Blackberry Slingbox Client Coming Soon

Sling Media has put a stake in the ground and intends to meet their goal of delivering a Blackberry SlingPlayer this year. On December 30th, the company will release a free public beta to Slingbox owners – supporting most modern GSM Blackberry models, such as the Curve and Bold. Meaning Verizon and Sprint customers are out of luck “until RIM resolves a platform issue.” Once official next year, I assume the software will run for a one-time $30 fee, like the Windows Mobile, Palm, and Symbian clients.

I’ve been playing with development builds for about a year. And the Blackberry SlingPlayer features the most efficient mobile interface Sling has produced, plus it’s also the first mobile client to support Sling Accounts. Meaning, customers don’t have to mess with tracking a Slingbox Finder ID – that number is associated with an email address, which most folks hopefully have no trouble remembering.

Of course, the inevitable commentary will ask about Slingbox iPhone softwareAccording to Sling, “It is still in development but progressing nicely, there will probably be some public news next month given CES & MacWorld.” Stay tuned!

10 thoughts on “Blackberry Slingbox Client Coming Soon”

  1. Forgot to mention that Sling only officially endorses 3G or WiFi connections. However, in many cases video streaming over EDGE is quite watchable. The pics I snapped above this AM are of Melissa’s Curve streaming over WiFi from a TiVoHD.

  2. It’s a real shame how long sling keeps products in-house instead of releasing beta versions to the public.

    C’mon now, the blackberry version has been usable for a YEAR! Seriously, what’s the holdup? Release time-limited betas with no suitability guarantees as early as possible. Get the product out to your customers. Even if it’s not perfect, put it in our hungry little hands.

    And yeah, I want the iPhone version _now_.

  3. I agree the development cycles are too long. However, I wouldn’t call it “usable” – it’s most certainly been an alpha product for much of that time. Also, for much of that time most people did not have the proper Blackberry firmware to even run it.

  4. Thanks for the insight. I guess my point is that sling’s mass-market aspirations aside, slingbox owners today are still early adopters and tend to be technically proficient. We’re impatient buggers who understand that betas aren’t supposed to be stable and just want to play with and show off new functionality.

  5. I agree early adopters are more technically savvy and perhaps more tolerant of beta quality (I usually am). However to get to that mass market, a product needs to be polished – if non-geeks see a rough application, with say audio/video sync issues, they’d be dissuaded to purchase themselves a Slingbox without knowing what we do about early software. But you’re right that Sling is more old school and conservative in the development process than say Google with their infinite beta sites or even Nokia with their Labs.

  6. Sling and TiVo are much alike. At release, they both had polished proprietary hardware offering truly new capabilities in home electronics. Both companies have incredibly long development cycles and tend to add and attempt to monetize silly ancillary features rather than focusing on improving core functionality. Now a couple of years later, non-TiVo DVR functionality is built-in to every cable/sat box and TiVo clings to life solely by winning an IP lawsuit. I love my TiVo S3, much like I love my slingbox, but TiVo always seemed to be headed in the wrong direction. Glacially slow development, silly new features, lack of innovation, closed platforms, static UI, horrid performance, intrusive advertising– just a litany of errors from TiVo. I believe that Sling today is TiVo seven years ago.

    Placeshifting is cool, but I can’t imagine it’s a difficult technology to copy, certainly no more than DVR. It’s just encoding/streaming video at limited bitrates, a problem that’s quite well understood. Sling needs to innovate, speed up development, get their client working on EVERYTHING like netflix, not charge for their client, widely license their technology (since the hardware isn’t moving fast enough), and generally move at a faster pace. Just my opinion.

  7. Rodalpho, Sling and TiVo are much different in that regard. Sling sold for $380 million and now it’s EchoStar’s problem. ;) (Whereas TiVo refused to even partner for many years…) And I have a grimmer look than you… Duplicating placeshifting isn’t the threat (both Sony and Hava haven’t made much of a dent is my guess), but the death of the category looms in the face of widespread web streaming and similar. In fact, Sling’s probably hedging their bets with and getting some of that content either into the Slingcatcher or a DISH DVR/STB at some point.

  8. I dunno, I don’t really think the category is going anywhere. Placeshifting is here to stay as long as consumers pay for subscription TV. I do expect to see it integrated at incremental cost into STBs, though.

    Good point about sling selling out early. That totally breaks the tivo/sling analogy.

  9. “…And I have a grimmer look than you…the death of the category looms in the face of widespread web streaming and similar..”


    Did Dave Zatz just say dedicated, proprietary hardware is doomed? Is he saying that everything should be a cloud service accessible by any hardware!?!?


Comments are closed.