Connect a Slingbox to your home TV setup and you can use it to stream live TV over the internet. It’s free to watch in a web browser, but if you want to use a mobile app to watch on a phone or tablet, you typically have to pay $15 or more. That’s how much the company currently charges for its Android, iOS, and Windows Store apps, for example.
But now you can use a SlingPlayer app for free… if you pay a for the right hardware.
Update: It turns out that the apps still cost $15 if you want to use them with older devices… but if you buy a new $199 SlingPlayer M2 you can download and install free versions of the apps on as many devices as you’d like. Since the M2 is $50 more than the older SlingPlayer M1 and has pretty much the same hardware, that might not be a great deal if you only plan to use SlingPlayer on a single phone. But it could pay for itself if multiple members of your household want to use SlingPlayer apps on multiple devices.
Blogger Dave Zatz reports that Sling Media is planning to stop charging for its mobile apps. Instead, Sling will reportedly take a page out of the Amazon Kindle/Fire playbook and insert ads into the user interface. Want to remove the ads? You can make an in-app purchase to do that. Since Slingbox hardware tends to sell for between $150 and $300, it’s always seemed a bit odd to me that the company charges higher prices for its mobile apps than most companies charge for apps that aren’t designed as companions to hardware products. Zatz also notes that it looks like a new $150 Slingbox M2 model is on the way, although it’s not clear how it will differ from the M1.