Archives For Slingbox

Vulkano Flow

Vulkano Flow, the first of two new Monsoon Multimedia placeshifters announced at CES, is now available for purchase from the likes of Amazon and Fry’s Electronics for a mere $99. Making it the least expensive Slingbox-esque product on the market.

Unlike Moonsoon’s 2010 Vulkano product that tried to do it all, with less than stellar results, the Vulkano Flow attempts to do one thing well — stream television content around and beyond your home. I’ve been evaluating the Flow for several weeks and it largely succeeds. In fact, you’ve already seen it in action (here and here).

As with all personal, hardware-based placeshifting solutions the Vulkano Flow hangs off your set-top box or between a STB and television. In my case, the Flow has primarily been used to beam FiOS TV DVR video to Mac, PC, iPhone, and Android software clients. While Sling still stubbornly refuses to integrate wireless capabilities, the Vulkano Flow can optionally connect to your home network via 802.11n – which is the config I’ve been using. And the streaming experience over WiFi, both within and beyond the home, has been very good. 3G, not so much.

Vulkano Flow

The hardware is contained within the same or a very similar enclosure as the original Vulkano (“Platinum”) which will presumably also be reused for the upcoming Blast… given the taped over SD slot and functionless IR receiver. But for 99 bucks, I can’t complain. In terms of size, the Vulkano is wider than all Slingboxes, but with a much lower profile – it sits well in the cabinet on a DVR. Streaming resolution is equivalent to the Slingbox Solo, maxing out at 720×480. So while the Flow can take in your HD content, the encoded retransmission is limited to standard def. However when on the road, especially via mobiles, this shouldn’t be a practical problem. Continue Reading…

In an attempt to produce that oh-so-elusive all-in-one “God Box”, EchoStar has introduced the SlingLoaded HDS-600RS to the UK. Not only is it a dual tuning Freesat+ DVR that offers Internet apps (BBC iPlayer is up first), it also provides integrated Slingbox placeshifting capabilities. Allowing one to enjoy those 150 free satellite channels around the home… or anywhere beyond.

The inscrutably named HDS-600RS is available for pre-order from Amazon, ships next week, and clocks in at £350 — which equates to about $575 USD. On one hand, that seems somwhat pricey and you’d think EchoStar might have provided something more than a 500GB drive or thrown in the mobile apps to sweeten the deal. On the other, there’s a lot of functionality to be had here and it’s not like owners will be burdened with box or content subscriptions/fees.

Slashgear went hands on with a company rep and shot video of the box in action (and where I swiped the UI shots from) – check it out!

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Sling Media has released an updated version of its SlingPlayer Mobile app for Android. The new version adds an option for higher quality video and also fixes problems affecting Motorola Atrix users and connectivity issues that had affected some T-Mobile users.

SlingPlayer Mobile is an app that lets you stream live or recorded TV from your home theater setup to your mobile phone over a WiFi or mobile broadband connection. In order to use the $30 app, you’ll need to buy Slingbox hardware to connect to your home theater.

The company recently launched updated software for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad as well, adding support for video output using a component cable.

This post republished from Mobiputing.

Sling Media has launched updated versions of its SlingPlayer Mobile  apps for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. The new apps add support for video out, which means you can transmit video from your mobile device to a TV over a component cable — assuming you have the correct adapters.

You’ll still need a Slingbox to get the most out of the SlingPlayer Mobile app. What the Sling system lets you do is connect a Slingbox to your audio and video components and then stream live TV or recorded shows from your DVR over the internet to the SlingPlayer Mobile app on your iOS device or to a PC or other device with SlingPlayer software.

Now that the SlingPlayer iOS app supports video output, you can use it to do things like record a movie on your home DVR, drive over to your buddy’s house, connect your iPhone to his TV, and watch the movie without burning it to DVD or other physical media first.

In order to use the new video out capability you’ll need an iPad or iPhone 4 (although the latest iPod touch may work as well, since it has the same processor as the iPhone 4).

SlingPlayer Mobile for the iPhone and iPad is available from the App Store for $29.99.

This post republished from Mobiputing.

