SlingPlayer for iPhone Coming Tonight, Wi-Fi Only, $29.99?

MacRumors may just -- finally -- have the scoop on the long anticipated, almost as long delayed SlingPlayer for iPhone:

In addition to full support of current Slingboxes (PRO-HD and SOLO), legacy Slingboxes, which include the Classic, AV, and TUNER, will work with the application but will not be officially supported. However, the application will supposedly be limited to streaming only over Wi-Fi connections. Previous demonstrations of the application by Sling Media had promised EDGE and 3G support, however it appears as though this will not be the case.

Maybe those rumors about AT&T not being keen on all that streaming video traffic hitting their network were true? Price is rumored to be $29.99.

So, SlingBox owners, is this the SlingPlayer for iPhone you wanted? Good, great, wait?

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 46 comments. Add yours.

Kanos says:

$30 dollars, and have to buy a new Sling Box, only to work on WiFi. Sorry no thanks! AT&T can suck it... I may have considered it if it would work on 3G, but now, no way. WiFi does not work when out at a restaurant trying to catch a game, or riding in a car passing time. This just sucks!! AT&T seriously you SUCK! Really hoping Android steps it up because I need to get off AT&T.

Rick says:

Still enjoying my Orb player (only $10) over Wifi, 3G and even Edge! ....... Okay, video over Edge is usually not that enjoyable, but radio works fine.

cardfan says:

This is Apple's choice, not AT&T. They approve the apps.

Walt says:

Anytime an app is a WiFi-only, it's an instant pass for me.

Plasmanut says:

The question is, will we ever see TV streaming on the iPhone via 3G? It seems like an impossible feat to achieve, yet everything is in place to make it happen.
Sling with their boxes and their player defintitely had the inside track, but between their rather poor support for the Mac platform, a rather weird product matrix and now this fiasco with streaming for the iPhone, I will remain on the sidelines ad hope for something else to emerge.

dloveprod says:

A tv tuner and orb is so much cheaper, they should have given that software away for free in order to get more people to buy a sling box, would have been a nice pitch, "buy a sling box and watch movies with our free app now available in the app store" instead of "buy a sling box and watch movies with our $30 app in the app store"

Rick says:

Hey, Plasmanut! Orb streams live TV to the iPhone over 3G (Edge, too). So YES, we will see it.

Knocker says:

Kanos, if you read the quote, the legacy Slingboxes such as AV, Classic and Tuner will work with it, but will not be officially supported (tech supported). It's actually a relief to hear because I have an AV one. Maybe they heard the protests and changed some code, and that's why it took a little longer to release?
Now to change that WiFi-only restriction... One step at a time, I guess.

Watts says:

WIFI only is due to AT&T refusing to allow it on the network. They were going to block it one way or another (Via Apple or TOS on your AT&T contract).
The only reason I have AT&T is for the iPhone. As soon as Verizon or Sprint start carrying it, say buh-bye AT&T.
Someone will have a jailbroken version of this app soon enough.

Fonzman says:

@Watts AT&T allows it with other phones. I use slingplayer constantly over 3g with my AT&T tilt. Why not on the iPhone?

Mike says:

I just set my SlingBox back up, def happy about this one. @watts, Verizon would never let a phone manufacturer have the type of control over their device that AT&T allows. Look at how bad their handsets are. I'm just hoping AT&T can expand their network fast enough to handle the traffic of the new one.

fro says:

Agree with Kanos. Ridiculous. Most mobile people, when on wifi, have a laptop with them anyway.

JNGold says:

Slingplayer for iPhone WiFi ONLY = SUCKS=EPIC FAIL!

dloveprod says:

I think orb was wifi only at first, then later it was opened up for 3g

Greg says:

I have to buy a new sling, pay $0, and can only use on Wi FI i should of kept my treo it worked just fine on there!!!! Maybe Sprint is leading the airwaves over ATT???

Roundel says:

i'm going to pass.
Where WiFi is in my life, work and home, I typically have my laptop with me and thus a much larger screen to watch my sling player. As much as people like to talk about how WiFi is widely available, It's not really and if it is most of the time it's a pain to log onto networks. Maybe OS 3.0 improves that situation....
It's a shame because Apple/AT&T could have allowed this app to go on the 3G network with bandwidth caps and I bet Sling could have optimized the app to work well enough.
Who else is just about mad enough to jailbreak because they're tired of Apple/AT&T dictating how we use the products we've already purchased? I think I'm there and if this app is ever released to the jailbreaking community I'm going that route.

