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Old May 12, 2009, 06:49 PM   #1
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AT&T Releases Statement on Lack of 3G Streaming for Upcoming SlingPlayer Mobile



Earlier today, we reported on the impending release of SlingPlayer Mobile for iPhone. To the disappointment of many who had been eagerly awaiting release of the application and contrary to announced plans, it appears that video streaming will be limited to Wi-Fi only.

Engadget is now reporting that AT&T has released a statement regarding the lack of support for 3G and EDGE streaming in SlingPlayer Mobile. Briefly, AT&T will not permit SlingPlayer Mobile to operate on its network due to the potential for overwhelming demands on network capacity.
Quote:
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. We consider smartphones like the iPhone to be personal computers in that they have the same hardware and software attributes as PCs.

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.

The Slingbox application for the iPhone runs on WiFi. That's good news for AT&T's iPhone 3G customers, who get free WiFi 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 WiFi
As Engadget points out, however, AT&T fails to address the fact that SlingPlayer Mobile is currently available on a number of other smartphone platforms, all of which support streaming over 3G. That difference suggests that AT&T's close relationship with Apple, which maintains tight control of app distribution via the App Store, has given the carrier significant leverage regarding applications that it believes could negatively affect its network performance.

Article Link: AT&T Releases Statement on Lack of 3G Streaming for Upcoming SlingPlayer Mobile
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Old May 12, 2009, 06:50 PM   #2
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I was looking forward to the 3G feature and was ready to invest in a Slingbox.
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Old May 12, 2009, 06:51 PM   #3
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There is so much wrong with that statement that it's beyond belief.
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Old May 12, 2009, 06:53 PM   #4
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Yea, once again Macrumors tells it how it is.

I wonder what the actual data congestion would be. Based on how much we all pay them, shouldn't their data network be top notch?

That said, I know they've been expanding their network like crazy and upgrading it as fast as they can go - could it really cost as much as it does?

No?
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Old May 12, 2009, 06:54 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by MacRumors View Post
As Engadget points out, however, AT&T fails to address the fact that SlingPlayer Mobile is currently available on a number of other smartphone platforms, all of which support streaming over 3G. That difference suggests that AT&T's close relationship with Apple, which maintains tight control of app distribution via the App Store, has given the carrier significant leverage regarding applications that it believes could negatively affect its network performance.
I think that point is going to turn this into another firestorm...
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Old May 12, 2009, 06:54 PM   #6
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Too bad, but 3G is pretty pathetic in some places. AT&T needs to do better on issues like this.
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Old May 12, 2009, 06:55 PM   #7
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Wow, AT&T charging the maximum amount possible and providing the least amount of product for that money? Amazing.

Hooray for crappy companies.
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Old May 12, 2009, 06:58 PM   #8
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And also, why is it that AT&T should affect other countries. I don't have their flippin network on my iPhone. I 'd bet that no country will get 3G access with the app, even if the carrier allows it.
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Old May 12, 2009, 06:58 PM   #9
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Old May 12, 2009, 07:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sassenach74 View Post
And also, why is it that AT&T should affect other countries. I don't have their flippin network on my iPhone. I 'd bet that no country will get 3G access with the app, even if the carrier allows it.
Hey uh, speaking of which... if hypothetically another country's iTunes store does allow the full version, how does one go about getting an iTunes account for that country and buying apps?
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Old May 12, 2009, 07:05 PM   #11
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Im waiting for at&ts statement about the millions of other phones on their network using slingbox....


Stilll waiting....
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Old May 12, 2009, 07:05 PM   #12
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lol at admitting your network is a failure. Great PR.


I'll make sure to leave my slingplayer on my Bold on all day to eat up more of their bandwidth.
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Old May 12, 2009, 07:05 PM   #13
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AT&T Sucks

I despise AT&T. They make companies like Microsoft look like effing angels & their ridiculous restrictions and over-priced services make me wish an alternative wireless carrier were available here in the US to compete & force them to "play nice" with their customers... You know... Instead of raping them for all they're worth as they currently do.

I will never use AT&T.... IDC if I'm stuck with a crappy EDGE connection from T-Mobile US... At least their customer service personnel are courteous and helpful... AT&T can eat my raw arse.

Anyhow, when is the 4G Verizon network slated for rollout? I liked their coverage quite a bit & their people were fairly personable...