DISH Network Calls TiVo Stale

Dave Zatz —  January 28, 2011

Over the last several weeks we’re been hit by a large number of comments originating from DISH Network. While we encourage industry participation and greatly appreciate corporate disclosure, this is a clear case of astroturfing – these drive-by comments largely bad mouth the competition while pumping their own product lineup, versus joining the conversation. My friends at GigaOm/NewTeeVee have been similarly hit and seem to feel the same.

Generally speaking, the comments haven’t been very compelling (or coherent). But the most recent contribution is extra special… posted by someone who identified himself as DISH Network employee and originating from DISH Network’s IP range:

TiVo has not made a lot of strides […] since their initial product release.  That’s why I’m glad I am both a customer and employee of DISH Network. DISH is constantly at the forefront of new technologies […]

Now I often come down on TiVo for their slow pace of innovation. But it’s a bit different when the criticism comes from a DISH Network employee… as they’ve been engaged in a protracted patent infringement battle. Which, incidentally, DISH/EchoStar lost. To the tune of $100 million and possibly counting.

So this is the point in the article where I’d typically make some snarky remarks wondering how exactly DISH might have found itself “at the forefront of new technologies” and suggesting TiVo’s been preoccupied with legal proceedings at the expense of innovation. But I’ll leave any further commentary to you in the comments…

I told you Sling had some unexpected and positive news here at CES. In addition to the upcoming Google TV SlingPlayer functionality, they’ve announced a partnership with Verizon. Not only is it  huge accomplishment to broker a deal with a major US carrier, for those of us who remember, it’s also somewhat ironic… As early in Sling’s history, Verizon was the one who said something like three Slingbox customers hitting a single Verizon tower could bring it down. Which, of course, was nonsense. But it gives you a sense of how far Sling has come. And perhaps how far Verizon’s network has come.

While at Sling’s booth, I got a general sense of how this partnership will work. In a few months, as LTE smartphones launch, Verizon will offer a complete Slingbox package to include a new placeshifter, powerline networking gear, and software. I suspect there’ll be some sort of upfront hardware fee or deposit, along with a monthly service charge. I also assume that even though offered through Verizon, the new Slingbox will function identically to existing Slingboxes… and given the mobile focus, I imagine the resolution will be comparable to the 640×480 SOLO (versus PRO-HD hardware).

Engadget managed to snap some pictures of the new Slingbox. And, as you can see, it’s quite small and can be positioned either horizontally vertically. Although it’s not nearly as attractive as DISH Network’s cheese grating Slingbox. Unfortunately, I still haven’t heard of any new retail Sling gear. So I guess it continues to be the SOLO or PRO-HD.

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Watch Slingbox on Google TV!

Dave Zatz —  January 7, 2011


It turns out my old friends at Sling Media do have one or two new and notable items to share from CES. And first up is a Google TV SlingPlayer client — eliminating the need for dedicated SlingCatcher hardware (that didn’t turn out so great anyway). It should go without saying that I’m very pleased to see Sling move in this direction… as I assume this is just the first of various television- and set-top-based apps.

The initial Google TV app isn’t actually an app, but rather a Flash website optimized for the platform. As you can see from the pics, they’re logically carrying the Android interface onto the Android-based Google TV. The software and experience look pretty dang complete, with streaming up to 1080i, but all Sling will tell me is that they intend to launch sometime this year. However, it’d make sense to see them ultimate move to a dedicated app if/when Google launches a television-based marketplace – something that seems like an inevitability. Continue Reading…

Late last night, an updated SlingPlayer Mobile for iPhone was released to the App Store. And the refreshed placeshifting software inherits two notable features from its iPad big brother… the new program guide and, much more significantly, higher resolution streaming — I’m thinking in the neighborhood of 640×480 and utilizing H.264 encoding. Which is why only the newer, more capable Slingbox SOLO and PRO-HD units can provide it.

Unfortunately, I’m not in the position to test much of anything at the moment. While I’ve downloaded the update, my PRO-HD (and a ton of other gear) is boxed up in the basement after the big move. So we’re counting on the ZNF community to share their experiences in the comments.

(Thanks, morac!)