Sling Media has been the go-to provider for video placeshifting solutions for nearly seven years now. The California-based company launched its first Slingbox in 2005, enabling users to watch live television exactly as it was being broadcast to their homes on any Internet-connected PC. The company rolled out its first SlingPlayer Mobile application the following year and it hasn’t looked back, continuing to expand its mobile offering to support a wide range of popular platforms and devices. Sling Media will launch the latest addition to its mobile app lineup on Tuesday when it releases SlingPlayer Mobile for Amazon’s popular tablet, and we spent much of our weekend enjoying placeshifted live television on our Kindle Fire to test the new app. Check out a small gallery of screenshots below and hit the break for our early impressions of SlingPlayer Mobile for the Amazon Kindle Fire.More →
It looks like Sling Media and Verizon Wireless have inked a partnership that will bring the Slingbox experience to Verizon LTE smartphones. The service and accompanying fee, which was not disclosed, will provide users with the Slingbox hardware and software necessary to stream live television directly from their TVs to their Verizon, 4G mobile devices.
“Users can enjoy their TV while having their oil changed, waiting for a flight or taking a study break,” reads the press release. “Verizon Wireless customers will be able to sign up for the offer through V CAST Apps, Verizon Wireless’ mobile storefront, beginning later this year.”
The announcement also notes that the subscription fee will be applied to customers monthly wireless bill. Hit the jump for the full press release. More →
Sling Media announced Tuesday that its popular SlingPlayer Mobile software is now available for Windows Phone 7 devices. The mobile app will allow Windows Phone 7-powered handsets like the HTC Surround to stream live TV content from a home television via Wi-Fi or 3G. Sling Media uses a hardware component — a Slingbox — to capture signals from a user’s cable or satellite box and rebroadcast the content over the Internet using a private stream. Slingboxes can also stream content recorded with a DVR using the same technology. SlingPlayer Mobile for Windows Phone 7 is available immediately in the Windows Marketplace for $29.99. Hit the jump for Sling’s full press release. More →
Today is a great day for the forever on the go TV addict, as the the latest version of SlingPlayer Mobile for iPhone has arrived and brought 3G streaming with it. Available in the iTunes App Store for the princely sum of $30, SlingPlayer Mobile the other week won AT&T’s nod of approval thanks to its a new optimization live streaming optimization method that AT&T has been tinkering with since late last year. So far we’ve heard and read that the app runs fairly well in heavily congested metropolitan areas, but we’re pretty keen to know the experience of our readers first hand. After all, you’re one good looking and intelligent bunch and we think this version is slightly different than the 3G-enabled version we’ve been using. More →
Yesterday, we told you about an official AT&T press release that boasted of a partnership between AT&T and Sling Media, maker of the popular streaming television appliance Slingbox. In the press release AT&T CEO Ralph de la Vega said, “Just as we’ve worked with Sling Media in this instance, we look forward to collaborating with other developers so that mobile customers can access a wider, more bandwidth-sensitive, and powerful range of applications in the future.” AT&T’s CEO was referring to a compromise reached over the Slingbox Mobile media player that was banned from AT&T’s network due to bandwidth concerns. In a subsequent interview de la Vega continued, “They [Sling Media] made important changes to more efficiently use 3G network bandwidth and conserve wireless spectrum so that we were able to support the app on our 3G mobile broadband network.” So, what’s the problem? When Ars Technica caught up with Sling Media’s John Santoro, he had this to say: “We didn’t change anything, AT&T never discussed any specific requirements with us.” Santoro went onto explain that the code to optimize the Slingbox Mobile’s video stream, based on connection quality and network traffic, has remained unchanged since Slingplayer Mobile was first launched. A little egg in the face for AT&T, but hey, we’re getting Slingplayer Mobile, and in the words of Sling Media, “whatever the reason, we’re just glad AT&T has approved it.”