Give me 4G or give me death (via EDGE)
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Old May 12, 2009, 07:06 PM   #14
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That statement was completely useless and did nothing to convince me that ATT understands their customers. What a crock of *****.
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Old May 12, 2009, 07:08 PM   #15
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AT&T Sucks!

I've been waiting for this app for a while now and to be app blocked by AT&T sucks big time. I won't be spending my money on this app. I am not gonna go looking around for AT&T hot spots just to use the SlingPlayer app. This doesn't make sense.

I know someone that has been using a version of SlingPlayer Mobile on their SmartPhone for months now using Sprint and it works great. This sucks for iPhone customers and Sling Media.

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Old May 12, 2009, 07:08 PM   #16
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I'll be terminating my AT&T plan due to their standing in the way of my using their data network (which I am supposed to have unlimited access to) by first blocking the tethering app last year and now the slingbox app.

This just makes me mad!

I just applied to have my cell number ported to another carrier and will be leaving AT&T until things change.
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Old May 12, 2009, 07:11 PM   #17
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Quote:
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.
In terms of network usage, is there really a difference between streaming video from websites and streaming from a Sling Box?
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Old May 12, 2009, 07:11 PM   #18
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This is terrible news considering how long many of us have been waiting for this software. I had this software running on my BlackJack on AT&T well over two years ago, and it is available and running on 15 or so devices now on their network. How can they justify shutting out one phone and a large amount of their customers?

They really need to stop advertising their data plan as "unlimited" if they are going to pick and choose what you can and can't do with it. I can see a class action lawsuit coming their way with actions like this.

I also think there needs to be some sort of organized protest to this. The least I would want is more answers as to why it can be used on other phones on their network, the hard data on how it would effect the network etc. An organized playing of several hour long YouTube videos at a precise date and time by the masses is also in order. You gave us the phone with streaming video capabilities, so lets see how your network really holds up.
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Old May 12, 2009, 07:12 PM   #19
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And what exactly is YouTube?...isn't that basically redirecting a stream that is on another computer...just that it happens to be Google's?

Please kill this deal with AT&T. It's the lack of competition that is hurting the most now.
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Old May 12, 2009, 07:13 PM   #20
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AT&T's network isn't good enough

First, their PR seems rather confusing, trying to somehow differentiate watching an hour of video streamed from Hulu with an hour of 'tv' 'slung' from a slingbox. Anybody with an ounce of knowledge understands there is no significant difference between the two, other than the source of the video signal (one being a file on a disk at Hulu's datacenter, the other being a file on a Slingbox or possibly just encoded from a cable).

Second, AT&T obviously had to deny this, because the iPhone is so popular. Even though AT&T sells other smartphones, and let their customers stream video from slingbox's to those smartphones (as they just modified their TOS to deny their customers this capability), not a lot of people actually bought those phones, and they aren't using those phones that much. The iPhone is different, in that lots of people are buying them AND those people are actively using them a lot.
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Old May 12, 2009, 07:15 PM   #21
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They must separate content providers from network providers. Period. There is too much conflict of interest here. Time to bust this **** up!
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Old May 12, 2009, 07:16 PM   #22
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That smells like a huge pile of evil to me!
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Old May 12, 2009, 07:17 PM   #23
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So to summarize what they're saying: "Our mediocre, underperforming networks can't handle even the smallest of loads so instead of upgrading them we'll just choke everything we can"
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Old May 12, 2009, 07:18 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AT&T
Applications like this, which redirect a TV signal to a personal computer, are specifically prohibited under our terms of service. We consider smartphones like the iPhone to be personal computers in that they have the same hardware and software attributes as PCs.
Uh, really? Ten years ago, I bought my first computer. It had an 800 MHz processor and 256 MB of RAM - better specs than even the rumored new iPhone. If AT&T's excuse is the iPhone is comparable in hardware and software to PC's, then they are obviously talking about PCs of last decade - I'll assume that to mean they are stating their 3G network is only sufficient to meet the wireless demand of a decade ago too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AT&T
The Slingbox application for the iPhone runs on WiFi. That's good news for AT&T's iPhone 3G customers...
I don't think anyone is stupid enough to buy that one, guys.

Overall, I award AT&T an 'F' for effort.

Last edited by Eso; May 12, 2009 at 07:24 PM.
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Old May 12, 2009, 07:18 PM   #25
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AT&T is just one of around 100 carriers which sell iPhone. Why are they getting to dictate what users of other networks can and cannot do?
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