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Sneak Peak at the Sling Player for Mac OSX 75

kjh1 writes to tell us the folks over at SlingCommunity are running an interview with Brian Jaquet of Sling Media. They get the scoop on the upcoming SlingPlayer for Mac OSX. There is a text transcript as well as a video version of the interview."
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Sneak Peek at the Sling Player for Mac OSX

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  • "peek". (Score:5, Funny)

    by hatless ( 8275 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @05:12PM (#16476235)
    A sneak mountaintop?
  • by From A Far Away Land ( 930780 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @05:13PM (#16476241) Homepage Journal
    The link in the summary loads a page with horrible popover advertising that floats in the way.
    Here's the on the page. []
  • Dear god. (Score:5, Informative)

    by ( 782137 ) <joe&joe-baldwin,net> on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @05:20PM (#16476309) Homepage Journal
    OK, this article is as clear as mud.

    1) What is Sling?
    2) What is SlingPlayer?
    3) What is special about SlingPlayer?

    Someone tell me, please.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by brunascle ( 994197 )
      i assume a singplayer is slingware that connects to a slingbox []

    • by Andy_R ( 114137 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @05:32PM (#16476463) Homepage Journal
      Well, I visited their site, and it doesn't say what the damn thing actually is (or if it does, it's in a non-obviousl place), and after 2 minutes 30 of the video, all I know is that the developer doesn't know that the Dock is called the Dock. However, the interviewer does say "awsome" at least once in every sentence, so it must be good!
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Cantus ( 582758 )
      I think this should be informative: Slingbox [].

      BTW, I didn't know what it was either.

    • In Layman's terms... (Score:5, Informative)

      by cyclocommuter ( 762131 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @06:00PM (#16476793)
      ...A Slingbox is is a device that allows me to stream video from my Set Top Box (STB), DVD player, cable connection, etc., so I can watch it on any PC, Handheld device, Mobile Phone (certain models), and now Mac computer (running the SlingPlayer software) on the LAN or over the internet. So I can be on some business trip in Asia but still be able to watch local shows from my STB in North America via the internet. This is what is known as place shifting. It is actually pretty cool...
      • by Andy_R ( 114137 )
        That's "now" as in "eventually", right?

        So, it's like the EyeTV [] but it costs twice as much, doesn't record, isn't yet Mac compatible, does lossy recompression on everything and won't let you watch programmes on more than 1 device at a time?

        Why am I supposed to be impressed, exactly?
        • Er no, not at all (Score:3, Informative)

          by lakeland ( 218447 )
          Apart from connecting to a TV signal this has almost nothing in common with EyeTV.

          It is basically for people without many computer skills. They've got a computer (probably running Windows, maybe OSX) but they don't use it much. They've probably got broadband and they like watching TV. Usually they watch TV on their TV. Sometimes they want to watch it on their computer, sometimes they want to watch it on their laptop, sometimes on their mobile, sometimes overseas or at a friend's house.

          Compare that to Ey
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Andy_R ( 114137 )
            Well, obviously you plug the EyeTV into your laptop to watch it with your laptop, so unless this non-techy person has friends with broadband but no TV, the only advantage of this device is it will work in realtime from an overseas location that has broadband access, or if you have a broadband-equipped phone with a big enough screen to watch TV comfortably and a price-plan that makes moving this much data to a phone affordable (if such a thing exists).

            I still don't get why people would swap those tiny advant
            • Actually there is software -- or was software, anyway -- for place-shifting using an EyeTV.

              It's called CyTV. I haven't used it in a few versions, but basically it is/was a remote-viewer application, that would let you view the incoming stream from your EyeTV over a network, and also view the saved recordings and change channels and whatnot. So basically it was like a Slingbox, but also worked as a TV tuner on your computer, and also recorded.

              It used to have two pa
      • by Pinback ( 80041 )
        A slingbox is a device sold at RadioShack for people to lazy or inept to hack their Tivo or use DVD Decrypter to rip DVDs.

        It looks like an oversize bar of baker's chocolate, painted silver, with holes drilled in it.
      • I'm very interested in placeshifting since I am virtually local in two major US cities. Getting local drive-time radio on MP3 has been easy, but local television feeds have been impossible. It's my understanding that FCC rules prevent local network affiliates from operating in other television markets. Has anyone heard complaints over the possibilities a device like Sling offer?
    • A: Some folks calls it a sling blade, I call it a kaiser blade.

      Oh, sorry, wrong topic.
    • by slughead ( 592713 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @06:57PM (#16477537) Homepage Journal
      1) What is Sling?

      A piece of leather that allows one to hurl stones at high speeds.

      2) What is SlingPlayer?

      It's a brand new product which is now available on the Mac!

      3) What is special about SlingPlayer?

      It's NEW!
    • Re:Dear god Indeed! (Score:4, Informative)

      by Cadallin ( 863437 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @10:48PM (#16480185)
      Would you whiny bitches quit posting "I don't understand!" "What's this about?" "I don't get it?" Do you do the same thing thing with the Nightly News? Do you hear "Volcano erupts in Hawii" and immmediately ask: "Whats a Volcano?" "What's this Ha-waa-eee thing?" "Isn't an eruption something that happens in sex?"

      Sure, Sure mod me flame bait. But I'm fucking right here. If these people took any effort at all, or the same effort as making a post(!) they'd know.

      Googling Slingplayer, the top fucking link is: []

      Which is the fucking product page! Searching Wikipedia for Slingplayer doesn't return it immediately, but gives this page: =slingplayer [] a list with the top(!) link being the Slingbox, the device this software interfaces with. It tooke me much longer to write this post than it did for me to do those searches, and that's the truth. It's not like this information is secret and hidden. A simple search on the most common information sources gives it straight out.

      • by vistic ( 556838 ) *
        Wow. I guess it must be impossible to do a bad summary for Slashdot. Heck, why don't they just submit one-word summaries. Darn lazy people!

        Next on Slashdot: "Something about Windows Vista, Firefox, and bubble gum. Google it!"
      • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

        by Fred_A ( 10934 )
        Apparently it's not a fucking product, it's just a gizmo to watch TV. Didn't you read the summary ??

        How disapointing.
      • by RedBear ( 207369 )
        What kind of retarded rant was that? The readers are fully justified in expecting to get at least a faint idea of the point of the article from the title and submission text. If the information was so easy to find then the original idiot poster (a relation of yours perhaps?) should have included it in the submission so hundreds of thousands of /. readers could easily decide whether they gave a crap about continuing on to the linked article or reading the /. discussion. I don't think that's really too much t
        • In case you haven't noticed, Slashdot is "News for Nerds." Odds are if you care about what this product is, then you a. Know about it already, b. If, it sounds even vaguely interesting, take the time to inform yourself about what it is via the methods I described, or c. Don't give a rat's ass about the product anyway, and are bitching for nothing.

          I fail to see the problem in any way. If you want to know, make some effort to educate yourself. My point was was not to illustrate my "mind-bogglingly m

          • So... why bother even reading the articles? After all, if you're up to date on the latest "geek" stuff, you really don't need to go here at all, do you?

            The criticism was perfectly justified. The article bit.
      • by Yvan256 ( 722131 )
        Submitter take the time to explain the basics of the article: 30 seconds.

        Submiter does not take the time to explain the basics of the article: 50 000 slashdotters wasting 2 minutes (since they don't know what it is, need time to search for it, read it, understand it.) Total time wasted: 69 days, 10 hours and 40 minutes.

        On the web, a single person being lazy ends up wasting time for thousands of people. Simple enough to understand.
      • No, you're not right. I am not here to fact check summaries and make them make sense, the submitter and the editors are.

        Everybody knows what a volcano is, or what Google is, or what Windows is. What a SlingPlayer is or is not isn't obvious to most people, and the submitter should have made it more clear.
      • by geekoid ( 135745 )
        First: Don't be a dork.

        Second: Google for it is seldom a good answer. People are social craetures, and it is in are nature to ask our 'tribe' for information. It was much easier to say, "What's over there" to are peers then it is to go see and get eaten by boars.

        If the nightly news was intereactive, and they mentioned something the viewers didn't lknow, then YES PEOPLE WOULD ASK.

        Shit, I am tired of you anti social assholes giving the rest of us a bad name.

  • by Peganthyrus ( 713645 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @05:21PM (#16476343) Homepage
    The Slingbox family of products enable you to watch and control your TV anywhere you are from virtually any Internet-connected laptop, PDA, or Windows cell phone.

