SlingPlayer for iPhone release imminent: $30, Wi-Fi only

The long-delayed app for iPhones will be hitting the iTunes store within hours, but the once 3G-compatible video streaming is now Wi-Fi only.

The long-delayed SlingPlayer for iPhone will be hitting the iTunes App Store in the next 24 hours--but the software will only stream video over Wi-Fi, not AT&T's 3G data network. The restriction is a big blow to the usability of the software, which allows owners of Slingbox set-top boxes to stream their home TV in real-time to anywhere in the world.

The SlingPlayer app will cost $29.99--expensive for iPhone apps, but the exact same price as previous iterations of the SlingPlayer Mobile apps available for Windows Mobile, Palm OS , BlackBerry , and Symbian handhelds. SlingPlayer Mobile should work on all existing iPhones and iPod Touch models. Also, while Sling had indicated that the iPhone player would only work with the Slingbox Solo, Slingbox Pro, and Slingbox Pro-HD models, the company has now indicated that it will work with legacy models as well--though tech support will only be available for the aforementioned trio of models.

We'll have a more in-depth look at the software and an updated video soon. But so far as we can tell, the software hasn't changed very much since the beta version was unveiled earlier this year . Thus, Tom Merritt's hands-on video (embedded above) gives you a very good idea of what you'll be getting with SlingPlayer Mobile. (Update: See Jeff Bakalar's hands-on review and video .)

So, what do you think? Is the dearth of 3G access a deal-killer? Or will you be picking up a Slingbox just so you can stream video to your iPhone or iPod Touch via Wi-Fi? Sound off below.

Update (5/13/2009, 8:40am): The SlingPlayer Mobile for iPhone app is now available.

 

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