Any Slingboxes still out there are about to get bricked.

Dish Network this week emailed reminders to users of Sling Media’s Slingbox — the once-controversial devices that “place-shift” pay-TV services by streaming live TV over the internet — that the servers that power Slingboxes will be permanently taken offline on Nov. 9, 2022.

The Slingbox, which never achieved mass adoption, came out before the ascendancy of video-streaming powerhouses like Netflix and YouTube. But some of the technologies developed by Sling Media have since become widely adopted by the industry.

“Slingbox is being discontinued due to technology advances within the TV industry,” the notice sent to Slingbox customers said. “The demand for Slingbox has decreased as the ubiquitous nature of streaming devices and services has changed and modernized over the past several years. As a result, we are focusing our efforts on continuing to develop and enhance innovative products for Dish TV and Sling TV to meet the evolving needs for place-shifted viewing.”

Dish had announced the planned shutdown of Slingbox two years ago, when it said it was discontinuing the products. Founded in 2004, Sling Media was acquired three years later by EchoStar, which at the time was Dish’s parent company, for $380 million.

At the height of the Slingbox’s popularity, the product raised the ire of content owners, including Major League Baseball, which contended the device illegally transmitted its TV programming online (although MLB never pursued litigation). In 2014, Fox Broadcasting filed a lawsuit alleging that Dish’s Sling-based feature represented copyright infringement; after a court ruled Sling technology didn’t violate copyright law, Fox and Dish settled the disputes in 2016.

Sling Media was founded by brothers Blake and Jason Krikorian. Blake, a tech entrepreneur and investor, died in 2016. The brothers conceived of the Slingbox after they were frustrated they couldn’t watch their favorite baseball team — the San Francisco Giants — when they were on the road.

The Krikorian brothers code-named the product “Lebowski” because of the catchphrase “The Dude abides” in the Coen brothers’ film “The Big Lebowski,” given that the Slingbox device adapted the format of the video stream in real time “abiding by what is possible at the time,” Blake Krikorian said in a 2008 interview with UCLA’s alumni magazine. Such adaptive bit-rate video technology is now ubiquitously used by streaming services to account for variations in bandwidth.

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