Archives For Slingbox

Sling Media has launched updated versions of its SlingPlayer Mobile  apps for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. The new apps add support for video out, which means you can transmit video from your mobile device to a TV over a component cable — assuming you have the correct adapters.

You’ll still need a Slingbox to get the most out of the SlingPlayer Mobile app. What the Sling system lets you do is connect a Slingbox to your audio and video components and then stream live TV or recorded shows from your DVR over the internet to the SlingPlayer Mobile app on your iOS device or to a PC or other device with SlingPlayer software.

Now that the SlingPlayer iOS app supports video output, you can use it to do things like record a movie on your home DVR, drive over to your buddy’s house, connect your iPhone to his TV, and watch the movie without burning it to DVD or other physical media first.

In order to use the new video out capability you’ll need an iPad or iPhone 4 (although the latest iPod touch may work as well, since it has the same processor as the iPhone 4).

SlingPlayer Mobile for the iPhone and iPad is available from the App Store for $29.99.

This post republished from Mobiputing.

DISH Network Calls TiVo Stale

Dave Zatz —  January 28, 2011

Over the last several weeks we’re been hit by a large number of comments originating from DISH Network. While we encourage industry participation and greatly appreciate corporate disclosure, this is a clear case of astroturfing – these drive-by comments largely bad mouth the competition while pumping their own product lineup, versus joining the conversation. My friends at GigaOm/NewTeeVee have been similarly hit and seem to feel the same.

Generally speaking, the comments haven’t been very compelling (or coherent). But the most recent contribution is extra special… posted by someone who identified himself as DISH Network employee and originating from DISH Network’s IP range:

TiVo has not made a lot of strides […] since their initial product release.  That’s why I’m glad I am both a customer and employee of DISH Network. DISH is constantly at the forefront of new technologies […]

Now I often come down on TiVo for their slow pace of innovation. But it’s a bit different when the criticism comes from a DISH Network employee… as they’ve been engaged in a protracted patent infringement battle. Which, incidentally, DISH/EchoStar lost. To the tune of $100 million and possibly counting.

So this is the point in the article where I’d typically make some snarky remarks wondering how exactly DISH might have found itself “at the forefront of new technologies” and suggesting TiVo’s been preoccupied with legal proceedings at the expense of innovation. But I’ll leave any further commentary to you in the comments…

I told you Sling had some unexpected and positive news here at CES. In addition to the upcoming Google TV SlingPlayer functionality, they’ve announced a partnership with Verizon. Not only is it  huge accomplishment to broker a deal with a major US carrier, for those of us who remember, it’s also somewhat ironic… As early in Sling’s history, Verizon was the one who said something like three Slingbox customers hitting a single Verizon tower could bring it down. Which, of course, was nonsense. But it gives you a sense of how far Sling has come. And perhaps how far Verizon’s network has come.

While at Sling’s booth, I got a general sense of how this partnership will work. In a few months, as LTE smartphones launch, Verizon will offer a complete Slingbox package to include a new placeshifter, powerline networking gear, and software. I suspect there’ll be some sort of upfront hardware fee or deposit, along with a monthly service charge. I also assume that even though offered through Verizon, the new Slingbox will function identically to existing Slingboxes… and given the mobile focus, I imagine the resolution will be comparable to the 640×480 SOLO (versus PRO-HD hardware).

Engadget managed to snap some pictures of the new Slingbox. And, as you can see, it’s quite small and can be positioned either horizontally vertically. Although it’s not nearly as attractive as DISH Network’s cheese grating Slingbox. Unfortunately, I still haven’t heard of any new retail Sling gear. So I guess it continues to be the SOLO or PRO-HD.

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Watch Slingbox on Google TV!

Dave Zatz —  January 7, 2011


It turns out my old friends at Sling Media do have one or two new and notable items to share from CES. And first up is a Google TV SlingPlayer client — eliminating the need for dedicated SlingCatcher hardware (that didn’t turn out so great anyway). It should go without saying that I’m very pleased to see Sling move in this direction… as I assume this is just the first of various television- and set-top-based apps.

