Originally demo-ed in January and targeted for a Q2 release, the Mac SlingPlayer is being pushed back to September. While I can’t say I’m happy about a delay, I do appreciate upfront communication of the development status. (Hey, what’s up with Mac TiVoToGo?) I assume Apple’s early Intel adoption may have slowed things down somewhat. Additionally it’s my understanding that enabling Mac support is a huge undertaking because it changes the way video is handled on the Slingbox itself, potentially impacting and requiring changes to the PC software client. The good news in all of this? Sling has confirmed Mac software will be free and beta testing opportunities will be available as early as next month.
Sling says: Ultimately, we recognize that many Mac users have high standards for digital media products, and we are working hard to ensure we will meet and exceed those standards with the upcoming SlingPlayer for Mac. Unfortunately, while it’s probably not exactly what you wanted to hear, I hope you understand just how tricky some things are to manage for a small company. Bottom line is despite our initial intent to deliver a Mac/OSX version of the SlingPlayer in Q2’06, we are moving our target to Q3’06. As you are probably aware, the Mac landscape changed dramatically this year, and as a small company, we chose to shift development paths to deliver universal Mac support. The net effect of this shift has been to delay our Mac plans by about 90 days.
At some point right around the beginning of July we will begin the official signup process to become a Mac beta tester (just as we’ve done for all prior beta programs). Our public beta test (the one anyone can download) should be made available in late August. Commercial release will occur in September. One important piece of good news: we can put to rest the debate over charging. There will be no additional fees to download the SlingPlayer Mac software. Thanks for your patience and understanding.