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Sling Media turns mobile phones, handhelds into personal TVs

Sat, 03/25/2006 - 5:09am
Brian Santo, CED

Sling Media has released a free beta version of its SlingPlayer Mobile software, which gives Slingbox owners the ability to watch - and control - their home TV from any network-enabled mobile phone or handheld computer powered by Windows Mobile.

The Slingbox redirects, or "placeshifts," a single live TV stream from a cable box, satellite receiver, or DVR to the viewer's PC - located anywhere in the home or anywhere in the world, via the Internet. The PC must be a Windows-based laptop or desktop or a Windows Mobile-based device.

SlingPlayer Mobile allows users to shift that capability to mobile handsets and other handheld devices. SlingPlayer Mobile requires a Windows Mobile-based connection. The wireless connection can be Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or EV-DO (it also works with wired USB connections). Users must have a subscription to a carrier that provides connectivity via at least one of those technologies.

SlingPlayer Mobile provides local channels, local sports teams, video-on-demand, pay-per-view, etc. Any program that you can watch on your sofa at home, the company said, you can now watch via your Windows Mobile-based device.

SlingPlayer Mobile users can also control their home DVRs to watch recorded shows, pause, rewind, and fast-forward live TV, or even queue new recordings while on the road.

The trial version of SlingPlayer Mobile can be downloaded from Sling Media's Web site. SlingPlayer Mobile software available today is compatible with devices that run Windows Mobile Pocket PC 5.0 and 2003 Second Edition. Sling Media will also deliver a version for non-touchscreen devices based on Windows Mobile Smartphone within the next month.

Beginning April 26, SlingPlayer Mobile will be available for $29.99, with a free 30-day trial. Slingbox owners who purchase and register their Slingbox prior to that date will receive a free license for SlingPlayer Mobile. There are no monthly or recurring charges for the use of the software.

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