Slingbox - "As Seen on TV"

It's incredible how powerful that tag line is. Somehow if you've seen something or someone on TV, it MUST BE IMPORTANT. I've never quite figured that out, but the American marketing machine has done a wonderful job of conditioning - or brainwashing, depending how far left you lean - the past few generations of consumers to respond like well-trained dogs to anything that's on TV. What else can possibly explain the runaway success of reality TV and extreme danger shows. People will DO ANYTHING to get on television. It never ceases to amaze me. Better stop now - I'm really tired, and don't want to get on this wavelength, coz I'll never get off it.

Back to Slingbox. I'm actually getting to a more subtle observation, which is this. While "as seen on TV" will continue to carry a LOT of weight, as everything becomes IP-based, it's also becoming true for the Internet. Watching TV on the Net is cool, and the big TV networks have quickly come around to the legitimacy of the Web as a channel for programming. So, you HAVE to love the irony of my Slingbox story here. I just think it's so neat that the cool factor for a device that lets you watch TV on the Internet is being partly driven by TV itself - the very medium it could one day displace. We're not there yet, but the "as seen on the web" idea will get more cachet because people have seen a device on TV that lets them do just that.

OK, I've taken that far enough. If you're still with me, here's the actual reason for this post....

A few weeks back, my colleague, Jim Courtney was interviewed by CBC TV as part of a story on Slingbox. Jim has been following Sling as long as anybody, and he's posted about them on his blog - and I've posted about him and Sling as well. He's also a contributing editor for Skype Journal, and I'll see him on Monday at the Mesh conference here in Toronto!

He called me at 6pm to tell me the segment was airing tonight on CBC Newsworld. Great news! I watched the segment, and it was great. Jim was on there, so he's gotta be a happy guy. I took a few photos off my TV using my Nokia N90, and here are some shots to give you a flavor for the profile. Apologies to Jim - you were only on a short time, and I kept missing you everytime I took a picture - the cutaways were really fast.

Blake Krikorian, Sling Media CEO


Backside of the Slingbox - that might be Jim's hand!


Mike Lee of Rogers commenting on what it means to MSOs