More Sling from CES (Android and Flash Coming)


I had a brief chat this morning with John Gilmore, Sling Media’ General Manager, who wanted to assure me (and ZNF readers) that (despite my concerns) they are far from done with retail. In fact, they’ll be actively growing that business. And the first related announcement is an upcoming Flash-based SlingPlayer being demo-ed in their booth. Meaning you could potentially turn your PS3 into a SlingCatcher and additional mobiles should be more quickly supported. The Flash player will hit the first half of 2010 with initial support for the Slingbox PRO-HD with the Slingbox SOLO to follow. And presumably any future retail Slingboxen.

I also had an opportunity to briefly chat with Sling’s mobile product manager, who announced an Android SlingPlayer client is coming (!), although they’re not prepared to discuss timing. Unfortunately, Palm’s webOS is currently being “evaluated.” Meaning a potential launch is much further away.

As you can see, I also snapped some photos of their four new products destined for cable and satellite providers (like DISH Network) – the impossibly small Slingbox 700u (above), Sling Touch Control, Sling Receiver, and Sling WiFi Monitor.

Click to enlarge:

15 thoughts on “More Sling from CES (Android and Flash Coming)”

  1. I don’t own a PS3, but I do like the idea of turning it into a Catcher. Now that’s an area I can see real growth in for Sling.

  2. What’s up with the pointless grids on either side of the 700u? it makes it much larger than it needs to be – it would be TINY without them.

    When I worked for Sling I lobbied for a Flash-based SlingPlayer, and said it could at least support the PRO-HD since Flash does H.264, as does the PRO-HD. And, IIRC, the SOLO’s chip can do H.264, it would just mean new firmware. Older Slingboxes are SOL – hardware doesn’t do H.264 – but such is life.

    And I’m very glad to hear Android support is coming. That’s something I was constantly pushing for as the next platform, and it certainly makes sense to do it before WebOS given the plethora of Android devices and the comparative sales figures. Android is stomping WebOS in sales now, and it’ll only get worse as more and more Android devices land.

  3. MZ, with this design it’s got a unique, marketable look and it won’t fly off the STB. I’m OK with it.

    I was surprised to hear Android has overtaken webOS in their development roadmap given my conversations with them last spring. But pleasantly surprised. It’s the right call.

    The SOLO is capable of H.264, but it sounds like the priority and first hit will be PRO-HD, then SOLO. And whatever else they’ve got in the pipeline.

  4. I’m glad to hear about the Android App. Wonder if it’ll be limited to wireless only on some networks (like the iPhone). I’ve been using my Slingbox on AT&T’s 3G network for a while now (on WinMo) and would hate to give that up.

    Now that WebOS can do native (C/C++) development, Sling should be able to provide a client easier. Until then, I guess flash will have to do.

    I’m still undecided on my next phone (and even network). Android looks good, but WebOS seems more polished. I’ll probably wait and see what comes out at Mobile Congress and then decide.


  5. itay, there wasn’t anything specific mentioned about any devices other than the ones I covered, but they alluded to products the pipeline when quizzed on abandoning retail. We shall see!

  6. Dave – thanks. It is actually encouraging information and I am actually more optimistic that we will see new exciting products (the question is when). I thought the company is dead, but it seems that they take the apple approach of not saying anything until it is actually there. It is a shame that they are not more active on the slingcommunity and interact with the fan base.

  7. I am very excited to see sling come to android… Can’t wait, even if it is WiFi only, im sure someone will come up with a 3g tricker program like the iPhone one. Sign me up for the beta. :)

  8. “…I was surprised to hear Android has overtaken webOS in their development roadmap…”

    I’m not.

    Ditto. I had a T-Mobile G1 when I worked at Sling as part of the pile of smartphones they sent me for my job running the mobile betas. It was just to try out Android and kind of shake it down, but I wasn’t the only one with a loaner G1 – and I didn’t hear of anyone with WebOS phones. (Maybe there were, but not that I knew of.) Android was always bantered around as the next logical platform, not just by me.

  9. I guess I’m surprised because there were some high level meetings between Sling and Palm that I had been briefed on and last spring I was told webOS was being worked on while Android was being evaluated. Now it appears these initiatives have flipped. Makes perfect sense given the market, but it’s a change.

  10. I knew about the meetings with Palm, but I never heard of them going anywhere.

    My personal speculation was that Sling might have been looking to have Palm fund the development as a partner to get the software on their phones as a marketing boost. If you want to pay for development, you go to the head of the line. ;-)

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