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Sling Media's Newly-Released Slingbox™ Uses Microsoft Windows Media and Texas Instruments Digital Media Technology to Deliver On-the-Go Entertainment

Groundbreaking CE Device "Placeshifts" the Living Room TV Experience

Jun 30, 2005

DALLAS (June 30, 2005) - Texas Instruments (TI) [NYSE: TXN] today announced its DSP-based digital media processor technology is at the heart of the first-of-its-kind SlingboxTM from Sling Media. The Slingbox, which is shipping to retailers today, enables "placeshifting," allowing consumers to watch live TV programming from wherever they are, by turning virtually any networked laptop or Internet-connected device into a personal TV.
Sling Media selected TI's DSP-based digital media processor technology because of its flexibility, performance, and optimal peripheral set. For the primary audio and video codecs, Sling Media turned to Microsoft for the Windows Media 9 Series platform, which provides excellent quality and device compatibility. This powerful and efficient platform, combined with a proprietary streaming optimization technology developed by Sling Media, enables the Slingbox to provide a high-quality video experience across a wide range of network conditions.
The Slingbox utilizes the flexibility and performance of TI's digital media processor to provide sophisticated capabilities, while helping reduce the overall cost of the product, making it affordable for consumers. With its high-level of integration and small form factor, TI's low-power, single-chip solution reduces the total system bill of materials (BOM).
"The performance, price and integration options provided by TI's digital media processors have made it possible for Sling Media to develop a first device of this kind that's affordable to consumers," said Blake Krikorian, co-founder and CEO for Sling Media. "We have achieved superior quality and device compatibility with technology from TI and Microsoft, and we are pleased to now be able to pass that along to consumers."
The widespread availability of broadband and wireless networks is creating new personalized entertainment opportunities that require sophisticated network-aware software in order for consumers to enjoy content at any place, any time they want in the home. TI's digital media processor, coupled with the compression efficiency of Windows Media Video 9 (Microsoft's implementation of VC-1, the proposed SMTPE standard), enables Sling Media to customize and tailor its product to meet network requirements and connections -- thus resulting in a top-quality picture. Exceptional compression rates of Windows Media Video 9 (VC-1) implemented on TI's DSP allows the Slingbox the ability to adapt to varying network conditions.
"We're very excited to see the Slingbox become a reality with our technology playing a key role in the new experiences it makes possible," said Kevin Unangst, director of Windows Digital Media at Microsoft Corp. "The combination of expertise from TI and Sling Media with the quality and compatibility of Windows Media Video 9 (VC-1) has delivered a truly innovative offering for personal entertainment."
This groundbreaking product won numerous awards at the 2005 International Consumer Electronics Show and recently appeared on FORTUNE magazine's 13th annual list highlighting its pick of the 25 most innovative upstarts. The Slingbox is expected to be on store shelves in early July at a price of $249.99, with no monthly service fees.
"It's exciting to see Sling Media leverage the advanced capabilities of TI's digital media processing technology to establish a new product category with its placeshifting Slingbox," said Jeremiah Golston, CTO DSP Streaming Media, TI. "Sling Media has brought to market a breakthrough product that is pioneering new ways of watching television from this point forward; TI is proud to help enable such innovation in the entertainment experience."
The TI processor features a level of programmability critical to the Slingbox. The DSP-based solution enables Sling Media to implement its proprietary streaming algorithms, perform remote upgrades and introduce additional software and services once units are already in the field. Delivering exceptional video quality with next-generation functionality and flexibility, TI's digital technology enables OEMs to evolve their designs to keep up with ever-changing technology demands.