The initial Google TV app isn’t actually an app, but rather a Flash website optimized for the platform. As you can see from the pics, they’re logically carrying the Android interface onto the Android-based Google TV. The software and experience look pretty dang complete, with streaming up to 1080i, but all Sling will tell me is that they intend to launch sometime this year. However, it’d make sense to see them ultimate move to a dedicated app if/when Google launches a television-based marketplace – something that seems like an inevitability. Continue Reading…

Late last night, an updated SlingPlayer Mobile for iPhone was released to the App Store. And the refreshed placeshifting software inherits two notable features from its iPad big brother… the new program guide and, much more significantly, higher resolution streaming — I’m thinking in the neighborhood of 640×480 and utilizing H.264 encoding. Which is why only the newer, more capable Slingbox SOLO and PRO-HD units can provide it.

Unfortunately, I’m not in the position to test much of anything at the moment. While I’ve downloaded the update, my PRO-HD (and a ton of other gear) is boxed up in the basement after the big move. So we’re counting on the ZNF community to share their experiences in the comments.

(Thanks, morac!)

First revealed as the Slingbox 700u at CES back in January, the smallest, sleekest Echostar placeshifter is now available to DISH Network customers for a low $99. And it’s the tight integration with DISH DVR hardware that allows the “Sling Adapter” to shed so much bulk… and cable clutter. Whereas an agnostic Slingbox requires video and network connectivity, along with an IR blaster and power adapter, the Sling Adapter requires a single USB cable to facilitate the broadcast of your television content around the home and beyond. However, Sling Adapter access is currently limited to web browsers on Windows or Mac OS X. Versus all the various options (web, OS X or Windows software, mobile clients) available to Slingbox customers. Lastly, the Sling Adapter only brings placeshifting capabilities to ViP 722 and 722k DISH hardware. Which might be OK as literally millions of these units have been deployed and this model DVR is standard for new customers (at no charge).

The initial reviews:

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More Slingbox iPad App Details

Dave Zatz —  November 16, 2010

We’re still not quite there… but getting closer to the highly anticipated SlingPlayer Mobile for iPad ($30).

As previously discussed, this isn’t an enhanced iPhone Slingbox client – but rather an entirely new app that’s reworked to stream at the more efficient (for Apple devices) H.264. Additionally, I’ve confirmed with Sling Media that the maximum native resolution has been upped to 640×480.

As you can see above or below, the iPad SlingPlayer UI is quite different from what we currently see within the iPhone app. The video perimeter looks like it can get pretty busy with buttons. However, it beats dropping them on top of video content and a simple tap seems to clears them at will. Additionally, unlike what we saw at the iPhone client launch, this iPad app appears to ship with a full complement of aspect ratio toggles. Perhaps it’s heresy, but (on screen sizes these small) I prefer stretching and cropping to black bars. So I’m happy to see them fill the entire 10″ iPad display with video. Lastly, there’s a new EPG for navigating live content.

While the upcoming SlingPlayer iPad app isn’t an Universal build, I’ve learned that Sling’s existing iPhone client will see an upgrade in the near future — delivering some of these iPad features, including both the new guide and H.264 streaming. Which may mean some of you will need to upgrade to current Slingbox hardware (SOLO, PRO-HD) to partake.

Unfortunately, we don’t have a SlingPlayer Mobile for iPad release date and the software hasn’t yet been submitted to the App Store for review. However, Sling intends to do so “in the very near future” once they work through a few lingering items… like what streaming resolution they’ll facilitate over 3G (versus WiFi). In fact, they assure me the app will “definitely” be available this year.

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Believe it or not, I’ve read each of the 22,896 comments (plus countless spam) left here on ZNF. And yesterday we got a great tip in response to the forthcoming iPad Slingplayer… that requires owners of earlier generation Slingbox placeshifters upgrade to the SOLO or PRO-HD. But wait, it’s not just the new iPad Slingbox client that requires newer hardware. It turns out I overlooked that same upgrade tidbit in relation to the new Windows Phone 7 software.

As we’ve previously discussed, I suspect this new line in the sand is both a technological and business decision. Regardless of how we got here, there’s probably a large number of disgruntled Slingbox owners exploring their upgrade options. So this $80 Slingbox SOLO deal from OfficeMax, with free shipping, is probably the best your going to get. In fact, I can’t recall seeing ever seeing new SOLO hardware listed under $110. For comparison purposes, Sling’s own upgrade program prices the SOLO at $130 and will buy a brand new one from you for $82.

(Thanks, ScaryMike!)