      - from Sling Media's site [], for people like me who just kinda avoid TV, since both summary and article seem to assume you know what it is.
  • What it is (Score:3, Funny)

    by mac1235 ( 962716 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @05:23PM (#16476369) [] Ideal for people who don't have bittorent or have TV's. Poor bastards.
  • What's the point of a blog summary that tells more about the media types of the page to which it links than what it is linking to? Is it just an excuse for a title so it can have a typo?
  • maybe TiVo will go mac too.

    one can dream
  • VideoLAN (Score:4, Insightful)

    by digitalhermit ( 113459 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @05:44PM (#16476605) Homepage
    Interesting.. Sling Player apparently allows you to watch television from any device.

    Under Linux I use a program called VideoLAN Client to send television (or DVD, AVIs, camera) to other TCP enabled Linux machines. For example, I can use VLC to watch live television on my porch or in my garage over the wireless network. Quality is decent, though don't expect fullscreen DV over a 54Mbit wireless connection. Over the 100Mbit LAN and with a decent server it's pretty decent quality. MythTV also has this functionality.

    You can also encode video for iPods if you want to shift your viewing to a a 2" display... I don't understand the appeal of it, but hell, the optometrists need the work.
    • by ivan256 ( 17499 )
      VLC is nice, but SlingBoxes can be had for $100. You'll be hard pressed to build a VLC encoding rig for that little money. Of course, you'll have no crappy DRM with the VLC or or MythTV setup...
      • That's because it's cheap hardware - the capture is something like 160x240 which is going to look crap no matter how much bandwidth you give it (there are some online demos people have done.. they're barely watchable IMO).

        A PC capture card relaying over, well, anything, will do a lot better.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by ivan256 ( 17499 )
          That's plain not true. It captures at the full 320x240 NTSC resolution. It scales the bitrate up to the available bandwdith. Quality video encoding DSPs are not very expensive at all right now. The difference between your PC capture card and the slingbox are that the slingbox has a slow, cheap general purpose CPU (which doesn't need to be fast), a cheap-o case, and no disks, etc...

          On a LAN, the slingbox video is quite passable. Better than, for example, a TiVo on maximum compression.
          • Re:VideoLAN (Score:5, Informative)

            by entrylevel ( 559061 ) <> on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @07:32PM (#16477979)
            NTSC is many things, but calling 320x240 "full resolution" is wrong. NTSC has several resolutions [], all of which are considerably higher than 320x240.

            The slingbox is awesome for $100, but VLC (and one of my favorites, the deprecated VLS []) really has a leg up on the options it gives you. One of my favorite features is that it can transcode either a video file or input stream (from a capture card for example) into any other format it supports for playback, in realtime (as long as your CPU can handle it). I use it to stream 5 Mbit/sec video over wireless every day and it works and looks fantastic.

            In my experience, VLC's lowest-end quality (for example, trying to send upstream on a crippled US cable modem or ADSL), looks far better than the highest quality available from a Slingbox. Other pluses are that VLC runs the same (and supports the same features and codecs) on all major operating systems and your stream will never be wrapped in DRM.
        • by Wovel ( 964431 )
          Sling Player hads always captured at 320x240 and the latest firmware will cpature at 640x480 automatically on LAN connections or can be turned on manually for Internet connections. Facts > Fiction. It is not cheap hardware the encoder / software combo will deliver a better image over the Internet than 90% of users will see over the LAN with VLC.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by tlhIngan ( 30335 )
            I can't believe people have missed one of the major features of the Slingbox... it has an IR blaster.

            It's a small feature, but very useful. I hook my Slingbox to my TiVo. Voila, I can watch my TiVo anywhere! (With full control of it too). It also supports cableboxes, so you can use it with digital cable. Or if you're really down, you can use the coax input for analog cable.

            So via coax, it's like your VLC setup. But then add in the remote control feature, and the ability to remotely choose between coax, comp
  • I almost bought the Slingplayer because it had a Mac OS X logo on the box and claimed it was Mac compatible. This article now says that the player isn't out yet.

