Print 34 comment(s) - last by TomCorelis.. on May 28 at 4:08 AM

AT&T has banned users from using SlingBox over 3G on the iPhone. Wi-Fi is still working, and 3G on other phones remains enabled.
Other phones still have access to the service streamed in 3G

Sling Media’s Slingbox is an intriguing device that allows you to view your cable TV or recorded PVR content on-the-go via transmission from an internet-connected home PC.  The technology was made even sweeter when 3G streaming SlingPlayer Mobile was unveiled for smartphones. 

However, just as good times seemed at hand for iPhone users, the service's 3G streaming capabilities were unexpectedly absent in the $30 app that hit Apple's App Store this week.  It turns out AT&T cut off the 3G streaming citing that its HSPA network likely could not handle the strain.

AT&T issued a statement, describing, "Slingbox, which would use large amounts of wireless network capacity, could create congestion and potentially prevent other customers from using the network. The application does not run on our 3G wireless network. Applications like this, which redirect a TV signal to a personal computer, are specifically prohibited under our terms of service."

However, the strange part comes in its following statements, and the fact that it is still allowing 3G streaming on BlackBerry, S60, Windows Mobile, and Palm phones.  AT&T’s reasoning is that the iPhone is a PC.  It states, "We consider smartphones like the iPhone to be personal computers in that they have the same hardware and software attributes as PCs."

While the ban will likely incense iPhone users, it also does not solve the key dilemma -- how to cope with video streaming.  AT&T writes, "That said, we don't restrict users from going to a Web site that lets them view videos. But what our terms and conditions prohibit is the transferring, or slinging, of a TV signal to their personal computer or smartphone."

Sites like Hulu, YouTube, or AOL Video will likely pose a similar threat to the network.  With growing adoption of smart phones, similar problems are likely to crop up, due to the demands of streaming video.

For now, SlingPlayer on the iPhone will only work over Wi-Fi.  Writes AT&T, "The Slingbox application for the iPhone runs on Wi-Fi. That's good news for AT&T's iPhone 3G customers, who get free Wi-Fi access at our 20,000 owned and operated hot spots in the U.S., including Starbucks, McDonalds, Barnes & Noble, hotels, and airports. AT&T is the industry leader in Wi-Fi."

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

Blame Apple, not AT&T
By HammerStrike on 5/13/2009 2:30:05 PM , Rating: 5
Why is everyone blaming AT&T for this? IMO, they are simply complying with a "request" from Apple to disable Slingbox; otherwise, why wouldn't they disable it for all smart phones?

Apple and their pay-to-download iTunes store has a lot to lose if "free" services such as Hulu, Slingbox, etc. become popular. This is simply Apple trying to protect their downloadable content market, to the detriment of consumers who purchased their product.

I am always amazed at the lack of criticism Apple receives for all the proprietary behavior they engage in.

RE: Blame Apple, not AT&T
By jevans64 on 5/13/2009 2:44:43 PM , Rating: 4
Yep. This is Apple trying to protect their iTunes store sales just like they did when they rejected the Podcaster app.

Apple is MS for the new millennium.

The iPhone hardware same as a PC. I got a laugh out of that. The AT&T spokesperson who uttered that statement is a moron.

My Dell Axim x50v from 2004 can run circles around the iPhone when it comes to audio and video.

RE: Blame Apple, not AT&T
By foolsgambit11 on 5/13/2009 5:33:23 PM , Rating: 2
But Apple doesn't offer video direct to the iPhone, does it? I know it's not on the iTunes App.

RE: Blame Apple, not AT&T
By QueBert on 5/14/09, Rating: -1
RE: Blame Apple, not AT&T
By callmeroy on 5/14/2009 1:51:37 PM , Rating: 3 just wow......

another person who can't see the forest for the trees....

