Sling TV accepting new customer registrations without an invitation
Dish Network's Sling TV has been opened up to new registrations without requiring an invitation, following its soft launch. Spotted by GigaOM, the Internet TV service provides a trial week of usage before requiring users to pay for access. While the basic package includes live access to 15 channels for $20 per month, a collection of three add-on packages containing channels relating to news and information, kids and family, and sports can all be added at $5 per extra bundle.
New service highlighted by ESPN, TNT, TBS, Cartoon Network
Dish today announced specifics of its Internet television service. The new pay-as-you-go service, known as Sling TV, includes ABC Family, Disney Channel, Food Network, HGTV, TNT, TBS, CNN, Cartoon Network, and the Travel Channel. However, possibly the biggest draw for the nascent service is ESPN and ESPN2. Initial compatibility is the Xbox 360, Xbox One, Roku, select smart TVs, and Amazon Fire TV products, including the Fire Stick. Apps will be made available for Android, and iOS, with compatibility with the Apple TV provided through AirPlay.
Keep belongings close at hand during workouts, jogs with FlipBelt
Often when a person is working out, they need to keep some of their personal items on hand. The armband solution works for phones and MP3 players, but other objects that don't have a market for special active-style containers like inhalers, protein bars, keys and medication are overlooked. Pockets aren't practical most of the time while working out, as items can bounce out, weigh too much, flop about or potentially cause wardrobe malfunctions. The FlipBelt, however, is a wearable pocket that sits around a wearer's midsection, tackling the need for a flexible carry-all while granting users easy access to anything one could need during a workout.
Boxee Box adds SlingPlayer remote TV streaming
The Boxee Box got an unusual feature addition Tuesday after the Boxee team added a SlingPlayer app. Its media hub can now stream and remotely control devices hooked up to a Slingbox Pro-HD or Solo, such as a cable DVR or even another networked media hub. It carries Sling's latest program guide but should otherwise be familiar to those who've used one of the larger-screened SlingPlayer apps.
Content available through web-based app
Sling Media has previewed its latest video streaming app, which has been developed for Google TV set-top boxes. Electronista had a chance to try out the upcoming system this week at CES, ahead of the official launch.
Dish live TV viewing app reaches iPad
Dish Network today formally launched a new version of its Remote Access app for the iPad (free, App Store) to enable the promised live TV viewing option. Those with either the Sling Adapter on a ViP 722 series DVR or a ViP 922 Slingloaded DVR can watch their satellite TV from any high speed Internet connection, including on a sufficiently fast 3G link. Dish didn't mention what quality it would be, although standard definition is more likely.
Sling Adapter launches with iOS, Android apps
Sling today rolled out the Sling Adapter as both one of its lowest cost TV streamers and its first dedicated to its partner Dish. Running solely through its USB connection, it shares the TV from any ViP 722 or 722k DVR over either a web browser or a mobile app. Viewers can steer the DVR alongside controlling channels.
Nazomi says Kindle, Zune violate patents
California-based Nazomi late yesterday sued several tech firms, including Amazon, Microsoft and Nokia, for allegedly violating patents it owns on translating Java code to specific devices. Filed in a Los Angeles court, the lawsuit complains that the three main firms as well as Garmin, Iomega, Sling, Vizio and Western Digital all have devices that supposedly copy its techniques. These include the Kindle and Zune as well as less common devices like the Slingbox or Nokia's tablet computers.
Interface redesigned for finger navigation
Sling Media has introduced an update to its Sling Player Mobile utility for smartphones running Windows Mobile. Version 2.0 brings a revamped interface, with design elements that are geared for navigation with fingers rather than a stylus. While the iPhone app is limited to streaming content over Wi-Fi, the Windows Mobile version enables users to view television across either Wi-Fi or 3G connections.
Sling Touch Control, Monitor, Receiver, more
Sling today caught up to its absence from the remote streaming world with four new devices. Unique among these is the Touch Control 100; the handheld serves as a 4.3-inch touchscreen remote to steer DVRs and Slingboxes either through infrared or through the local network with Wi-Fi. When linked to a DVR, it can show a cable or satellite provider's programming guide and use that for picking channels.
