Hands on the iPhone SlingPlayer 1.1


As you may have read, Sling Media has submitted v1.1 of their iPhone Slingbox client ($30) to Apple for approval. And while streaming over AT&T’s network will still be prohibited at Apple’s insistence, Sling’s submitted a second version of 1.1 with hopes that cell carriers outside the US might be more accommodating. (Doubtful.) Having said that, SlingPlayer 1.1 corrects the other major flaw of their initial release by truly supporting 16:9, widescreen content. Additionally, there’s now a stretch mode to fill the screen should any of your source content end up with those unsightly black bars (as seen above).

Also new with v1.1 is true DISH STB integration, some of which I first saw demo-ed way back at CES. Instead of fumbling through a smaller version of a program guide or recorded content listings, the SlingPlayer “talks directly to the DISH Receiver” and will “draw a guide natively on the iPhone instead of just piping in a picture.”

Otherwise, the updated SlingPlayer is largely the same – there’s some performance and UI improvements, but not a whole lot of new functionality… or any changes in their underlying streaming technology. I fully expect Sling to ultimately migrate away from WMV to H.264 on the iPhone. Perhaps one of the motivating factors in their original, though now retracted, proclamation that this software would only work with newer Slingbox models.

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Bonus Coverage: Sling’s had a really hard time staying current with IR remote control support. I believe this to be both a technological challenge and a cost saving measure. Regardless, folks with newer devices often have limited or no device remote control functionality. Fortunately, the community often steps up. As in the case of Roku.

If you’d like to Sling and control Netflix, Amazon, or MLB.TV from your Roku, first download the PL.bin file from Sling Community. Drop it into the C:Program FilesSlingmediaSlingPlayerSBAV folder on a PC or /Applications/SlingPlayer/Contents/Slingbox Setup Assistant/Contents/Resources/SBAV folder on a Mac. Once complete, you’ll need to set up a new source via the Slingbox configuration wizard. Choose Other for device and enter V0864 as your Alternate Code. Then you’ll be good to go on both your desktop and mobile handset.