Although it won't be ready for this week's iPad launch, Sling Media is working hard on a mobile version of its SlingPlayer optimized for iPad. The new version will take full advantage of the iPad and provide higher-quality streaming video.
For those iPad users with a Slingbox, content can be streamed from your cable or satellite box over a broadband Internet connection. The video stream can then be watched using SlingPlayer software from any computer or compatible mobile device. Sling Media made the news recently with the release of a 3G-streaming version of the SlingPlayer for iPhone.
The app, which runs $29.99 in the App Store, was previously restricted by Apple and AT&T to only stream content on a Wi-Fi connection. AT&T has since relaxed the rules for bandwidth-heavy apps running over its 3G cellular data network.
Sling Media is working towards using the H.264 video compression standard, which would optimize video for the iPad and reduce bandwidth consumption. Since iPad Wi-Fi + 3G owners can subscribe to AT&T data services on a month-by-month basis, SlingPlayer users with these devices should be able to watch their Slingbox content from anywhere with 3G service.
The iPad, with its 9.7 inch LED-backlit IPS screen at 1024x768 pixels (132 ppi) will be an excellent way to view television content on-the-go. Especially if the battery lives up to its billing from Apple at 10 hours.
To use SlingPlayer on the iPad, a Slingbox SOLO or PRO-HD is required in addition to a minimum 256Kb upstream speed on your home Internet connection. Slingbox SOLO currently retails for $179.99 and the Slingbox PRO-HD runs $299.99.