Sling hints new Slingbox, possible remote
Sling in an invitation today alluded to a expanding strategy for its media hubs to be shown at CES. Besides likely new Slingbox devices, the company says it will have a "next-generation touch screen device" at the trade show. It's not evident if this will constitute an entirely self-contained product or a companion, such as a remote.
SlingPlayer app without 3G
Apple will publish the SlingPlayer iPhone app within the next 24 hours, but without any form of 3G support, developer Sling Media is said to have confirmed. The software is designed as extension of the company's Slingbox hardware, which broadcasts TV from a person's home to a remote Internet destination. Using SlingPlayer, people should be able to view streams, change channels and control DVR units.
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.
Sling Media today officially kicked off the public beta of Sling.com, its new video portal. The website is aimed at competing with sites hosting commercially produced content like Hulu or Joost and primarily syndicates content from about 90 major TV and online producers, including channels Hulu omits such as CBS as well as the very same Fox and NBC content. It also offers a similar range of full-length movies.
Sling today at last began shipping the SlingCatcher, its first device designed to bring digital content to TVs rather than the company's usual opposite approach. The hub has a pair of USB ports that allow it to pipe H.264, MPEG-2/4, WMV and XviD video plus related audio-only formats to the TV from an external hard drive or flash drive, up to and including 720p and 1080i HD clips. A sync app bundled with the SlingBox hopes to eliminate some video conversion problems by testing the compatibility of files before they're transferred to the hard drive.
Slingbox Pro-HD Ships
Sling this morning began shipping its long-promised Slingbox Pro-HD, the company's first true HD streaming device. The device carries its own ATSC and ClearQAM hybrid tuner and will pick up either 720p or 1080i TV from cable, satellite and over-the-air broadcasts that can be shared either at home or online; on the local network, computers can watch and control the TV feed at its native resolution. Dual component video connections also help the Slingbox receive HD without disrupting other devices that might need the signal.
WB signs Internet partners
Warner Bros. Television is expanding its internet distribution, announcing new deals with TiVo, Joost, Sling Media, Daily Motion and Veoh Networks for a “number of advertiser-supported branded channels.” The deal includes TheWB.com ad KidsWB.com, which were announced in April. The move gives Warner more platforms to broaden its reach in the increasingly crowded television marketplace -- and more opportunities to catch the elusive 16-34 year-old advertising demographic.
Sling Mobile for iPhone
Sling Media today made official that it has been developing a version of its SlingPlayer Mobile software for the Apple iPhone. The software is described as a "proof of concept" developed using jailbroken iPhones but offers much of the same functionality as the released applications for Symbian S60, Windows Mobile, and other cellphone platforms. Users can navigate a Slingbox network streaming hub connected to a home TV feed and choose channels through a visual guide as well as stop or skip through playback.
Sling's long-awaited Sling Catcher is suffering from a delay that will most likely push its release to late 2008. The delay was discovered by Engadget reader "Christopher", who was a prospective customer of Sling's, noting that the vice president of sales Gregg Wilkes sent him an email informing him that the device was not up to the company's high standards. Wilkes also cited that the company's recent acquisition by EchoStar has caused for some complications.
SlingPlayer Mobile for UIQ
Sling Media on Thursday said it would expand SlingPlayer Mobile to add support for phones running the UIQ operating system. The new version will allow some Sony-Ericsson and Motorola phones to stream and remotely control Slingbox devices at home whenever the device is connected to either a 3G or Wi-Fi network. The initial lineup will include the P1i (pictured) and P990i smartphones, the M600i, as well as the W950i and W960i Walkman phones. Motorola's RIZR Z8 is also included, Sling said. The updated version of the software will be available in the summer and will sell for $30 to first-time users but will also be downloadable for free for existing owners.
Sling Media very early Monday heated up the challengers to the Apple TV and other media hubs with a finalized announcement of the SlingCatcher, its first device designed to bring computer content to a TV. Using a feature named SlingProjector, the device can output any video on a computer to a TV -- including web video or even video from a Slingbox accessed from the Internet, says the company. A USB connection lets it manually load video or else provides an 802.11g Wi-Fi connection as an alternative to the built-in Ethernet jack. The long-delayed SlingCatcher now has a formal release window and should ship in the spring for $250.