join:2007-05-16
Chicago, IL

possibilities

This is a smart move for them IF they can provide the services they intend to. If they're (echostar) just filling their portfolio looking to be bought out, well then they'll probably kill the sling as we knew it!
--
Burn a tire, but make sure you buy that carbon offset!
BosstonesOwn

join:2002-12-15
Wakefield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Re: possibilities

That is not Charlie Ergen's beat.

He realizes that big dish is dead for the little consumers, so he buys the content provider , the medium paths , and the end tools to get content to the subscribers in different ways.

Look at the history , Echostar he formed to send satellite content to little dish subscribers. He is partnering with many of the dsl providers , I wouldn't be to surprised to see him buy a chunk of earthlink for the carrier contracts they have in TW and some Comcast areas plus add clearwire. That gives him the ip medium. Now with sling it gives him the end point and the point to send it over to customers who are away from home.

I doubt they will change anything.
--
"It's always funny until someone gets hurt......and then it's absolutely friggin' hysterical!"

digiblur
Premium
join:2002-06-03
Louisiana

Nice

Could be very cool if they integrate this directly into their DVR's as the it's very easy to hook up the DVR to the internet with built in ethernet and homeplug.
--
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And now for the PAP2-NA and unlocked PAP2's.

inteller
Sociopaths always win.

join:2003-12-08
Tulsa, OK

1 edit

Re: Nice

yeah, just imagine the pissed off people sitting in sunny florida trying to sling their snowy sat signal in stormy Kansas City. What a GREAT buy dish.
--
"WHEN THE LAUGH TRACK STARTS THEN THE FUN STARTS!"

Voodoo288
Common Sense Dictates
Premium
join:2002-08-19
Richmond, VA
Reviews:
·Comcast Business..

Re: Nice

said by inteller:

yeah, just imagine the pissed off people sitting in sunny florida trying to sling their snowy sat signal in stormy Kansas City.
Snowy?? I have yet to see a snowy picture from my dish.
--
Every morning is the dawn of a new error.

inteller
Sociopaths always win.

join:2003-12-08
Tulsa, OK

Re: Nice

i see, so your signal never jumps studders or flat out drops when there is weather in the area. lucky you.
--
"WHEN THE LAUGH TRACK STARTS THEN THE FUN STARTS!"
Nuts65

join:2006-04-27
Forest, OH

Re: Nice

I have no worse issues with Dish than my parents have with Time Warner.

Jahntassa
What, I can have feathers
Premium
join:2006-04-14
Conway, SC
kudos:4
Sure, when there's a really severe storm.

Still better than the general crap which is Comcast. (And that stutters or looks crappy ALL the time)

Voodoo288
Common Sense Dictates
Premium
join:2002-08-19
Richmond, VA
Reviews:
·Comcast Business..
said by inteller:

i see, so your signal never jumps studders or flat out drops when there is weather in the area. lucky you.
I'm sorry, you said snowy, which is reminiscent of analog signals, not digital which carries the behavior mentioned above. As far as "weather" goes the dish only loses a signal during severe storms and very heavy rain. The average time frame I've lost sat signal is around 15 to 20 minutes in a rain/storm event. On the subject of reliability, currently this year my sat system has been down a total of a little over an hour, were my Comcast connection has been down approximately 15 hours. 12 of those were from a power failure from a lightning storm several weeks ago. My sat signal never went down in that storm.
--
Every morning is the dawn of a new error.

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

1 edit
Mine doesn't, and I live in Tulsa as well.

Now, if a severe thunderstorm (Garden Variety doesn't cut it) passes directly south of me within a couple of miles the signal will drop out. Not snowy, it will be good up until it dies. This will last for 2-10 minutes depending on size of storm. It's happened to me at least 2 or 3 times in the last 8 years. Note that: 2-3 times in 8 years. So I'm looking at a max of 30 mins outage in 8 years. That's about as close to 99.99999% you can get.

Other then that, picture perfect 24/7 even in heavy snow.

OH and BTW one other point. Such thunderstorms regularly and often knock out Cable TV and broadband service. For hours or even days. Almost all cable in Tulsa proper is overhead and on poles. The storms nuke it.

In other words, in my experience, and given how stormy it can be here, Echostar owns Cox cable on service outages.

Last minute edit: Properly aligned dishes greatly minimize this problem. I did have some friends here who complained about losing service a lot in storms and weather. I checked their signal strength, and it was often yellow/bare minimum green.... ie dish was poorly aligned. Got up on roof and in about 5 minutes we had it solid green and about 25% better strength on the signal bar. They haven't complained since.
wierdo

join:2001-02-16
Tulsa, OK

Re: Nice

Funny, my apartment complex had a 30" dish pointed at 101 (for DirecTV) and it would go out several times a year when any sort of marginally severe storm passed over or just to the south of Bixby. Last year it went out for a long time in the snow/ice storm, and it wasn't due to accumulation on the dish.

Since they canned the satellite and put in the cable, I've had exactly one TV outage. The Internet service craps out a little more often than my DSL line did, though.

Of course, in south Tulsa, everything is buried, so wind damage isn't an issue. The people I know in midtown are constantly complaining about regular power outages.

