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  • AT&T Approves "Optimized" SlingPlayer for 3G


    After a year in limbo, AT&T has finally decided to allow the SlingPlayer app to run on its 3G network, permitting Sling Box owners to watch video from their home televisions using an iPhone app that's "optimized" for 3G. The carrier had restricted SlingPlayer to WiFi-only operation last May, claiming that the app violated its terms of service. AT&T has not explained how or whether the new SlingPlayer works around that violation.

    Sling Media, a subsidiary of EchoStar, had introduced a their SlingPlayer Mobile app last year, which gave Slingbox PRO-HD owners the ability to watch local channels as well as premium cable, video on demand, pay per view - "any program that you can watch on your sofa back home, you can now watch via your iPhone," the company then said. Further, the SlingPlayer allowed remote control of home digital video recorders (DVRs) so that users could watch recorded shows as well as pausing or rewinding/fast-forwarding live TV from their iPhones and setting up new recordings.

    AT&T balked. They claimed that SlingPlayer would bring its already-strained network to its knees... surprising no one. "Slingbox, which would use large amounts of wireless network capacity, could create congestion and potentially prevent other customers from using the network." Even more, the company said at the time, "applications like this, which redirect a TV signal to a personal computer, are specifically prohibited under our terms of service," and that it believed that "smartphones like the iPhone to be personal computers in that they have the same hardware and software attributes as PCs." Now, however, all is apparently well. “Since mid-December 2009," the carrier said in a statement today, "AT&T has been testing the app and has recently notified Sling Media — as well as Apple — that the optimized app can run on its 3G network.”

    In order to streaming video recorded at home, users need either a Slingbox Solo which retails for $179.99 US, or the Slingbox PRO-HD at $299.99, along with the "optimized" app. As of this writing, the new app was not yet been available on the App Store: the WiFi-only app sells for $30 US.

    image via Sling Media
    This article was originally published in forum thread: AT&T Approves "Optimized" SlingPlayer for 3G started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 21 Comments
    1. MetallicaFan1991's Avatar
      MetallicaFan1991 -
      So this was an AT&T issue? I always thought it was an Apple issue as it's not allowed to run on O2's 3G signals either, well it wasn't last time I checked.

      This was an AT&T condition so I don't see why it wasn't allowed to run on other networks in the world!!!!!!
    1. Poseidon79's Avatar
      Poseidon79 -
      That's awesome! I dunno how much TV I'd actually watch though... but def worth trying it out.
    1. aldech's Avatar
      aldech -
      Hellz yea...
    1. kraziebone's Avatar
      kraziebone -
      Ya i have been doing this for awhile now with unrestrictor. I love my sling box app but it burns through my battery
    1. reeko's Avatar
      reeko -
      3G Unrestrictor. Thankyou. The fact that the new 3G optimised app has been approved by AT&T. Does that not contradict everything that Apple/AT&T Have been telling the FCC ?
    1. z3r01's Avatar
      z3r01 -
      Sling app+iPad = great!
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      ^ I agree
    1. Melech518's Avatar
      Melech518 -
      Yes, slingbox on iPad is going to be AMAZING!
    1. sandstorm77's Avatar
      sandstorm77 -
      Love my slingplayer moble. Its fun when im at work and the wife is at home watching tv. I always pause it or change the channel. 3 min later ill get a call and she will yell at me. LMAO
    1. iProb8's Avatar
      iProb8 -
      Hopefully, soon AT&T will also allow EyeTV to stream over 3G.
    1. s4mb4's Avatar
      s4mb4 -
      when will the app get updated though?
      this is a repost of the article at appleinsider.com and they don't mention when we can expect the update either.....

      Quote Originally Posted by sandstorm77 View Post
      Love my slingplayer moble. Its fun when im at work and the wife is at home watching tv. I always pause it or change the channel. 3 min later ill get a call and she will yell at me. LMAO
      i have to pay $3.99 a month for the extra cable box to avoid doing this.
    1. iLaw-One's Avatar
      iLaw-One -
      This would be fantastic on the ipad...
    1. lolcats1's Avatar
      lolcats1 -
      3g unrestrictor lol
    1. Tower72's Avatar
      Tower72 -
      I do wonder what ATT made Sling do to minimize the hit on its network in order to get this approved for 3G use.. Currently I have it up and running with 3gUnrestrictor and it works great... Pic quality sucks at times but hey its something I can deal with.

      Im sure it will be gimped somehow
    1. wookiee2cu's Avatar
      wookiee2cu -
      One thing I'm curious about is if the new sling app will only work with Slingbox Solo & Slingbox PRO-HD. This is initially what sling was going to do when they first launched the app but AT&T stepped in and begged Apple to deny the app. Sling changed it so it was wifi only and also made it so that it worked with older units such as my Slingbox AV model. I think the only reason they did this is sling figured they just lost potential sales with it not being allowed as 3G so they figured they would tweak the software so it worked with older units so that they could recapture some of those potential sales. Gonna suck if the new app only works for the most recent Slingbox's. It won't really affect me as I'm JB and using 3G Unrestricter but if the new app optimizes better and the streaming is smoother it's gonna bug me a little bit.
    1. ecd5000's Avatar
      ecd5000 -
      how much tv can u watch on a phone, would get old fast. i recently watched youth in revolt on the iphone and thought to myself that i need to get the avout cable. and to spend that amount of cash on items for this is crazy. is tv that important to you, u cant wait until your home. im sure we all have DVR's and the app to set them from the phone.
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      never have got the sling player bug,dunno. maybe sometime?
    1. quidam_brujah's Avatar
      quidam_brujah -
      Slingplayer mobile over 3G is great when I'm stuck in traffic with my daughter: she can watch a DVRd educational prog on the way home. I also use it when I travel and the hotel has a crappy internet connection and no Comedy Central so I can get my Stewart/Colbert fix. I don't use it often, but I don't like _not_ having the option.
    1. tsatryan's Avatar
      tsatryan -
      New version just added to the iTunes app store. It doesn't appear any different in functionality than the previous version, other than adding the ability to work on 3G.

      Interestingly, it is advertised as version 1.2, but the version I downloaded is clearly showing version 1.3
    1. iProb8's Avatar
      iProb8 -
      Quote Originally Posted by tsatryan View Post
      New version just added to the iTunes app store. It doesn't appear any different in functionality than the previous version, other than adding the ability to work on 3G.

      Interestingly, it is advertised as version 1.2, but the version I downloaded is clearly showing version 1.3

      Thanks for the heads up! I'm downloading now. This is great news. Now, if AT&T and Apple will allow EyeTV to stream over 3G, I'll be golden. :-D