Time Warner to offer Slingboxes to cable customers

Time Warner Cable and Sling Media, two companies that have faced struggles in the digital media explosion, have comed together in a first-of-its-kind partnership.

Sling Media, in case you aren’t aware, makes little set-top box devices called Slingboxes. You plug in your cable box to your Slingbox, then plug in your Slingbox to your TV. When you’re sitting at home, you can watch cable TV just as you always have, as though nothing is different.

When you’re on the go, though, you can log into your Slingbox and watch live TV from virtually anywhere in the world.

While Slingbox has gained a cult following, it has not managed to gain widespread notoriety. Time Warner is looking to change that by giving away free Slingboxes to customers who sign up for its highest-end broadband Internet service, which costs $99 per month.

The Slingbox retails for around $300.

This new partnership expands on Time Warner’s growing strategy of giving customers access to their cable content in new remote, virtual ways.

The company already allows users to remotely program new shows to be recorded on their DVR, and the flagship Time Warner Cable iPad app lets subscribers watch live TV on their iPad. The only catch with that is it only works if users are connected to their own Time Warner Cable broadband Internet account, meaning it only works if you’re watching your iPad from another room in your home.

With Slingbox, though, users can watch anything, anytime, anywhere. By expanding its reach, Time Warner could lead the path to the future of cable TV service.