Q: Will Slingbox be releasing any new products?
Although at least sagetv was eventually open-sourced.
Data products available to all and sundry? Step right this way.
> A: Customer data will be handled in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations.
So, in other words, sold to the highest bidder in every jurisdiction where possible. What an awful non-answer.
This needs to become illegal. We need a law that requires companies who want to turn off required servers for products they've sold to either offer a 100% refund to everyone who's ever bought them, or fully open-source them so the community can make them work without the server.
What the company should do is rent you the physical device--not sell it to you. Cable companies operate on this model.
I'm not familiar if Slingbox's devices fall in this category as I've never used them though.
We have laws to protect consumer because they have a right not to be cheated out of their money. We don’t make it the job of lawyers and legislators to make decisions about which engineering architectures are right or wrong.
If we decide that consumers should be able to reasonably expect their widgets to last X duration of time, then that right shouldn’t be predicated on an engineering decision the consumer knows nothing about or has no power to choose.
Open sourcing sunsetted projects, seems like a really sane approach - because lets face it - it can, and is, used as a form of planned obsolescence.
I favor less onerous laws, myself. I think a big problem is that people are generally unaware of how dependent their tech is on company whims. A legally-mandated "ingredients list" or "smoker's warning" note detailing all service dependencies (and associated "stability score?") might help raise awareness.
My friend recently got a $6000 laser cutter that has a hard cloud dependency to do anything at all. It's all through their cloud interface. That thing scares the heck out of me. Just the other day it failed and just getting the error logs required a round-trip to support. It was just a dirty sensor. It constantly advertises its "premium" features and interrupts your workflow if the wifi is spotty (often the case in an industrial shop). I bet the machine will be a paperweight in 5 years, and require either wholesale replacement or a controller retrofit. In the meantime, I guarantee my offline CNC mill will be functional until it suffers some catastrophic hardware failure. Since it supports industry-standard protocols, I can use any of a hundred different software packages to run it, including several open-source ones. Unlike that laser cutter.
I don't know what the right answer is, but I'm not sure "open source everything" is the right one in this case.
* Make them open source the code anyway, and the licensors can pursue the company's estate for any associated contractual penalty
* Make the company refund the users and prioritize the users as creditors
* Make it explicitly illegal to create such products for which you haven't secured the rights to distribute the entirety of the codebase in case the company goes under.
This would of course cause less "innovation" in the field, though frankly, the planet needs less crappy IoT garbage that barely works and quickly turns into paperweights. But it could also open up some currently locked up parts of the industry. Less low-quality SDKs with per-seat licensing would also be a good thing.
We shouldn’t automatically reach to government intervention to solve every one of our pet peeves.
I don’t buy random gadgets that require cloud support from no-name companies for precisely this reason. You’re free to do the same. Eternal support for your consumer electronics is not a fundamental human right.
I am simply suggesting that the question of “How long will the manufacturer maintain the service this device depends on?” should fall in the category of those sorts of questions, and not the “Will this device kill me if I plug it into the wall?” category that regulation should be reserved for.
Most consumer protection laws are not about hazard and safety. For example, credit card companies having to refund fraudulent transactions has nothing to do with safety and everything to do with protecting people in the vastly power-imbalanced bank-client relationship.
That one is definitely part of the car upgrade treadmill rather than fully supported by evidence. It's also far from universal.
(See also "e-call", the EU proposal that cars should automatically text their location to the police when involved in an accident)
If you've bought a new device and it stops working after two years, is it a bit crappy? Yeah, of course it is. Is it legally actionable? Probably not. (IANAL obvs).
If they'd charged a subscription fee they might have more incentive to run the servers. Too bad their focus was on "no monthly fees"!
Dish also might have an upcoming/future motive to get Slingbox users to replace it:
In 2013/2014, they changed the way that it was handled.
I have 4 Slingboxes -- one in Miami, one in Kentucky, one in Cincinnati, and one as a "backup," -- and am really kinda bummed by this decision.
In fact, all patent applications (in the US at least) are published into the public domain. Feel free to download all of Apple's patent documents from uspto.gov, print them on T-shirts, and sell them on the street corner. *
You just can't build the devices described within the patent and sell them.
*(don't actually do this because I'm not a lawyer and their patent documents may contain mentions of their trademarks which have their own rules)
Hopefully, my indignation at the absurdity of software patents is now clear.
This and probably all the other aspects of Dish ownership etc.
I know there's a similar device made by Sony, but I recall that you had to be on the same network to actually use it (this may be solvable).
Maybe it's time to make an alternative device. I know there's a way to capture HDMI video on a raspberryPi, hopefully with decent frame rate.
Plex and Jellyfin support streaming from anywhere as part of their core offering, and live on your own hardware, and seem like an all around better option.
> A: We’ve had to make room for new innovative products so that we can continue to serve our customers in the best way possible.
That makes it sound like they have other products that are replacing this. Is that the case, or is this a case of extreme euphemism?
Q: Will Slingbox be releasing any new products?
>Q: Why is Slingbox being discontinued?
>A: We’ve had to make room for new innovative products so that we can continue to serve our customers in the best way possible.
>Q: Will Slingbox be releasing any new products?
Certainly a refreshing combination of sarcasm and bitterness.
Since Echostar already uses the Sling technology in its set-top-boxes, I wouldn't be surprised to eventually see a 5G streaming service from Dish that is all Sling-based.
honestly... how was this even a thing? i never got the appeal or the concept to wanting to watch my own TV from a device. i mean... do people actually miss their local programming that much when they are away?
I always wanted to set one up back in the day but never did as I don't watch much broadcast TV. I remember a friend of mine showing me his setup and thinking it was cool as heck to be able to stream all around his house or even remotely while he was on the go. Though this predated high bandwidth cellular data so "remote" meant "on a laptop over wifi."