SlingPlayer Hits Fire TV! Pre-roll Ads To Follow?


Without a hint of marketing muscle, SlingPlayer for Amazon Fire TV was quietly introduced a day or so ago. As you’d expect, the app allows you to pipe Slingbox video to another television in the home or really anywhere in the world. Or so their new TV Everywhere campaign proclaims. While I’m not prepared to pass judgement after only a few minutes of steaming TiVo > Fire TV Stick, it does indeed work as advertised (although only Slingbox 350, M1, and SlingTV/500 models are supported).

Interestingly, unlike recent Chromecast and Roku clients, this particular Slingbox presentation does not require a $15 mobile app in the mix… and harks back to the days of the Logitech Revue and WDTV Slingplayer. However, the fee-free sensation may be short-lived given the recently introduced and persistent banner ads now found in the web player… along with pre-roll video advertisements now being injected into our streams?!

(Via our pal Arne in Munich)

15 thoughts on “SlingPlayer Hits Fire TV! Pre-roll Ads To Follow?”

  1. Was hoping Fire TV Stick could permanently replace my Chromecast now that SlingPlayer is here… yet mine is still unpredictable.

    And of course a new layer of advertising will kinda take away from the experience. My ads have ads? Wondering if these things have something to do with new SlingPlayer desktop client development having seemingly stalled.

  2. Regional stuff wouldn’t surprise me. Having said that, the ads thus far appear limited to the web player – banner ads have been up a few months and the video injection is pretty recent, maybe not fully rolled out yet. But if they’re doing it for one platform, I assume it’ll be coming to all… The banner ads also aren’t very subtle or well integrated, like an web designer just forced it into the existing code last minute at direction of management.

  3. Geez, Sling is injecting ads into the streams themselves now? Banner ads are one thing, but that is WAY over the line.

    I’m so happy I got rid of my slingbox (and cable TV as a whole) years ago. Screw those guys. I want to watch my media remotely, I stream it from Plex.

  4. Bah, I was going to buy a new Slingbox, but everything that I used it for has an app now. My Genie Go actually works really well for those few things that I can’t stream directly from a TV Anywhere app.

    I can’t see changing my mind knowing that they are injecting ads of their own now.

  5. Yeah, I need to get a SlingTV review up… and then work on my next personal solution. Most of the stuff I want to stream is live sports or recorded programming. Many sporting events I can get via WatchESPN and Big Ten mobile apps. Recordings are tedious to get to via Sling due to the lag in controlling the TiVo UI. Plex might be one of my answers – the current Lifetime fee is $150, which is a bit much for an untested solution (for my needs) so I paid a month to check it out. Might have more to say on it tomorrow AM from the Starbucks.

  6. Anymore, the stuff that I want to stream is available in the SiriusXM Radio app. I’m way beyond the point in my life where Plex was useful to me, and I just don’t think that another Slingbox makes sense for me either.

    I used to think that my Genie Go was completely awful, but the fact is that it’s really fairly descent at what it does. The video quality isn’t the greatest, but it’ll stream anything from the DVR.

    This Solo is my first, and likely last Slingbox.

  7. FYI, there’s no need to pay for the “Plex Pass” unless you want to use an Xbox360 client (for now, this will go free later on) or want to copy your media to an android or iOS device inside Plex. The mobile apps cost between free and $5, depending on the various sales going on, and are well worth it.

    Paying for the Plex Pass is well worth it too for that matter, not for any of the features or options it brings but because I want the company to stay in business.

    Not sure how Plex plays TiVo recorded shows, as I got rid of my cable TV awhile back and had an original series3 even then. It would need to encode (as opposed to transcode) from mpeg2 to h.264 mpeg4 in realtime, which would require a fairly beefy CPU. It’s not really meant for that.

  8. “Not sure how Plex plays TiVo recorded shows, as I got rid of my cable TV awhile back and had an original series3 even then. It would need to encode (as opposed to transcode) from mpeg2 to h.264 mpeg4 in realtime, which would require a fairly beefy CPU. It’s not really meant for that.”

    Depends on your endpoint, of course. My Mac Mini endpoint can playback MPEG2 natively, so Plex doesn’t transcode. My Roku endpoint can’t playback MPEG2, but my ancient (5+ years old) and non-beefy server transcodes MPEG2 in real-time in a quite acceptable manner, if not as good as native playback, obviously.

    In short, I’d take a transcoded MPEG2 stream from non-beefy hardware over an OTT stream, FWIW…


    “It would need to encode (as opposed to transcode)”

    To be absurdly pedantic, it’s moving from a lossy format to a lossy format, which means “transcode” is indeed the correct word.

  9. My current pressing task is to watch TiVo recordings at the gym. Offline was my original goal… but I’ll try a few different permutations this week, including two Plex Pass features: Android sync for offline viewing and Cloud Sync to Dropbox or Google drive for streaming (since this MBA will close hibernating in the car). Plex will transcode in both cases, but not real time – so one less variable when I’m out of the home. Also, in both cases, there’s no sneakernet.

  10. As an original Slingbox Pro HD owner, I’m more than upset Sling has chosen not to support Chromecast and Fire destinations in their apps when slinging from that box. It still works great for me, and I’m not upgrading. Glad I have AppleTV (that works). Also just unloaded TiVo – I’m now a FIOS Quantum user, and I can’t say I miss it. And honestly I have more content that I can watch and move around than at anytime in the past. It works!

  11. I just tried this slingplayer app on one of my FireTV sticks. It worked extremely well streaming from a SLingbox 350 connected to a TiVo Mini. Now if I could just get my GF to dump her 1.2 mbps DSL and get FiOS or Comcast Internet. She’s had FiOS available for many years and still refuses to dump her slow as molasses DSL.

  12. I recently bought a Belkin @TV from eBay, for about $30 shipped. There is a seller auctioning off one after another for the last several months. My unit has many light scratches on the top, but all cables were brand new.

    Video through WIFI at my brother’s house 60 miles away was “Acceptable” I found a reference to the resolution, and remote viewing is 480P (widescreen). They called it “full DVD Quality” LAN viewing is supposedly 720P, but I can’t find any proof of that. Streaming to my phone works surprisingly well, my son watched a football game on my phone in the car for about 40 minutes.

    The App pricing is strange, free for tablets, but $13 for phones, unless you use the Amazon App Store, then its free for Android phones. Apple users have no such luck, free for tablets, $13 for phones and it apparently does not work with IOS 7. Which is why (I think) Belkin pulled it off of the market. No apps for Windows Phone or anything else. And I don’t see a way to make VLC or a third party app work (still working on that). PC & MAC software is free, and much better than the App.

    If your willing to have about “Zero” support, $30 is worth a gamble. If nothing else, just to see if you will use it. No advertisements, no tracking.

  13. Belkin’s placeshifting solution is a rebranded Monsoon product. I believe their “DVD quality” refers to 480 or 540p – it’s not HD. Beyond what I believe to be poor sales, Belkin settled with Sling/Echostar for infringement – I assume the agreement is something like they’d burn thru their inventory and that’d be that. Monsoon didn’t show up for court and their product line was then barred from US sales. So, yeah, I wouldn’t expect much support or app updates. But for $30, why not? Hopefully whatever servers broker the connection stay online awhile longer.

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