RE: Blame Apple, not AT&T
By TomCorelis on 5/28/2009 4:08:23 AM , Rating: 1
Nothing can touch an iPod Touch/iPhone for playing music... except an iPod Classic. Oh, 160gb, how I love you so.... :-)

RE: Blame Apple, not AT&T
By JediJeb on 5/14/2009 10:31:24 AM , Rating: 4
The new PC vs Mac commercial:

Im a PC

Im a Mac, and here's my phone that is a PC

lol I just had to laugh when AT&T called the iPhone a PC, you know Steve Jobs has to be shaking his head now!

RE: Blame Apple, not AT&T
By JasonMick on 5/13/2009 4:42:24 PM , Rating: 4
While I agree with you, I think that AT&T is at least equally culpable, unless it clarifies that requests came from Apple.

Take the iPhone bricking/locking debacle. Sure it might have been all Apple's decision, but AT&T looked at least as bad for not revealing the exact terms of their business partnership that was compelling the bricking move. It could have been Apple asking AT&T, it could have been AT&T asking Apple -- who knows.

Likewise, in this case, if Apple is pressuring AT&T, AT&T should cite this pressure in a carefully worded statement which clarifies the direction is from Apple.

Its kinda like if you're sitting with your friend in the back seat of a stolen car with no one in the driver seat. Sure it looks bad for both of you, maybe even he was the one who stole the car. But if you tell the cops that you decided to steal the car and you don't mention your friend, you're the one who's going to get blamed -- and its your own dumb fault.

I'm in no way defending Apple, but I'm saying that either
A)AT&T is equally dictatorial
B)AT&T needs to grow a pair and stop letting itself be scapegoated by Apple

RE: Blame Apple, not AT&T
By Flail on 5/13/09, Rating: 0
RE: Blame Apple, not AT&T
By taber on 5/13/2009 10:48:24 PM , Rating: 2
In this particular case I think At&t really is much more at blame. What does Apple really have to gain by limiting a nice application for their cell phone that many people would've spent $30 on otherwise?

At&t conveniently just changed their Terms Of Service to justify disabling this app:

It's not hard to see their motives, they have a $30/month plan and $15/month plan to watch TV on that they'd much rather you use.

RE: Blame Apple, not AT&T
By keithxp on 5/14/2009 8:11:03 AM , Rating: 2
Wait... you're telling me an Apple is a PC?! Some cool looking guy told me otherwise.

RE: Blame Apple, not AT&T
By Shadowself on 5/14/2009 2:34:28 PM , Rating: 2
"Company spokesman Mark Siegel explained to me this afternoon that AT&T considers the streaming of television signals to any device over its wireless data network to be a violation of its terms of service," Troy Wolverton reports for SiliconBeat. "'It doesn’t just apply to the iPhone,' Siegel said. 'The key here is not (which) device is enabled for (the SlingPlayer). This is not an application that is permissible to use on AT&T’s network.'"

So much for this being Apple's fault.

By sapiens74 on 5/13/2009 1:45:42 PM , Rating: 4
I loved my iphone but ATT sucks balls.

In fact ATT sucks so bad I went to Verizon and a Windows Mobile phone

Thanks for killing my Iphone buzz

By sapiens74 on 5/13/2009 1:47:48 PM , Rating: 1
Well I am up to early to spell check apparently even tho Firefox is trying to help....

By xti on 5/13/2009 2:05:18 PM , Rating: 1

I agree btw, gritting my teeth w/ ATT just so I can keep the iPhone. Ive jailbroken before but just rather not anymore. NES games get old fast.

By amanojaku on 5/13/2009 2:25:38 PM , Rating: 2
You coulda switched to T-Mobile and kept the iPhone. Or does it suck in your area?

By sapiens74 on 5/13/2009 2:31:15 PM , Rating: 2
Tmobile sucks in Hawaii

By Smartless on 5/13/2009 3:00:15 PM , Rating: 2
For that matter what cell phone company doesn't suck in Hawaii? Mobi?

By Samus on 5/13/2009 6:32:04 PM , Rating: 3
GSM sucks in general in the USA.

