EchoStar’s $380 million purchase of Sling Media once again raises the question of whether a consumer TV-device company can exist as a standalone entity. History has not been kind to such companies trying to break out from the startup field. Akimbo anyone? TiVo has also certainly seen its share of ups and downs (mostly downs). Even the attempts of larger tech companies at combining TVs and computers, such as the Apple TV or Microsoft’s various efforts over the years, haven’t fared any better at gaining massive consumer acceptance. The consumer-electronics giants and cable companies simply dominate this market. Given that reality, selling to EchoStar may have been Sling Media’s best option.