SlingPlayer for iPhone Released

SAN MATEO, CALIF.: Sling Media’s iPhone application went live last night. The application was approved by Apple and was offered up at the App Store for $29.99. Sling makes a hardware device that streams a user’s home broadcast, cable or satellite TV to remote devices via password. Up to now, that’s mostly been PCs and laptops, but Sling has expanded into mobile devices as well. Certain Nokia, Palm, and Blackberry handhelds are Sling-enabled.

Sling for iPhone has been on deck for a while now, after a January debut at MacWorld. Apple reportedly held it up however, on concerns from mobile provider AT&T over the application’s 3G capability. AT&T says Sling would overwhelm its 3G network, to which Engadget responds somewhat scathingly regarding the robustness of AT&T’s 3G network.

As for function, Engadget said the iPhone Sling app “gets the job done,” though reviewers opined for faster response than what they got with WiFi. There was also an issue with letterboxing--acceptable for now on a home TV set perhaps, but a bit disconcerting on a screen measuring around 2.5 inches wide. Over all, Engadget gave the app a thumbs-up, adding one more element of competition to the broadcast industry’s own nascent mobile DTV effort, for which there are no devices in the market. Apple said last month it had sold 37 million iPhones and iPod Touches to date. -- Deborah D. McAdams