Slingbox to an iPhone?
Sling Media's next big announcement is likely to be the ability to view TV on a BlackBerry handset. Until the latest 3G versions of the BlackBerry smartphone were launched, the handset lacked both the mobile connection speed and the video engine to support an application such as the SlingPlayer. Nonetheless, say Sling Media, "it was the most requested app for us".
The SlingPlayer application has just been updated and we’re told that the results on Nokia’s high-end N95, in particular, are stunning. Slingbox is going onsale via Carphone Warehouse and is likely to be available as a £20 download for media-centric handsets. Its makers are particularly keen to push the concept of 'slinging' TV on mobile phone handsets because the visibility of it – whereby users can show off to their mates – will help push recognition of the Slingbox concept as a whole in a way that a silver and red box tucked away at home cannot.
Sling Media is also hopeful that it will be able to offer a TV module for Apple’s iPhone, enabling viewers to enjoy streamed TV content on its 3.5in widescreen. While the iPhone is Wi-Fi-enabled, however, it does not yet support 3G and Apple CEO Steve Jobs said at last week’s European iPhone launch that he does not expect 3G chipsets to reach the stage where they can operate without impeding battery life to an unacceptably large extent for around a year.
Assuming Apple allows Sling Media to develop a TV application for the iPhone, this would imply a TV-capable 3G iPhone is around a year away. Even so, Sling Media claims to have yet more products in the pipeline for January’s all-important Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, so we wouldn’t be at all surprised to find such a device being demonstrated there.