Ed says:

Smoke & Mirrors is the technology behind AT&T's 3G Network. There is no way AT&T can allow Sling access as the fat continuous data streams between thousands of Slingboxes and iPhone's would disrupt voice communications.
To protect their voice service SLA's, they simply can not allow this.
Before you shell out $30 to the iTunes store tonight, wait to see what Sprint and the Palm Pre will bring. With all that churn out of Sprint, they must have the bandwidth capacity to accommodate the Slingplayer.

Rajiv says:

Doesn't AT&T allow the SlingPlayer app to work over 3G on some Blackberries?

Sol says:

If wi-fi only then they just lost a customer. I have never owned a slingbox, but was ready to spend the $$$ if I could watch tv on my train commute to work. wi-fi only? Only time I'm really on wi-fi, i'm near my HDTV anyway so why in the world would I want this?

Rajiv says:

Remember you can use VOIPover3G to use this app through a 3G connection.

cyberbob says:

Doesn’t AT&T allow the SlingPlayer app to work over 3G on some Blackberries?
@Rajiv: AT&T doesn't "allow" Sling on other devices. They just don't have any say so over the software with those devices. AT&T' knows it can't handle the network traffic that would be generated by this app over the 3G network. Just 3G data alone killed it when the last iPhone was released.

Thomas says:

Wi-Fi only?
All I can say is... WTF over?

mikenyc2 says:

We do not know if VOIPover3G will work with Sling software. I thought VOIPover3G was tailored for only certain software like Skype?
Also I'll be interested to learn is it will work with the AV hardware I have. I hope someone can confirm that.

Roundel says:

Rajiv,
Thanks for the info on voipover3g. I was googling and found this out about the time you posted.
Here's the question. Who is willing to jailbreak and purchase voipover3g in order to get the sling app to work over 3G?
I don't consider myself a rule breaker, but I've decided I'm going to jailbreak as I consider what Apple/AT&T have done is cross over the boundry of service providers and into the realm of thought police.
This is a medium-sized step (after a number of little steps) toward the loss of Net neutrality by the carriers/handset makers.
Enough.

Chamen-venom says:

This is bs, verizon please take the exclusive rights away from att already. Once customers start jumping back to verizon AT&T will regret rejecting these types of apps.

jay0heavenly says:

One, I'm jailbroken already, and two, I have VoipOver3G installed (its free btw). With Voipover3G you can use Skype over 3g and I'm sure it'll work for Sling as well.
AT&T is terrible...if I could get 3G on another network with the iPhone, I'd switch yesterday!

rich says:

Why people are complaining about using slingplayer over wifi is ridiculous and also hoping verizon gets the iPhone is even more ridiculous. Verizon would never allow you to do half the stuff AT&T does on their network. People need to get out more if all they do is whine they can't watch tv on a phone

Thomas says:

@rich no, it's not rediculous. If I'm limited to WiFi, I might as well use my laptop. The whole draw to a "mobile" app is mobility. Without at least 3G support, the sling player for iphone is useless.

Steve says:

@rich: "People need to get out more if all they do is whine they can’t watch tv on a phone."
Agreed. :roll:

cyberbob says:

@Steve/Rich What a couple of morons you are. Where would technology be if one said "Those who want faster surfing than you can get from an analog modem should get more out of life". You'd be stuck with dial up on Compuserve.

lgreenberg says:

Orb was Wifi only when it launched wasn't it?
Perhaps will see the addition of 3G later.

Ed says:

1) Sling is available on some BB's & Treos, but it is the sheer number of iPhones that will break the network. There was an earlier posting about how much more bandwidth iPhones generate over other platforms on AT&T - that is the worry.
2) Don't knock Slingbox. I love it on my laptops and other away-from-home PC's. It's not Slingbox limiting your iPhone options, that burden belongs to Apple/AT&T.

Steve says:

@Evilhomer:
Thanks for the name-calling in the first sentence. It saved me the trouble of reading the rest of your worthless and childish comment... as well as any future opinions from you.
Scumbag. :lol:

cyberbob says:

@Steve: I wish you would have done the same. I wouldn't have had to waste time listen you make stupid statements. Might as well say, "Who needs EMAIL on their phone. Or who needs to TEXT when you can call".
Sorry that you don't realize what a useless statement you made. Enjoy your Motorola StarTac.

slay says:

how nice
just ordered a new slingbox to stream toy iPhone
I'm overseas with an officially unlocked 3g. does apple realize there there are other carriers and users who dot belong to at$t?

iSkythe says:

I can see AT&T's reason, but still, I am no longer going to buy this app.
Get with the flow AT&T! If not, even Sprint will pass you!

Jim says:

Until February, I had Slingmobile running at 3G on the AT&T Tilt. Looked nice!

Jimmy says:

Jim: same here. With Windows Mobile you can adjust the amount of bandwidth you wanted to use. When i had my tilt i set it to ~60-70kbs and slingplayer looked ok. I'm sure Pandora/Youtube/AOLradio/twit.am/pockettunes/WunderRadio etc. all use ~60-70kbs or more. IPhone users should not have to suffer just because AT&T is too cheap to add a few more ds3's or t1's to their cell tower sites. ENABLE 3G FFS. :(

Tommy says:

Sling player now available in UK app store @ £17.99 Long T&Cs. Says it's wifi only at the moment.

tee says:

WAITED FOREVER FOR THIS APP,BUT LIKE THE GUY SAID,ITS USELESS,I CAN WATCH TV AT HOME,OR ON MY LAPTOP,,I WONT BUY IT,ORB TV TIME

FiveBody says:

Only US mobile carriers nickle and dime there customers. While countries like S Korea & Japan have enjoyed superior bandwith that is assessible virtually everywhere, streaming video w/o costly special equipment or software.
These companies and their do-nothing Execs are just trying to increase revenue by redefining 'unlimited' by setting a limit and charge for overages. How about doing right by your customers (& society) and invest some capital in growing a reliable network infrastructure, take over the market, crush competitors, and reapping profits from the largest (happy & loyal) customer base year after year.
Isn't this why the govt is mandating that all TV signals switch over to digital, freeing up analog frequencies so that we can expand wireless data bandwith?
Wireless broadband has revolutionized mobile devices the same way the Internet has done for the PC.
I love my iPhone and everything it does, including making & receiving phone calls. I really hate the thought of abandoning it due to Corp greed.
I'm jailbroken, if voip3g doesn't allow slingplayer right away. I'm confident the genius developers out there will have an update to tear down this limitation.

Brian says:

I'll pass. I don't have a slingbox yet, but was seriously considering pending this app. Not only do I ned to shell out money for the slingbox(which is fine) but another $30 for the app. Make it free and maybe. Wifi only is a bit of a dealbreaker also, but I can't blame sling for that.
Boo sling - $30?!?
Boo att - wifi only? Come on. Beef up your network already.

ThePuss says:

I realise this is an iPhone users website, but this is good news for us iPod Touch users... We have WiFi but not 3G. At least we aren't being left out. Wifi may not provide the "universal" access we'd like (and prices aren't great in Uk and Europe) but at least I can view my sling box if I'm in a hotel or round at a friend's house, without needing to put a piece of software on their PC.

Thomas says:

@FiveBody
"Isn’t this why the govt is mandating that all TV signals switch over to digital, freeing up analog frequencies so that we can expand wireless data bandwith?"
Sort of. Don't kid yourself that the FCC did it for your benifit. The truth is that they are eager to auction of those frequencies to the highest bidder.
I really am truely disappointed with this whole slingplayer im-mobile situation. Mostly I'm pissed off at AT&T. They have seen huge growth in business since the iphone debut. If it truely is a "bandwidth" issue, they are definately seems that they are behind the curve expanding their network. But I don't buy the notion that it's a bandwidth issue.

  1. If I remember correctly, AT&T sets up their towers with as few repeaters as possible, going as quickly as possible to land line. (but this may have changed)
  2. It's not like every iphone owner out there owns a sling box. In fact, I would venture to guess that a very small percentage of iphone owners have a slingbox. I would also guess that the inverse is true, not all slingbox owners use a iphone.
  3. The fact that AT&T is looking to roll out their own "TV" service is more likely the true reason behind this.
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