By Souka on 5/13/2009 5:41:12 PM , Rating: 2
you aint' gonna be streaming anything on T-mobile's network with an bandwidth

By FingerMeElmo87 on 5/13/2009 5:59:41 PM , Rating: 5
"Hey everyone! Come get a brand new iPhone 3G, an AT&T exclusive btw, because it awesome but our network can't handle it because we're idiots!" - thats what i'm hearing.

the demand for the 2G iPhone should have been enough for AT&T to realize that they were going to need more bandwidth and upgraded equipment to handle the volume of the 3G iPhone. now they've shot themselves in the foot. this is even more of a reason to go to a less crowded network in Sprint and get a Pre

carrier neutrality
By wvh on 5/13/2009 2:14:30 PM , Rating: 5
Why can an ISP decide which applications you use your internet connected device for?

RE: carrier neutrality
By FITCamaro on 5/13/09, Rating: 0
RE: carrier neutrality
By invidious on 5/13/2009 3:23:30 PM , Rating: 5
AT&T is a 3G provider.
3G is an internet service.

Where are you not following the logic?

RE: carrier neutrality
By LRonaldHubbs on 5/13/2009 3:41:42 PM , Rating: 2
Because users willingly sign a contract that says they can, thus reassuring the ISP that such practice is acceptable.

It uses the same hardware as a PC
By FITCamaro on 5/13/2009 2:19:28 PM , Rating: 1
Just entirely different CPUs, GPUs, memory, and sound. But other than that, it's entirely the same.

This is why I don't have AT&T. A guy at work showed me this app running on his Voyager. Worked pretty damn well.

RE: It uses the same hardware as a PC
By bigboxes on 5/14/2009 1:59:52 AM , Rating: 3
But why? Do you view it on your break? Lunch? Or do you just bring it to work to show others how cool it is? I'm at a loss. Unless your job is watching streaming video or listening to mp3s... I mean you really shouldn't be watching it while driving to/from work either. When you are at home you have a tv and (hopefully) a real AV system. So, where's the real benefit to this. It's quite large as a phone (you are holding up a screen to your head) and cumbersome to carry while you workout. Is the whole point that it's like the swiss army knives of devices and that you are just waiting for someone to say how cool it is cuz you really can't find a practical use for it?

RE: It uses the same hardware as a PC
By FITCamaro on 5/14/2009 8:16:26 AM , Rating: 2

How does your post have anything to do with what I said?

I don't have an iPhone or a Voyager or even a smartphone.

By bigboxes on 5/14/2009 11:26:23 AM , Rating: 2
Sorry FIT. I thought you were talking about you and a co-worker. Don't know why I interpretted it that way. I was up late working on a pc and was very tired. I need sleep.

By Shadowself on 5/14/2009 2:29:38 PM , Rating: 2
And other than the engine, transmission, sheetmetal and seats I drive my car is entirely the same as a Ferrari!

I don't get this
By Sazar on 5/13/2009 3:03:17 PM , Rating: 2
Sling player is banned over 3G but Orb (which only costs $10 for the iPhone app) streams over WiFi, edge and 3G with no problems and also streams to all my consoles and networked computers and there is no issue there?

No consistency in this policy, although I have a feeling AT&T probably expects more people to be using Sling player rather than Orb with their discrete (and supported) TV tuners.

By Screwballl on 5/13/09, Rating: 0
RE: Drivers
By ummduh on 5/13/2009 4:52:04 PM , Rating: 2
You know, someone who is dumb enough to pull something like that is dumb enough to figure out how to do something equally or more stupid than that anyways.

The blame is stupid people doing stupid things, it's got nothing to do with WHAT they're doing.

By SnakeBlitzken on 5/14/2009 4:48:08 PM , Rating: 2
Hey! We're a PC too!!!!

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer
Related Articles
Slingbox Finally Goes Mainstream
January 19, 2007, 6:38 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki