Dan from the Between the Lines ZDNet blog posted a podcast interview with Blake Krikorian, Sling Media CEO back in April talking about the future of this amazing system and in only a couple of months it has moved onto mobile devices with further expansion planned. I have had a SlingBox since the beginning of the year and have been enjoying it even more on the road with the Pocket PC client. Sling Media just launched a version of SlingPlayer Mobile for Windows Mobile Smartphones last week and I had a chance to put it through its paces on my i-mate SP5m.
The SP5m has a QVGA 240x320 high resolution display and integrated WiFi to make the SlingPlayer experience very enjoyable. I wanted to show off the player at work, but our corporate WiFi connection blocked my SlingBox connection. On a whim, I decided to check it out via T-Mobile's EDGE data connection thinking that it would play as poorly as when I tried it a month before with the Pocket PC client. I was pleasantly surprised to see that this latest version of SlingPlayer Mobile actually ran quite well at a reported 4 to 8 frames per second. The video was a bit jerky at times, but the audio quality was very good most of the time. SlingPlayer Mobile does flawlessly with a WiFi connection. Video content is actually very viewable on the display and isn't so tiny that you cannot see details. I had already returned the Motorola Q review unit before this client was released, but the Q has a QVGA display and an EVDO radio so it should play well over Verizon's network. I am using the Nokia E61 smartphone right now, but there currently is no SlingPlayer Mobile client for the S60 platform. Sling Media is working on players for other devices so I am hopeful that versions for all primary mobile operating systems will be released.
The SlingBox with SlingPlayer Mobile now allows you to take your home TV with you on the road, which can be important for those of us sports fans who follow our local teams closely. The SlingPlayer Mobile client also allows you to access recorded content you put on a DVR system so you can catch up with those missing Lost episodes. You can also watch your home TV via any Windows PC with the SlingPlayer application installed. A Mac client is under development, but I currently use Parallels Workstation virtual environment to run Windows XP with the Windows SlingPlayer client on my MacBook Pro for a larger screen experience.