Will mobile carriers block place-shifting?


Place shifting is the process of using technology such as the Slingbox from Sling Media to push the TV shows from your home to mobile devices anywhere in the world. The only requirement needed to place shift your video content is some video gear like the Slingbox, a high-speed connection to the internet, and a mobile client capable of receiving and playing the video. Dave Ciccone, Kevin Tofel, and I (MobileTechRoundup) have discussed the upcoming Windows Mobile client from Sling Media that provides the ability to receive and view videos sent from a Slingbox to any device running the Sling client. Imagine being able to watch the TV in your family room back home on your Pocket PC device in your hotel room around the world. It is easy to see why place shifting is getting a lot of attention.

An article on Forbes looks at the middle requirement I mentioned above for place shifting and details the problems that Sling Media is having partnering with mobile carriers. It seems the big carriers, Verizon, Vodafone, and Cingular/ Sprint, have yet to agree to allow Sling’s content to be carried over their networks. All of the major carriers are offering (or soon to offer) their own premium video casting services and they see the Slingbox as a direct competitor to those offerings. It will be interesting to see if there is fallout from their existing customers if they actively start blocking their customer’s Slingbox content on their networks. This could get very nasty if all involved are not careful.


Jeremy Toeman


I just thought I’d chime in on this topic and add a little clarity here.

While it is true that none of the carriers have announced any plans to explicitly offer the SlingPlayer Mobile Edition software, this does not preclude end-users from downloading it directly. It is certainly conceivable that we will have an offering in conjunction with a mobile carrier down the road, especially considering how the SlingPlayer helps drive consumers to purchase the latest mobile phones and sign up for the larger data services plans. At present, the method for a consumer to get the software will be triggered through a download on the Sling Media Web site, which is consistent with our original distribution plans.

The SlingPlayer Mobile Edition runs on Windows Mobile 5 (and 2003), an open platform for installing third-party applications. It acts no differently than any other network-enabled mobile software, such as Avvenu or Goodlink. This means Slingbox owners can connect to their home Slingbox over WiFi-enabled networks as well as the cellular-based devices.


Antonio Bray

I already use the Sling with broadband access that I am paying $59 for. have the Treo 700, XV6700 and 2 6600’s with 2 PDA Data Plans. I pay $250 for freedom todo what I want, where I want and when I want. It is really none of VZ’s business what type of “content” I download as long as it is legal. I’m Slingin right nor on my tablet and am passed at this potential threat. I will drop n if they serer around with my freedom. Why would Sling need carrier’s blessing anyway. I care nothing about VZ’s vast offerings although I do have it on my Moto e815. Can’t even get most of the new content without upgrading phone. On the PR and/or laptop at least I have total choice, that is what America is about.


Seems silly on carrier part. Greedy actually, but there are some practicle reasons why they should not block.
Exhibit A) My Mpeg4 Security Camera that allows me to see my sitter. Tis Video, just like SlingBox TV. How would Verizon know the difference?

Exhibit B) I am trying to put together a Video Teleconference for work and my boss is only available on his nifty New Verizon Cellphone with the video Camera and Wireless Broadband. How would Verizon know the difference between this transaction and a SlingBox TV Transmitter?

Exhibit C) I am trying to have a video teleconference with my Parents to show off thier new Grandchild. How would Verizon know the difference between this transaction and a SlingBox TV Transmitter?

Sure, some newly minted MBA at some Carrier is gonna read this and think, hey we could make another nickle on this and that and that….. Not likely, my young sage, not likely. What you would do is expedite people to other IP Delivery mediums…
WiMax, WiFi, Sat, etc… etc…

Sucks to be in a commodity service business hunh…

Burning Orange

JK, you can already do this with orb.com (in software) and not just for tv.

Comments are closed.