SlingPlayer Mobile for Symbian/S60 Now Available

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Following releases for other mobile operating systems, Sling Media has introduced a version of SlingPlayer Mobile for Symbian/S60. This application gives Slingbox owners the ability to watch and control their home TV from their smartphone.

Earlier this year, this company launched Symbian support in Europe with mobile provider 3, and it is now available to anyone. New features in this version of SlingPlayer Mobile include Wi-Fi support and a fullscreen landscape viewing mode.

SlingPlayer Mobile for Symbian
SlingPlayer Mobile
on a Nokia N95

(view large image)

For those in N. America, Sling Media says this application is compatible with the Nokia N95, N75, and E65. In Europe, compatible smartphones include the Nokia N95, E65, N73, and 6120.

The new stand-alone client is available in the U.S. ($29.99), Canada ($34.99), and the UK (19.99 GBP).

Dish Network to Acquire Slingbox Maker

In a related story, Echostar Communications has announced plans to have its subsidiary Dish Network acquire Sling Media for $380 million dollars in cash and Echostar stock.

Dish Network is a satellite television provider, with the third-largest number of pay-TV subscribers in the U.S., and the company has investments in Internet access over DSL and satellite. Echostar was previously an investor in Sling Media since 2005.

It’s unclear what the long-term implications of the buyout will be, but Echostar has previously experimented with mobile video in the form of a mobile viewing device that allowed users to download content from the company’s digital video recorders. Echostar CEO Charlie Ergen said that the acquisition would "allow [Dish Network] to offer innovative and convenient ways for our customers to enjoy their programming on more displays and locations, including TVs, computers, and mobile phones, both inside and outside of the home." Analysts speculate that the company may plan to integrate the Slingbox mobile video functionality into its set-top receivers.

The deal is still subject to approval, but is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

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