EchoStar Launches Slingbox iPhone App - Multichannel

EchoStar Launches Slingbox iPhone App

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EchoStar's Sling Media on Wednesday announced the availability of its SlingPlayer Mobile application for Apple's iPhone and iPod touch -- but the app works only over a Wi-Fi connection, as AT&T says "slinging" TV violates its terms of service and would chew up too much bandwidth over its 3G network.

Priced at $29.99, the app is available at the iPhone App Store.

The app works only over a Wi-Fi Internet connection and does not allow access over AT&T's 3G wireless network. Sling Media said the app is "restricted to Wi-Fi only at Apple's request."

AT&T issued a statement saying that the Slingbox application "would use large amounts of wireless network capacity, could create congestion and potentially prevent other customers from using the network. The application does not run on our 3G wireless network. Applications like this, which redirect a TV signal to a personal computer, are specifically prohibited under our terms of service."

AT&T also said it considers smartphones like the iPhone "to be personal computers in that they have the same hardware and software attributes as PCs."

The SlingPlayer Mobile application provides Slingbox users full access to their cable or satellite TV set-top box, including local channels, video-on-demand and the ability to watch and control their home digital video recorder.

"With the addition of SlingPlayer Mobile to the iPhone and the iPod touch, our customers have the widest choice possible for viewing on the go," said John Gilmore, senior vice president and general manager at Sling Media.

Sling Media announced the iPhone app in January at CES.