EchoStar To Pitch SlingModem At Cable Show


EchoStar will introduce its first product for the cable industry, the SlingModem, at The Cable Show in New Orleans next week.

For the first time ever, Charlie Ergen’s technology spin-off company will be an exhibitor at The Cable Show, with space at CableNet. EchoStar Technologies, a subsidiary of EchoStar, will be pitching its CableLabs Certified DOCSIS2.0 SlingModem, which includes the place-shifting capabilities of Slingbox.

Earlier this year Dish Network, Ergen’s 13.8-million subscriber satellite service, spun off EchoStar, which retained its set-top business and some other assets, including Sling Media, which had been acquired for $380 million last fall.

Ergen is chairman of both Dish Network and EchoStar.

“The introduction of the SlingModem demonstrates our operator-agnostic philosophy, as well as our dedication to the cable industry,” Sling Media CEO Blake Krikorian said in a prepared statement.

EchoStar first announced its plans for the SlingModem at the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.

SlingModem is one of Sling Media’s newest place-shifting devices, combining a DOCSIS 2.0-certified cable modem with the features of the Slingbox. Cable subscribers can use the device as a traditional DOCSIS cable modem that has the added benefit of built-in Slingbox functionality.

By connecting SlingModem directly to a coax cable input or set-top box, subscribers can receive live or recorded television on any Internet-connected device. SlingModem is easily installed through a single coaxial cable, eliminating the need for additional home networking connections.

“We are firmly committed to becoming the vendor of choice in the cable industry, leveraging decades of systems and manufacturing excellence,” Mark Jackson, president of EchoStar Technologies, said in a prepared statement. “We are excited to announce our first cable-ready product at the annual Cable Show, where we can meet face-to-face with industry veterans looking for innovative solutions that will reduce churn and increase average revenue per user.”

EchoStar currently sells set-tops to Dish Network and to a Canadian company, and eventually plans to incorporate Slingbox-functionality to set-tops as well as modems.

SlingModem is the first product from EchoStar and will be sold to cable operators, and the company is working on a variety of other products and services—including set-tops—for cable operators to be introduced later this year.