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AT&T re-inserts Slingbox 3G terms

updated 05:20 pm EDT, Wed April 29, 2009

ATT Anti-Sling TOS Returns

AT&T on Wednesday quietly updated its cellphone terms of service to again potentially ban devices like the Slingbox on its network. Having initially pulled earlier changes in what was described as "an error," the carrier has again modified the terms to specifically prevent "redirecting television signals for viewing on Personal Computers." It's not evident whether the phrasing refers to any PC-like device, which could include smartphones, or if it only involves using 3G for the outgoing connection.

Created by Sling Media, the Slingbox primarily serves to share its TV feed or other TV-related devices across both local networks and over cellular connections, including to phones and computers with 3G modems.

Regardless of intent, the news comes as Sling has been waiting over a month for its SlingPlayer iPhone app to be approved without a response from Apple, which is partnered exclusively with AT&T in the US. Other phones like the BlackBerry Bold can already use SlingPlayer on 3G, however.

AT&T hasn't commented on the change. [via DSLR]

By Electronista Staff


  1. jwdsail

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2000



    I love my iPhone, but really hate ATT...


  1. mr100percent

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Dec 1999



    AT&T is being very unethical here. They saw the outcry last time they pulled this, and said it was all a mistake, and are reinserting the clause in now. So either they were lying then or bring very dishonest now.

  1. inspectorgadget

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2002


    AT&T is a holdover

    AT&T is nothing more than the reincarnation of the deathstar it was prior to the break-up of it's monopoly years ago. It has slowly absorbed all the baby bells and 3rd party carriers and again is flexing its muscle as it reestablishes itself as the biggest dog in the fight. If it weren't for Apple's iPhone connection, I would have finally been able to sever all ties with them 2 years ago. Their sales force and advertising people are arrogant, reflecting corporate policy. Where is Luke when he's needed?

  1. GruvDOne

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2008


    another Bell hater

    Agreed with the sentiment here. I left AT&T 3 years ago for T-Mobile and was pleased overall with them. I decided to go back to them ONLY because of the iPhone. If the iPhone ever shakes loose of these exclusivity shackles, I will gladly drop AT&T like a hot potato.

  1. LouZer

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2000



    AT&T has not absorbed all the baby bells. That's verizon.

  1. Arty50

    Mac Elite

    Joined: May 2000


    I miss the old companies


  1. seeknemo

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2009



    They get the iPhone and say its unlimited data but when you actually use it. "Oh you can't do that" it uses too much bandwidth. What did you expect AT&T? You have other devices using Slingbox mobile you hypocrites.

  1. tar8584

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2009


    Changes to TOS

    Geese.. the paranoia and rumors regarding the slingplayer release for iPhone are getting a little out of hand. First off, if you look at the section in the TOS mentioned above, "redirecting television signals for viewing on Personal Computers", you'll see that that this condition applies to ALL customers, not just to the iPhone.

    Considering the fact that slingplayer is currently available for many other AT&T phones, I don't see how this impacts slingplayer for iPhone.

    OrbLive, a comparable application that also provides the capability to stream live TV to the iPhone, was approved for the AppStore last fall. During the period before release of OrbLive, all the same speculation was going on regarding network bandwidth, talk that AT&T/Apple would never approve it, etc. OrbLive allows streaming of live TV over both Wifi and 3G. Note that it took over 2 months for OrbLive to be approved, so I'm not that surprised that SlingPlayer isn't out yet.

    It's been about 5 weeks since Slingplayer was submitted. I expect the application to be released in the next few weeks, if not sooner. It will happen.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    Re: Greed

    They get the iPhone and say its unlimited data but when you actually use it. "Oh you can't do that" it uses too much bandwidth.

    Remember that 'unlimited data' means "you can use it whenever, not just after 5pm", not "you can use it as you see fit and use as much bandwidth as you see fit".

    Read the TOS, it has always been that way.

    And this has nothing to do with the iPhone, as it covers 3G, not iPhone 3G.

    What did you expect AT&T? You have other devices using Slingbox mobile you hypocrites.

    Again, this has nothing to do with the iPhone 3G. And they don't sell devices stating "You can use slingbox!". They have devices that can play slingbox (because those phone makers were stupid and let anyone make apps, instead of requiring it to go through them for approval like Apple did).

    But this applies to all devices on 3G, not just the iPhone. This is the exact opposite of being hypocritical.

  1. ethical_paul

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2002


    It's not just Verizon

    AT&T has definitely re-absorbed much of its former bulk. In my area, Michigan Bell became Ameritech after the breakup. Then Ameritech became SBC and now SBC has been absorbed by AT&T.

    So don't tell me it's just Verizon.

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