For the first time in recent memory, Sling Media is running a sale on their mobile apps – that enable you to watch your home video service while on the road (or, perhaps, in other areas of your house) via smartphone or tablet. The SlingPlayer apps are a hefty 50% off through July 22, and I’m told the promotion is available worldwide. So if you were holding back on a purchase due to the steep $30 (US) fee, now may be a good time to get your placeshifting fix for a reasonable $15. FYI most current apps require Slingbox SOLO or PRO-HD hardware, versus prior generation devices.
Archives For Mobile
HBO may be making it harder to transfer shows from TiVo hardware, but it’s expanding users’ other mobile options with the HBO GO app. Time Warner Cable let the cat out of the bag in a blog post stating that HBO GO would be available starting today on nearly every Android device, and the updated app’s arrival in the Google Play store confirmed the news. (Hat tip: Richard Lawler and Engadget) Supported OS iterations include Ice Cream Sandwich, Honeycomb, and most versions of Gingerbread. (No Jelly Bean yet) Supported hardware includes phones and tablets with screen sizes anywhere between 3.5 and 11 inches.
It may seem odd that Time Warner Cable is touting HBO’s news, but given that the cable operator was one of the last to make a deal with the cable network in January, it’s likely trying to make up for lost time with subscribers. Meanwhile, on other mobile fronts, Time Warner has been more of a pioneer. The company was the first cable provider to stream live TV to the iPad, and it added Android support for live streaming in April. The live video feature is limited to your home broadband network, but we remain hopeful that retransmission negotiations will change that restriction in the not-to-distant future.
Meanwhile, HBO Go continues to gain momentum even two plus years after launch. Once again the programmer proves that content is still king, no matter what how the distribution channels change.
Looking for a Slingbox alternative? Belkin could have you covered when they launch @TV next month. Like Slingbox, Belkin’s upcoming $150 hardware relays audio and video from your DVR or other set-top to computer or mobile around the house or anywhere the world. Computer and iPad or Android tablet viewing software will be free, but the smartphone client will run you $13.
While it’s not clear if this hardware actually streams in HD, it’s entirely apparent who’s producing the box for Belkin… as I turned up this very same Vulkano product via FCC filings last fall. Further, a quick Google search of “Belkin” and “Vulkano” points us to Android Marketplace and iTunes App Store clients (that have been active for months). Monsoon, the maker of Hava and Vulkano, has been down this OEM path before with Pinnacle and Linksys – and here’s to hoping they have better luck with Belkin’s brand awareness and retail shelf space. Assuming consumers are still interested in roll-your-own placeshifting given all the mobile media alternatives. Continue Reading…
In case you’re not getting enough mobile video with Netflix, HBO Go and the like, the Mobile Content Venture (MCV) has you covered. MCV is the alliance behind Dyle mobile TV, and it’s just signed on a new hardware partner to help turn your smartphone or tablet into a TV-tuning delight. Elgato is the third hardware partner MCV’s announced, and, like Belkin, it’s working on an accessory that will plug into your device for access to over-the-air Dyle TV stations. MCV also has a deal with MetroPCS to launch a Samsung phone with embedded Dyle support. The first Dyle products, including Elgato’s EyeTV Mobile TV, should reportedly be available for the holiday shopping season later this year.
It’s still hard to know if live-broadcast mobile TV will take off, but if the service stays free, it’s got a shot. Dave and I both saw Dyle in action at the CES on the Hill event back in April, and there’s a compelling proposition in being able to watch TV without racking up gigabytes against your mobile broadband cap. However, MCV is also focusing heavily on conditional access (i.e. content protection) features, which may signal that the venture’s backers are considering a service fee in the future. MCV says that conditional access technology is critical for audience measurement (i.e. advertising), but it’s also not promising there won’t be a cost at some point for viewing Dyle stations.
Currently there are nearly 100 Dyle stations broadcasting in 35 markets. Grab your Elgato or Belkin adapter later this year, and if you’re in one of the lucky regions with coverage, you can start tuning in. Content partners include Fox, NBC, Cox Media Group, Gannet Broadcasting, and more.
Amongst Apple’s WWDC announcements and product releases, a smaller ticket tablet accessory was introduced. The iPad Smart Case ($49) builds on Apple’s Smart Cover ($39) by kindly adding protection to the rear of your iPad 2 or New iPad 3. And, at first blush, it looks pretty sharp. Which just goes to show, one shouldn’t judge an iPad case by it’s cover.
The Smart Case is sleeker than Apple’s first attempt at an official iPad case, but it retains that model’s pointy side seams – making it somewhat uncomfortable to hold as a book or magazine. Conversely, when folding the cover into a triangle as a stand, the iPad angle is too steep for comfortable usage and better suited for passive viewing. Further, and more importantly, the iPad is unstable in this upright position. While the iPad certainly is secure within the case, it can slide around a bit and reveal gaps between tablet and the polyurethane which makes it all seem a bit unrefined and cheapy. Continue Reading…