Thursday, November 16, 2006

SlingMedia Available on 3 UK Phones

SlingMedia, which developed the Slingbox device for broadcasting TV content from the user's home over the Internet, announced a partnership with 3 UK which will enable subscribers to watch their own TV channels from home on their cellular phones. The service will be available to customers who purchase both an X-series handset (either the Nokia N73 or the Sony Ericsson W950i) and a Slingbox. The service is unique in that it offers the first implementation of the SlingPlayer on a non-Windows platform, and is currently exclusive to 3 UK X-series customers.

The announcement did not mention specific pricing for the service, but the offical press release states that all X-services will be available for a fixed fee on top of the basic subscribtion fee, and that additional access fees will be charged the Sling service. It is interesting to note that owners of Windows Mobile smartphones and PDAs can purchase the SlingPlayer application and enjoy the service for free (excluding 3G data charges), regardless of their wireless carrier. This could become a threat to paid cellular TV services, and to mobile broadcast TV services as well: If users can watch their own favorite TV channels from home on their cellular phones, why would they subscribe to a paid service that provides the same content?

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