Monsoon Launches SlingBox Killer; Lets Users Watch TV On A Phone

San Mateo, Calif.-based Monsoon Multimedia, which calls itself “the SlingBox-killer,” announced today that it will be providing a beta of its new digital video service that allows people to watch their home TV on some Nokia (NYSE: NOK) phones. The HAVA Mobile Player for S60 Symbian phones, which Nokia was showing off at CTIA, allows people to watch live TV, pause, rewind, skip and schedule your DVR recordings from a phone. The mobile phone version will be available for free next quarter for those who already have a Hava device at home. However, if you can’t wait that long, Monsoon is now accepting people for a beta program that will run next month. The Hava box costs $100 after a $30 rebate. It’s unclear why Monsoon thinks it will out-do Sling Media, which has already made a lot of headway. Slingbox currently is compatible with Symbian, Palm (NSDQ: PALM) and Windows Mobile phones with Blackberry support coming soon. The one drawback may be that its mobile software costs an additional $30. Truthfully, the fight is likely not between these two players, but between this model and a TV service tailored for the mobile phone. Put another way, will people rather make a $100 hardware investment in order to watch TV — they are already paying for — on their phone, or will they want to sign-up for a separate service, such as MediaFlo, for about $15 a month?

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