SlingPlayer iPhone App Now with 3G Streaming

(Slingbox Pro via SVideo to Rogers 1080i CTV feed downconverted/letterboxed -->iPhone 3G, SlingPlayer for iPhone 1.2, 500kbps)

After almost 10 months on the market, Sling Media has released the 2nd update to their iPhone Application SlingPlayer Mobile (iTunes Link). Why should anyone care? Well, this update has enabled the much desired and often bitched about 3G streaming capability. No longer will users have to jailbreak their phones to enable an application to trick the phone in to believing its on wifi when actually using 3G data.

While the cost of the application is pricey by iPhone App standards, weighing in at a hefty hefty hefty $29.99, I found it to be well worth the ducats. In fact, it was worth that when I first bough it upon release last May. During this last 10 months, while being restricted to WiFi, it has gotten plenty of use outside of the house, notably watching Carolina Hurricanes Hockey Playoff games while using free Airport Wifi in a few different US cities. I was able to "sling" my Rogers HDPVR cable box to setup and then later view a recording of the hockey game. I also took advantage to catch up on some of my stories while visiting family in California.

NOW, I can finally really utilize the App closer to home (within Canada). Just last night I had an "Oh Sh*t!” moment, I was supposed to record the Olympic figure skating session for my daughter to watch later, well, no problem. While the Mrs. was handling the driving duties (remember folks no driving and playing with your phones, that's a no-no) I dropped into the App, connected to my PVR, setup the recording and caught some action from the "Games." All of this going 110KM/hr. on the highway, hack-free.

Overall, the experience is not THAT much different from using WiFi. A tad bit slow when sending a command, but that is expected considering the command has to be initiated, sent, received and executed on the far end and then streamed to the device. I think they did a damn fine job getting as fast as it is. As for the picture quality, I cannot complain either. The real problem for me is that my home internet connection has a limitation of 500Kbps upload, so, that is the maximum quality my stream can be sent. This may be blessing, as it may prevent me from over-filling that 6Gb bucket I pay for monthly.

I won't get into why this took so damn long to reach the iPhone version of their software. Those in the know, and most not so knowledgeable, claim that AT&T was to blame for the hold-up. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't, but it damn sure made no sense that several other phones using their version of the software were working for quite some time on the network. Anywho, I am pleased as punch that things worked out, as the update finally was implemented and the benefits trickled down (up actually) to the users north of the border.