Sling Media, the company that pioneered the concept of placeshifting television from the home for remote viewing over a broadband connection, is planning to provide a companion product to bring internet video to the television.

The prototype, to be presented at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, is one of a number of convergence devices that are beginning to bridge the last ten foot gap between the internet and the television set.

The Sling device will sit between a network connection and the big screen in the home, bringing broadband video to the television. The converse of the original SlingBox, it will apparently allow whatever is seen on a computer to be relayed to the television screen.

It will come equipped with a high definition HDMI port, as well as component and S-video outputs. It will support an optional internal hard drive and has two USB ports to connect to external storage and other devices.

The device will also work with a Slingbox to enable video material to be sent from within the home to another room in the house or to a remote location, enabling it to be seen on a normal television rather than a computer screen.

Competitive category
Meanwhile, at the same CES show, Axion is also showing a placeshifting product that consists of a base station and a portable wireless device with a seven-inch widescreen display.

The AXN-8017 allows users to watch home television or internet material anywhere in the world with a broadband connection. The same video can also be seen on a computer screen using the included My iTV software.

Any number of other media extender products will soon be available to bring together the worlds of broadband video and broadcast television.

Microsoft is expected to reveal plans to turn its Xbox 360 games console into an IPTV set-top box. A new version will feature a larger hard drive and include a high-definition HDMI port, in response to the launch of the Sony PlayStation 3.

Apple has unusually pre-announced a product, currently known as the iTV, which will connect to a television set. Some observers are anticipating a further announcement at Macword, when Apple chief executive Steve Jobs will being giving a keynote speech.