I started using a Slingbox (now called the Slingbox Classic) a couple of years ago after Sling Media was kind enough to give each Mobius attendee a box to evaluate. I have to admit that the Slingbox actually resulted in me upgrading my TV setup to an HDTV with a DVR. I travel quite a bit for work and find the Slingbox and SlingPlayer Mobile clients valuable for keeping me updated with the latest shows that I follow. SlingPlayer kicked off their mobile clients with Windows Mobile Pocket PC and has since developed mobile clients for WM Smartphones and Palm OS devices. There has been a Symbian client on the 3 network, but it was locked to certain devices with the carrier. I am happy to say that Sling Media announced the general release of SlingPlayer for S60 devices.
The new SlingPlayer Mobile for S60 client is available in the U.S. for US$29.99, in Canada for $34.99CAN, and in the UK for 19.99 GBP. There is a free 30-day trial available so you can try it out and make sure it works on your device. Sling Media is promoting support for the N95, N75 and E65 in the US (3G and/or WiFI) and N95, E65, N73, and Nokia 6210 overseas. As you can see in my video below the client works great on the Nokia N93 via WiFi. This is great timing for Sling Media with the 3G-enabled Nokia N95-3 now available at the Nokia Flagship stores.
The application is easily installed like any other S60 application and launched from your favorite folder. After launching SlingPlayer Mobile you need to first add at least one Slingbox to your directory. Once you have your Slingbox identified you then simply use the two bottom soft key buttons to navigate through the left and right menus to start SlingPlayer Mobile. You have the option of viewing in Normal (portrait) mode or switching to Full (landscape) mode. Depending on the video source, you may see your video content take up the entire display in landscape mode. I no longer have my E61i to test the application with and the normal mode may be the default landscape mode on the E61 and E61i.
Several functions are controlled from the left menu, such as the remote control, volume, favorites, and Slingbox settings. Activating the remote control completely changes the left menu structure and options so you can fully control your home TV from your device. I was unable to consistently view and control my Comcast DVR program guide (as seen in my video) and it seems this may be related to the display resolution, beta version I was testing, or my DVR/Comcast service setup.
I highly recommend you setup your favorite channels using the Favorites functionality, along with your most commonly used remote control buttons since this will make your experience a bit smoother on your S60 device.
I have to admit that high resolution display of the Nokia N93 now has me using this device for SlingPlayer Mobile purposes more than Windows Mobile. Video plays back very smoothly and the audio levels are clear and consistent. I have a business trip coming up soon and plan to take along the N93 and N95 along with TV-out cables to see if I can Sling my DVR content onto my hotel TV. If not, I may just watch the N93 as it sits in landscape (mini laptop) mode.
If you have a S60 device and a Slingbox, then you need to at least try out this latest mobile client and I applaud Sling Media for continuing to listen to user feedback and desires for clients on all mobile device platforms. I think a Nokia N800 client would also be perfect, but understand that market may not be large enough for Sling Media to devote developer resources to at this time.
UPDATE: Sling Media also announced the new Slingbox SOLO that fits in between the AV and PRO. The SOLO has a new design and includes integrated component connections for HD input and pass-thru outputs. It is being released in the US, Canada, and the UK with the US retail price of US$179.99. I think it is time to upgrade my Classic to get HD capability and reduce some cable clutter behind my TV.
One final teaser for everyone is the Sling.com site that gives some hints about ways you can share your favorite TV moments with friends. Any ideas about what this will be?