Television content on my phone is something I’ve long enjoyed, mostly through my SlingBox (s SATS). Unfortunately, since moving to an iPhone, I’ve had to rely on YouTube for most videos, although I did give my Orb setup a stint as well. The CBS (s CBS) network here in the U.S. has an answer for iPhone owners with their free TV.com application. It streams clips and full-length episodes of popular programs such as the CSI franchise, “The Big Bang Theory”(my fave), “How I Met Your Mother”, “Star Trek” and more. TV.com doesn’t just offer headline CBS content: You’ll find shows from The CW, Showtime and CNET TV as well. Navigation is easy and the content opens up in the iPhone’s QuickTime viewer application.
I couldn’t test the app on 3G since I have a first-gen iPhone, but it works fine over Wi-Fi. EDGE works as well, but just like the experience with EDGE and YouTube, the quality isn’t as good and it takes time to get going as the video queues up.
This free access to CBS content is great, but ultimately, I want total control over my mobile viewing habits. That’s where my SlingBox comes in. We’ve heard for a while that SlingPlayer for iPhone was in the works, but I just saw the first mention of when. By the end of March, the application should be submitted to Apple (s AAPL) for inclusion in the iTunes App Store, according Contentinople.
I used to think that it didn’t have a chance for approval, since Apple is in the content-selling business. After all, they get a piece of the pie whenever someone purchases television content through iTunes. Now that TV.com is in the App Store, I think that argument goes away completely. The only question left, in my mind, is: Does Apple have any remote streaming plans for its Apple TV that would preclude Sling software approval?