SlingPlayer for iPhone: Crippled, pricey, finally out

After a very long wait, the SlingPlayer app finally made it into Apple's bonanza store, but Sling's attempt proves to be expensive and crippled

As of today you can point your iPhone to the App Store and download Sling's place-shifting TV app. After a very long wait, the app finally made it into Apple's bonanza store, but Sling's attempt proves to be quite expensive and crippled from birth.

To enjoy place-shifted TV, you must first have a SlingBox (starting at US$147) and then purchase the $30 iPhone app. If you count in the cost of your iPhone and call plan and your home broadband access (which you need for the SlingBox), you get a very expensive mobile TV-viewing experience. Oh, and you can do it only via Wi-Fi.

Sling's iPhone app can play your place-shifted TV only via Wi-Fi, thanks to AT&T, which has a strict no-SlingBox policy. AT&T said in an official statement last night that Sling's app "could create congestion and potentially prevent other customers from using the network." On top of that, it's prohibited under the carriers' TOS, which considers the iPhone a personal computer.

The Wi-Fi-only TV-watching in Sling for iPhone misses the whole idea of having a phone that can do everything, anywhere (hear that, Skype?). While it's AT&T's fault for not allowing SlingPlayer for iPhone to stream via 3G, Sling put out an expensive app out there as well. Meanwhile, BlackBerrys and WinMo phones can enjoy 3G streaming.

SlingPlayer for BlackBerry, Nokia, and Windows Mobile phones has the same price tag as the iPhone counterpart -- $30. But the question is whether the crippled iPhone version should cost the same as the other mobile versions, which allow the all-important 3G viewing.

Purely as an iPhone application, SlingPlayer gets the job done. You can quickly move among channels by swiping on the screen and the translucent menus are appealing. On the downside, the app doesn't take full advantage of the iPhone's screen, as even in letterbox mode it still displays black bars around all four sides of the picture (read the full Hands-On).

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags iPhoneapp store

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Daniel Ionescu

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

Bitdefender solutions stop attacks before they even begin! Get cybersecurity that 500 MILLION users already have and trust.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?