UPDATE: It seems that SlingMedia did, in fact, work with AT&T on getting this approved after all. Apparently while no code changes to the streaming portion of the application was changed due to AT&T’s requests, Sling did update it during continued development. AT&T later approved the application on their network for usage on iPhone devices. More →
We all know that AT&T defended its decision to cripple limit the iPhone SlingPlayer application with claims that such an application “would use large amounts of wireless network capacity” and “could create congestion and potentially prevent other customers from using the network”. The company further elaborated upon its stance by claiming that “applications like this, which redirects a TV signal to a personal computer, are specifically prohibited under our terms of service”. A Gizmodo tipster claims however, that these publicly proclaimed reasons are only half of the story and a more nefarious reason for a WiFi-only SlingPlayer exists. According to the tipster, AT&T is hard at work with a version of its own Slingplayer-like software, codenamed i-Verse. The i-Verse mobile application will reportedly interact with AT&T’s U-Verse television service and allow U-Verse subscribers to stream recorded video from their DVRs to their mobile phones. The i-Verse application was supposedly well-received when demoed last year and AT&T has been working overtime to get it up and running. Yeah, we can understand AT&T being sore that Sling beat them to the punch with its SlingPlayer app for the iPhone, but deliberately crippling a competitor’s application to give preference to its own app? That is a bit over the top and we hope for AT&T’s sake that this tipster is less than accurate in his claims.
Remember that story we broke last month? Unfortunately it looks like our tipster was indeed correct. While SlingPlayer Mobile for iPhone is about to become available in the App Store, it only will work over a Wi-Fi connection as opposed to a cellular data connection. It also will run you $29.99. The only good news we could scrounge up is that Sling has allowed/enabled the iPhone client to work on any Slingbox, but they won’t officially support it. All in all, we’re sad to say, we really don’t see this going over well. $30 for an application you can only use over Wi-Fi really doesn’t sound that appetizing. We love you Sling, but this isn’t exactly optimal.
Well, we’re going to hold on to our demo apps that work over 3G — who knew some applications would become collectibles? We didn’t have a chance to put a formal review together even though we’ve been using the application for the last month or so, but quick thoughts? Really solid product that had a ton of potential (and a nice revenue stream for Sling) had it launched with cellular data support. Couple laggy spots, but hey, it’s your TiVo (or whatever crap DVR you use) on your iPhone. Anywhere. AT&T really bent them over with a hot iron stick on this one…
Some feared it might happen, others thought it would pass with flying colors, but unfortunately we’ve got a tip that tries to shed some light on the situation. This was from an anonymous tipster and we’re posting it for information sake. We’ve already reached out to Sling Media PR, so in the meantime, while we wait, here’s what we’ve been told:
The application (SlingPlayer for iPhone) conformed to every single Apple guideline for applications and user interfaces, etc. The reason it was denied (actually denied today if our tipster is to be believed) was because of an executive decision on Apple’s end. AT&T had asked that the app be rejected due to worries about bandwidth consumption (this doesn’t make too much sense given that other devices has been using SlingPlayer Mobile for a long time…).
What do you guys think? We’ll update this when we hear more!
UPDATE: Sling says that they “have had no word from Apple.” Yay!
We bet y’all thought this day would never come, huh? Well, change your pants, people. It’s officially unofficial. Sling has just updated their website, and is in the process of sending out emails to people announcing that the much-awaited SlingPlayer Mobile for BlackBerry software will enter into a public beta on December 30th. A nice late Christmas gift? You betcha’. We’re sworn to secrecy at the moment, but, how do we say this… You. Will. Love. It. The software supports pretty much all current models (ones with 3G and/or Wi-Fi are preferred) like the Bold, Curve 8900, Curve 8320, and Pearl Flip 8220. All in all, it’s awesome that this is finally being released. Boardroom meetings will never be the same…
Woh, woh! Hold on there killer! It’s not like the image above suggests that’s what WE would watch if RIM and TiVo built a streaming application… We’re just saying, you know? If you happen to have a TiVo hard drive full of old episodes of a certain show you enjoy, whatever that may be, this would enable you to watch them on the go. Ok good, we’re clear then. It’s easy to get ahead of yourself when you hear that RIM and TiVo have announced a partnership, but Sling Media and HAVA shouldn’t be shaking in their boots just yet. The initial announcement only covers an integration that would let BlackBerry-rocking TiVo users remotely view program guides and schedule recordings. Ok, that’s cool. Some might say however, that Jim’s statement alludes to the fact that we can expect a bit more as this new partnership evolves:
As the BlackBerry smartphone continues its evolution as a modern lifestyle device, the importance of home entertainment integration will continue to grow and TiVo will be the key in providing consumers with greater flexibility in accessing television content.
Being able to schedule your box to record the next few episodes of Entourage while on the go is hardly “accessing television content,” so we’d like to think that Balsillie was pretty clear with his intentions. Now that the Bold gives us some 3G love, there’s no reason that someone shouldn’t provide a solid TV streaming app for BlackBerry!