Sling Media Goes Mobile, Finally

Niall dropped off his TiVo for me to play around with, and I hooked up the Sling Media’s Sling Box, to get going on the place shifting bandwagon. With the baseball season around the corner, and I already having decided to pre-order the Yankees games, all I need is a way to see these games when away from home. The best option (not much of one) is to watch it on a Windows PC. (I would rather wait for the elusive Mac client, but that’s not happening anytime soon!)
So the next best option – watch it on a Windows Media Mobile Phone or a Windows PDA, thanks to a new beta software released by the company today. (Compared to XP, that is still acceptable.) Hey Blake: what’s with this windows only support? Is Mr. Softie making you do this – after all they invested in your company? Didn’t they? And they are the only ones quoted in the press release?

The SlingPlayer Mobile software works with both Windows Mobile Pocket PC 5.0 and 2003 Second Edition. Sling Media will also deliver a version for non-touch-screen devices based on Windows Mobile Smartphone within the next month. They are going to charge for this $29.99 software, which in my opinion is just a bad idea. After all you are selling the device, and you need people to use the device, and give them more reasons to spend $250 on the SlingBox. (Slingbox owners who purchase and register their Slingbox prior to April 26th will receive a free license for SlingPlayer Mobile.)
In many ways this is going to challenge the carriers’ own mobile TV plans. Sprint and Cingular make good money off MobiTV and they are not going to be happy about it. I still think, despite all the progress made in the networks, the bandwidth to get a reasonable Sling Mobile experience is about a year away, when EV-DO Rev A and HSDPA become standard.