SlingPlayer Mobile Arrives on the iPad

Sling Media today released an iPad-specific (s aapl) version of its SlingPlayer Mobile application. The app, like its iPhone counterpart, allows you to stream live TV from your set-top cable or satellite box to your iPad wirelessly. You need to have either a Slingbox SOLO or PRO-HD connected to your home theatre setup in order for the new app to work, though.

SlingPlayer Mobile for iPad delivers a higher-resolution image tailored to Apple’s 9.7-inch tablet screen, and features a redesigned program guide using native iPad UI elements. You also get a recent channel feature that provides a heck of a lot more versatility than that “Last” button on your remote. SlingPlayer Mobile works over both Wi-Fi and 3G, although in my brief experience with the iPhone app, quality degrades considerably outside of your home network.

The app is one of the higher-priced, consumer-focused ones we’ve seen yet in the iTunes store, at $29.99. Users who’ve already paid $29.99 for the iPhone app will likely be disappointed that Sling Media opted to release a separate app instead of introducing universal support to the existing software to make it compatible with both. In its official PR release, Sling suggests that iPhone app owners can continue to use it in “Compatibility Mode” if they’d rather not pay for the app a second time.

I question Sling Media’s decision to ask users pay a full $30 a second time over for an app, since many of those looking to buy the iPad version will likely already have the iPhone one. It seems especially risky now that Netflix (s nflx) and Hulu Plus make streaming from cable and satellite sources less of a priority for many iPad owners. Anyone planning on ponying up for iPad access?

Related video — Demo of SlingPlayer Mobile for iPad:


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