I had satellite for 6 years, and regardless of the alignment of the dish, it crapped out on a regular basis, sometimes (slow moving storms) for an hour or more at a time. That's not to say I haven't had cable crap out for that long, though.

We can all go round and round about whose service has more outages, but the reality of the situation is that they both crap out on a semi-regular basis in most cases. I happen to be lucky with everything but electricity being underground, making actual wire more reliable than a dish. We're all just justifying our choices to ourselves.

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

Re: Nice

My experience is only with Dish Network. I've never had DirecTV. I would imagine the technology is similar, but perhaps the difference in orbital slots or maybe the spectrum of the radio waves has some effect, I'm not sure.

I know that my Dish works great through thunderstorms, heavy rains, and snow.
--
"Regulatory capitalism is when companies invest in lawyers, lobbyists, and politicians, instead of plant, people, and customer service." - former FCC Chairman William Kennard (A real FCC Chairman, unlike the current Corporate Spokesperson in the job!)

voipguy

join:2006-05-31
Forest Hills, NY

Let the lawsuits begin

One reason why Sling was never sued by programmers was that they didn't have any programming contracts to be held in violation of.

Echostar does.

Good luck!

RIPslingbox

@charter.com

Re: Let the lawsuits begin

yup. the slingbox will die.. echostar is just throwing money away... potentially much more than just the acquisition price... unless there's some kind of sneaky under-the-table deal with programmers behind it all (e.g. buy sling, discontinue that dreadful box that's "ruining our business" and we'll double your money back in programming savings).

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK
I'm thinking Echostar is buying the technology and saw the company as value.

Maybe they are thinking of streaming video around the home, or allowing Echostar customers to stream video to receivers elsewhere. I know Charlie Ergen isn't dumb. They see potential here.
--
"Regulatory capitalism is when companies invest in lawyers, lobbyists, and politicians, instead of plant, people, and customer service." - former FCC Chairman William Kennard (A real FCC Chairman, unlike the current Corporate Spokesperson in the job!)

koam
Pink Pecker
Premium
join:2000-08-16
East Puddle
Reviews:
·Shoreham Telephone

love the sling

Slingbox is a great product and the support and software are excellent. I've had one since it was first introduced.
--
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»www.jesuscampthemovie.com/

brooklynman4

join:2004-09-07
Brewster, NY

Re: love the sling

They will be under the same umbrella but run seperate. Dish network and sling broadband.

ninjatutle
Premium

join:2006-01-02
San Ramon, CA

Re: love the sling

I hope dish doesnt screw up a great product. Sling suceeded because they didn't get greedy and charge monthly fees.
roachmp
mike

join:2001-03-02
Fort Lauderdale, FL

1 edit
There's already a Sling Broadband offering WiMax and other broadband services in Florida.

RoguePimp

join:2001-01-31
Phoenix, AZ

The bigger picture

I think taht everybody is overlooking the bigger picture here. There was another press release today that went out after this one did. Charlie is looking at splitting up Echostar into 2 different companies. One the Dish core of subscribers and content. The other Echosphere, the uplinks and sattelites and set top box design group.

Sling would could go with either group for various reasons.

jgkolt
Premium
join:2004-02-21
Avon, OH

slingbox

slingbox is awesome. i have been using it for about a year now and i cant complain.

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

Re: slingbox

Can some actually describe what exactly a slingbox does? And how well it does it?

My impressions of the slingbox is it's like video-over-IP as in you connect it to something and then watch that video somewhere else.... but I'm not sure.

jgkolt
Premium
join:2004-02-21
Avon, OH

Re: slingbox

the slingbox has inbox from some source(normal cable for me) and sends it over to 1 person who has the software running on a pc or phone and connects to it. the quality over the internet is limited to the uploading bandwidth where the slingbox is located at. mine looks kinda like a vcr quality but darn good service. it is nice to use when you don't have anything to watch.it is kinda like video over ip. all the slingbox really does is converts the signal from the cable line to tcp/ip and directs it like a server.
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KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

Re: slingbox

Thanks!
bolco

join:2005-07-27
Washington, PA

1 edit

Well....

I am extremely familiar with Dish Network and had an interest in the company for many years. In my OPINION, they can do things right...when they want to. BUT, I also know that (over the years) after they provided a fair-priced QUALITY product and sucked in millions of customers they became somewhat greedy. In my OPINION, they started to nickle and dime the customer base to death. Some items, initially offered at free, now cost four, five, or more dollars per month. I can see them deciding to charge a monthly "access fee" to maintain all of the SlingBox users "SlingFinder ID." Hey, maybe I'm wrong...and I hope that I am...but, I don't trust Charlie as far as I could throw him.

tpac_man2

@telepacific.net

Re: Well....

I totally agree... Dish has good service in my area but their customer service and billing sucks. They offer rebates for referring customers and then you have to hassle with them for a year before they give it. They charge you extra because your phone line is not plugged in, thats B.S i never disconnect that line, its really hard to get to.
they are liars and I hate their business practice. I'm ready to switch, but is there really anything out there thats better?