Sling Media, Inc. today announced that its award-winning Slingbox will soon be available for purchase across Japan. Sling Media is working with two partners to deliver Slingbox to the Japanese market: Itochu Corporation and I-O Data Device, Inc. Itochu Corporation will serve as Sling Media's exclusive distribution partner in Japan and I-O Data will market and sell the Slingbox through their retail locations across the country. The Slingbox will be available July 8th throughout I-O Data's online and retail locations and will cost 29,800 Yen/around US$ 260 (recommended retail price). The companies jointly made the announcement at a press event in Tokyo today.
"In January we stated our new investment round, which Itochu Corporation joined as a partner, would be used to help us expand internationally and reach new distribution channels and we continue to execute on that goal with today's announcement. Following a successful United Kingdom launch, we are now turning our focus to Asia and specifically the Japanese market," said Blake Krikorian, co-founder and CEO of Sling Media, Inc. "In partnering with Itochu Corporation and I-O Data, two strong, established Japanese technology companies, we have the resources necessary to market the Slingbox to a savvy Japanese consumer base. We know Japanese customers will love the Slingbox and we are very pleased to be making this announcement today."
Included with the Slingbox hardware is a localized version of SlingPlayer PC software compatible with most cable and satellite set-top boxes available to Japanese customers. This new version of SlingPlayer PC software features Japanese user interface and photo-realistic remote controls, giving customers the same look and feel of their home remote, but now on their desktop, laptop or Windows Mobile device. Furthermore, Sling Media and its partners, Itochu Corporation and I-O Data, created a local language web site that includes product and company information and customer and technical support. The site can be found at www.slingmedia.jp or from Sling Media's International launch page at www.slingmedia.com.
Heralded as one of the hottest consumer electronics products for 2005 by top U.S. industry and national publications alike, the Slingbox is a breakthrough consumer electronics device that enables consumers to watch their living room TV programming from wherever they are by turning virtually any Internet-connected Windows-based computer into a personal TV. The Slingbox redirects, or "placeshifts," a single live TV stream from a basic aerial connection, cable box, satellite receiver or digital video recorder (DVR) to the viewer's PC Ã¢â‚¬â€œ located anywhere in the home, the office or on the go via the Internet.
On a site note I can tell you that I have received my UK Slingbox yesterday (see my personal blog here for my first experiences) and it is as hot as it sounds! A full review of the Slingbox to come soon on the::unwired.
Cheers ~ Arne