    So, what is it? Is the article outdated, or is Sling selling boxes that claim Mac compatibility without actually shipping the software?
    • Sling made commitments to have OS X software ready by Q2, but have since delayed it twice. So, yes, they started selling the hardware in September, before the software was Mac OS X compatible.
    • by ivan256 ( 17499 )
      Yes. I bought one of these at the end of September because it said it was Mac compatable, and it wasn't. There are a lot of angry people with a Slingbox they can't use waiting for them to get off their asses and release the client. The problem is almost certainly that they had a hard time getting the DRM working. Bastards.
    • I have been a part of a Slingbox thread where many Slingmedia customers are raising holy hell because Sling promised a mac client soooo long ago and have yet to come through with it. They supposedly have a beta, yet none of the folks who have been waiting have even confirmed that they are a part of the beta program. I don't believe they really have one and think its still vapor ware at this point.

      That said, I am using a Slingbox with a PC as I pen this on my other monitor. Its pretty good and the overhea
  • by nblender ( 741424 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @05:48PM (#16476639)
    What I mean is that if the networks had their collective poop in a group, you would be able to access your monthly TV subscription via some 'iTunes' thing no matter where you were but as it is, you have to buy this extra piece of hardware and potentially violate the AUP of your broadband provider (for setting up a server on your connection).

    I have some simple scripts that make it easy for me to automatically grab shows from my mythbackend at home, while I'm in my hotel room 12 hops away. I just watch them manually with vlc, laptop plugged into the hotel room's TV, and cellphone as a bluetooth remote... I keep thinking it would be fairly trivial to convince mythtv to do all this seamlessly...

  • Article is spam (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @06:02PM (#16476823)

    Please stop posting press releases as "news". This is a e p.r. stunt and you're diluting what little credibility shashdot has by putting what is essentially an ad on the front page
  • by ari_j ( 90255 ) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @06:11PM (#16476913)
    What the hell? This looks like a teenager taking the interview in a busy airport concourse. Can someone help me pull the fork out of my ear? I had to put it there to survive long enough to find the "stop" button on the interview video.
  • "You'll see that there is an icon when you install it... in the uhh.. kinda cool little toolbar here" (while pointing to the Dock)
  • Wait for iTV (after they finish with the DRM, or, assuming it exsists at all), and actually get something that will record, is gaurnteed Mac compatable, and actually looks descent.
  • The buzz around this really is rooted in the way that Slingmedia has handled all of this. I was following this for a quite a while because I really liked the functionality of the SlingBox but was not happy on the lack of OS X support. Then, when Sony's Location Free TV came out and IODATA announced OS X software to work with it, I thought I was going to go down that route.

    This is really more a kind of thing where Slingmedia showed an early beta of the OS X player (I think at MacWorld in Jan 06!) and the wor
    • by Wovel ( 964431 )
      Wow this poor guy was beaten up by an ill-informed moderator. I hope someone can straighten this out in the meta-mod. I have not had any luck wih CrossOver either. Parallels and Bootcamp work great, for those of us with Intel macs. Everyone else is stuck till the player is released.
      • by mergy ( 42601 )
        CrossOver/WINE seems really promising. I REALLY want it to work but it probably just has issues trying to get things to run that have service and or codec-type issues.
  • shameless advertizing? Let me summarize:
    SlingCommunity blah blah of Sling Media. They blah blah scoop blah blah SlingPlayer...

    And it points to a page full of advertizement. All this mess for a poor product. What a pity.

    Anyway, that was my slingshot

  • Sling deserves no praise or accolades for their Mac client. It's been "any month" now for what? Over a year? If it was a real priority they would have actually dedicated some real resources to getting it done or brought in outside help for whatever was hindering them in their internal development. Mostly they deserve a bit of snarky retribution for allowing their new hardware to ship with boxes that claimed Mac support... even though it isn't in the hands of anyone but a few beta testers.

    Where I come from
  • Waiting for Sling Player for the Mac has been a trying experience. See my post here:
    Do Not Do Dumb Things to Your Customers []

    In summary:
    • First announced June 2005
    • First scheduled for Q2 2006
    • Delayed to Q3 2006
    • Shipped New products with Mac Logo on the Box, but no actual Mac software in the box
    • Delayed to Q4 2006

    Since then, the company has made great strides:
    Sling Makes Amends []

    Communication has improved and they seem commited to releasing a public beta this month.
    Let's hope they follow through.

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