It was almost a year ago when I was teased with a working copy of Sling Player for BlackBerry in my hands. In January I mentioned that you could sign up to be in line for the beta. We even posted some great shots of the player. I personally had doubts that the application would ever come out. Kind of like Picasa for BlackBerry…
I just now discovered TWO pieces of information about the Sling player that show some sign of progress. On September 30th Sling had posted this little tidbit of news in their Beta program site. I wont paste all the text from both but you will get the gist.
This is from their September 30th private beta announcement:
- What is it?
- SlingPlayer Mobile for Blackberry is software that will allow you to watch your TV/ DVR–via a Slingbox–on a supported Blackberry device.
- Basic Requirements
- A Slingbox (any model)
- A supported* Blackberry device
At this time we don’t have a list of supported models to announce. However, as a rule of thumb, SlingPlayer Mobile software works best on devices that support 3G or WiFi and contain firmware that supports video streaming applications. As with all of our mobile clients, we expect to offer a free 30-day try-before-you-buy program.
But we’re getting way ahead of ourselves…
- When will it be in beta?
Nothing new to report yet. We’re still actively working with RIM to develop this product. The beta program is expected to start this year.
Sorry, I know that’s about as lame an announcement as it gets, but we’re breaking new ground here. Plus, Vicky (our Product Manager) isn’t about to trash her pristine track record of delivering products on time. When we have a solid estimate to give you, you’ll hear about it.
I also just got this following email from the Sling Beta Program:
You’re receiving this email because you have a profile in the Sling Media beta system with a BlackBerry listed as a Test Platform. As you may already know, we will be going into beta with SlingPlayer Mobile for BlackBerry before the end of the year and accordingly we have begun preparations for that beta. In order to properly test the software we will need users with a variety of BlackBerry models, which, of course, means we will need specific model information in order to recruit the right mix of testers.
To this end we have updated the Test Platforms form to gather the specific information we require and we ask that you update your profile to fill in the new fields. This is required to be considered as a potential tester for the beta when we begin recruiting testers later this year. Profiles without the necessary information will be eliminated as candidates for the program.
You can perform this update by logging into the beta site and selecting the ‘Manage Platforms‘ link on the left, then selecting the pencil icon to the left of your BlackBerry(s) to update the entry. If you no longer have a BlackBerry, you can select the trash can icon to the right of the BlackBerry entry to delete it. To add additional devices use the ‘Add New Platform‘ link in the left-hand menu.
Specifically in your entry:
– Device type as Phone / PDA
– Phone / PDA OS must be ‘BlackBerry’
– Device Manufacturer must be ‘BlackBerry (RIM)’
– Phone / PDA Model must be one of the following: BB 8800-series, BB Bold, BB Curve, BB Pearl, BB Storm, or BB Other
– Exact Model Number must be filled out. All BlackBerry devices have a four digit model number – for example the Pearl is the 8100, 8110, 8120, 8130, or 8220 depending on the specific version, while the Bold is the 9000 (just the one version at this time). Instructions to get this from your device are in the form.
– Firmware version must be filled out. The complete firmware version number is required – for example 4.5 is insufficient, 126.96.36.199 is a complete firmware version. Instructions to get this from your device are in the form.
Again, we stress that these fields are required for your profile to be considered when we begin recruiting testers for the program. We would also suggest that you apply any firmware updates available for your BlackBerry before updating your profile, as there will be minimum firmware revision requirements for the beta. (Sorry, we won’t reveal any specifics on eligible models or firmware revisions due to ongoing work with RIM – please don’t ask as we won’t say.)
While you’re in the beta system you may want to update any other aspects of your profile that may have changed, such as your Slingbox Test Platform, as these items will be used during the beta.
Just to set expectations, we currently have over 3,000 profiles registered in the system with a BlackBerry listed under Test Platforms. We can’t say at the moment how many of those devices will be eligible for the beta, but if every one were eligible perhaps 10% of them would be selected during the course of the beta as we have to keep the numbers manageable to produce the results we need from the testing. The best thing you can do is update your profile as above to qualify for consideration. Testers will be selected to provide the mix of devices, carriers, locations, etc, that we need for a successful program.
Also, as is our normal policy, we will be starting the beta with a small number of users and then adding testers in waves as we build confidence in the software. So when the beta does start later this year, if you hear about it and haven’t been selected, don’t be discouraged. You may well be selected for one of the additional waves.
If you no longer wish to beta test for Sling Media simply reply to this email and request to have your beta profile removed from the system. If you have any additional questions please feel free to ask via email. Note, however, that we will not reveal any details about device eligibility or the scheduled beta start time frame at this time, sorry.
We’re really looking forward to this beta, and we’re sure many of you are as well. We look forward to working with some of you to release SlingPlayer Mobile for BlackBerry to the world.