EchoStar's Sling Media division made a splash at CES 2009 with the "SlingLoaded" EchoStar 922 DVR, an HD DVR that included built-in Slingbox technology for accessing your recorded programs elsewhere in the home--or anyplace you've got an Internet connection. Unfortunately, the DVR 922 still hasn't been released--but that hasn't stopped Sling from announcing four new products, including some departures from the company's tried and true (if niche-y) Slingbox products.
The new products include:… Read more
Can 2009 give us any more bad news? I think at this point, the three of us are ready to move straight into 2010, mostly because we're too afraid of what's going to happen in the next three months. To put it lightly, this year has been a tough one for celebrities. Although it didn't exactly make Twitter headlines, we're all saddened by Patrick Swayze's death and take a few minutes out of the beginning of the show to talk about all of his great movies, including "Ghost," "Donnie Darko," "Dirty Dancing," and of course "To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar."
Lots more good and bad news to discuss, including Facebook jumping on the @ symbol bandwagon. After Twitter reportedly rejected its purchasing offer, Facebook is now starting to introduce features that mimic the microblogging site. The first change is that Facebook users can now tag friends using an @ symbol in front of their names. The other is Facebook Lite, a less-cluttered version of the classic that discards the left navigation and info page.
Jeff found a pretty hilarious story from China about a bridge getting covered with butter, but before we get to that, we do a quick run-through of the 10 most pirated movies, and you'll be surprised at which flicks made the cut. Finally, we reminisce about high school LAN parties (look it up, young bloods), how to get 50 PC games for $5, and a new gaming console accessory called the Spawn Labs HD-720 that's making waves in the industry.EPISODE 425 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
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Correction at 7:20 a.m. PDT: Mark Siegel is a spokesman for AT&T mobility.
Just under a year since first announced, the SlingPlayer Mobile application is finally available for the iPhone. But compared with the capabilities of the same application available on other smartphone platforms, the iPhone version of SlingPlayer is curiously handicapped.
The version set to arrive Wednesday costs $30, and can stream a TV signal from a set connected to a Slingbox to the iPhone. But this version is available using Wi-Fi only. It's notable because the beta version of the application was demonstrated at CES using the iPhone's 3G connection. So why is it turned off in the official release? Recent changes in the terms of service that comes with AT&T's iPhone wireless service may offer some clues.
Apple rejected the original version of the application Sling submitted to the App Store that required use of the phone's 3G service, according to Sling. It was subsequently approved when it was modified so that it will just use local Wi-Fi hot spots. Apple's exact reason for rejecting it isn't clear. There are plenty of video- and audio-streaming applications available today in Apple's App Store, from smaller streaming services like Orb and Last.fm (owned by CNET News publisher CBS Interactive), and heavyweights like MLB.com's At Bat, CBS' TV.com, and YouTube.
While Apple has certainly not been shy about exercising its veto power over App Store applications--just ask Trent Reznor, for example--it's unclear why Sling's streaming video service is being treated differently from, say, the YouTube app (owned by Apple-friendly Google), which has been available on the iPhone since the device's launch.
Apple did not respond to requests for comment about why only the Wi-Fi version of SlingPlayer was approved. But it appears the rejection also could have been at AT&T's behest. Early in April, AT&T changed its terms of service for wireless customers, saying that redirecting TV video or audio signals--as the SlingPlayer does--was no longer allowed on its network. After a public outcry, AT&T quickly reversed its decision, citing "a mistake." But then last week the company reinstated the ban in its TOS.… Read more
After some hiccups in the development process, Sling has finally released SlingPlayer Mobile for the iPhone. The software works with your Slingbox at home, and lets you control and watch your satellite or cable box and DVR from your iPhone or iPod Touch.
All of the functionality found in previous SlingPlayer Mobile platforms is still intact. You'll have access to a menu bar that'll let you use a remote-like interface on-screen to control your box as well as switch sling devices and manage your favorite channels. What's new are a few gestures that'll allow you to scroll through your favorite channels as well as let you scroll up and down through channels.
SlingPlayer Mobile will work with new Slingbox and legacy devices, but Sling officially won't support the Sling Classic, AV, and Tuner models--that means that if you've got a problem with one of those devices, Sling won't be able to help you troubleshoot your issue.
Now here's the real bad news: SlingPlayer Mobile for the iPhone only works with a Wi-Fi connection, meaning you cannot use the 3G network to stream video. Also, we should note that SlingPlayer Mobile will probably perform better on your home network rather than a public Wi-Fi spot.
Performance wise, the software worked well.… Read more
Earlier this month, AT&T modified its wireless terms of service (TOS) to ban Slingbox activities on mobile devices attached to its network. Less than a week later, the company retracted these changes due to public outcry over the matter and explained that the changes were made "in error."
Unexpectedly, the AT&T TOS has changed again within the past 24 hours. The new TOS language targets and prohibits the place-shifting activities from Slingbox or similar devices to "Personal Computers" using AT&T's wireless network. The changes are:
While most common uses … Read more
Earlier Friday, we brought you news that AT&T had made some fairly narrowing changes to its terms-of-use policies for wireless data. One such change would prohibit users from watching non-AT&T video services, such as Hulu, on their AT&T devices. Users around the Internet, of course, didn't much care for the change.
Since the story broke, though, AT&T has sent out a message to blogs and news outlets saying that the video-streaming portion was an error that has been deleted. Great for you, AT&T. But a quick check shows that … Read more
Turns out surfing Facebook at work has a name and it's good for your productivity. A study shows that 20 percent of your time spent Workplace Internet Leisure Browsing (WILB) will improve your output. Texas also says hasta la vista to Vista, and AT&T tries to block movies on its wireless network.Listen now: Download today's podcast EPISODE 945
Google reported sniffing at Twitter, but to what end? http://blog.wired.com/business/2009/04/google-reported.html http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/04/02/sources-google-in-late-stage-talks-to-buy-twitter/ http://www.appscout.com/2009/04/google_incorporating_twitter_f.php http://kara.allthingsd.com/20090403/sorry-to-get-you-all-a-twitter-but-google-is-not-in-late-stage-talks-to-acquire-the-hot-microblogging-service/… Read more
Sling Media has announced that the first few models of the Slingbox won't work with new Sling software, including the much-anticipated SlingPlayer for iPhone.
The company, which is now owned by EchoStar, informed Slingbox owners on the Sling Media Web site Wednesday, saying that owners of the original Slingbox, Slingbox AV, and Slingbox Tuner were encouraged to upgrade to either a Slingbox Pro, Slingbox Pro-HD, or Slingbox Solo and that the company would offer those owning discontinued boxes a $50 discount to upgrade. (The Solo is the entry-level product and costs $180).