Sling’s Macworld Goodies: iPhone, OS X HD


Sling Media is on site at Macworld today and will be demo-ing authentic iPhone Slingbox software and Mac OS X HD streaming.

If you recall, Sling previously produced a (jailbreak) proof-of-concept SlingPlayer last summer for accessing home television content via iPhone. However, they’re finally ready to get legit with an SDK-produced client which they intend to submit to Apple for approval early this year (Q1). No word yet on cost. I imagine Sling’s still evaluating various price points, in light of Apple’s 30% cut and the small number of iTunes apps priced over $20. (All prior SlingPlayer Mobile clients have run $30 per license, after free 30 day trial.)

Also on tap (Q1) is OS X Slingbox PRO HD streaming. While Windows owners have enjoyed HD streaming these last few months, Mac users have been left out in the cold. That’ll be rectified shortly… via updates to Meaning, this is purely a web-based player – think browser plugin. I also have word that PC browser components will be updated to support HD streaming in the same time frame. No word yet on the possibility of updates to the desktop OS X software.

I expect to spend a decent amount of time with my Sling pals at the EchoStar booth from CES later this week. So standby for additional news, including Sling-capable DISH DVR (VIP 922s) updates and various hands on photos or video.

10 thoughts on “Sling’s Macworld Goodies: iPhone, OS X HD”

  1. Slingbox on the iphone is a no-brainer. Hopefully it pans out. Orb was accepted as an app so that is a good sign. I would easily pay $30 for a client.

    I think I am jumping into the iphone world this week so this is good news for me. March Madness on my iphone, that would rock (Q1, right?). Too bad the terps suck.

  2. Hey Dave, I am on my way to Vegas now and am thrilled to hear of the iPhone client and he upgrade for the mac!

    I look forward to seeing you in vegas!

    Btw have you seen yet? :)


  3. I can’t figure out why sling feels the need to charge for clients. Aren’t they a hardware company? Shouldn’t the clients be free to encourage consumers to buy slingboxes? I just don’t get how sling’s thought process works.

    Do they have to pay a technology licensing fee for each client downloaded or something? That would justify charging. It’s the only scenario I can imagine that would.

    All that aside, if they don’t disable streaming over 3G I’ll pick it up.

  4. One more thought. Even if they’re looking to the future with online streaming ( and preparing to exit the hardware business entirely, it STILL wouldn’t make sense to charge potential customers a one-time fee for the client, right? That’s not an appropriate revenue stream for online video. It should be monetized through advertising, subscriptions, microtransactions, etc. Not charging potential customers $10 to get in the door.

  5. gear – While all the focus tends to be on the iPhone, yes, the iPod Touch should work as well.

    Rodalpho – the fact is only a minority of Slingbox owners use SlingPlayer Mobile, most of our users only use the desktop clients. And developing SlingPlayer mobile actually takes more resources due to the number of platforms (Palm OS, Windows Mobile Standard & Professional, Symbian S60 & UIQ, BlackBerry, and soon iPhone) and the myriad of hardware/platform differences within those platforms – much harder to develop for than Windows XP/Vista and Mac OS. So you have more resources being spent to develop clients for far fewer users.

    SPM doesn’t really drive the hardware sales, so making it free isn’t seen as something that would sell enough boxes to compensate. We could raise the prices of the hardware to distribute the costs – but that’s not really fair to the majority of customers who don’t use SPM at all.

    As a consumer, sure, I’d love to see SPM offered for free. It sounds nice from a marketing standpoint too. But I’ve had the discussion with the product people, and at this time the adoption rates and the usage data we have don’t justify doing so. So for the time being SPM will be sold as a separate product for the minority of users who use it. But I really don’t think a one-time $30 fee is a major hardship. The SPM licenses are transferable, so as you get new devices you can just keep using the same license.

    I’m not sure yet if iPhone will work that way, due to the requirements of selling via the App Store, but we’ll see.

  6. $30 isn’t a major hardship, but neither was $99 for TiVo’s HMO. Both are silly ideas.

    Anyway, if it works over 3G I’ll buy it.

  7. Rodalpho, Sling’s a hardware, software, and services company with a variety of revenue possibilities. Some are in play now, perhaps others will come. And like most businesses, their goal is to make money.

    Regarding MZ’s comments… Things may have changed since my tenure at Sling, when we observed a high mobile software attach rate. Though, as MZ says, crafting (and supporting) these solutions is not inexpensive. And as you suspect, some platforms and codecs do involve licensing fees. Though Sling didn’t help themselves by wasting time with Palm OS and UIQ – not a good use of resources. Not that it would have sped up Blackberry or iPhone development, which has more to do with those platforms.

  8. @Rodalpho I purchased the SPM for my phone, three phones ago. If the license was not transferable I would have never purchased it in the first place. With that said I am very glad that I do have it. There are so many time that I am waiting for something and I can just pull my phone out and pick up where I left off on whatever I was watching on my TiVo.

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