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Sling Intros Slingbox M2, Now With Free Ad-Supported Mobile Apps

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One year after introducing the Slingbox M1, Sling Media is bringing out its successor.

Sling Media devices let viewers access and control their TVs and their recorded programs when they're out of the house. Previously, accessing a Slingbox from a mobile device required buying a $20 Slingplayer app. With the M2, the app is free, although it will now insert video ads which the company promises will be "seamlessly integrated." Apps are available for Apple, Android, Amazon, and Windows devices. The company says it will continue to upgrade the apps, improving video quality and adding a gallery viewing mode later this year. The free app will work with previously purchased M1 and 500 models (although the M1 is now discontinued).

"Our customers have been asking us to eliminate the cost of downloading the app for every mobile device that they own. The Slingbox M2 bundle addresses this request," says Michael Hawkey, senior vice president and general manager of Sling Media.

The company has improved setup with the M2 by adding a live video setup service. Buyers will get one-on-one assistance through a Skype video call, if needed. There are no hardware changes to the M2; the improvements are the free apps and the video assistance.

Note that Sling Media, which makes set-top boxes, isn't connected to streaming video service Sling TV (even though both are in the EchoStar family).

The Slingbox M2 is available now and lists for $199.99. 

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