Roku Adds SlingPlayer Channel

A SlingPlayer channel for the Roku streaming platform is one of three new clients launched Monday by Sling Media, the video place-shifting technology pioneer.

The SlingPlayer channel for the Roku will enable Slingbox customers to ship live or recorded video to the TV connected to a Roku device. The set-up will allow users to sling video to another TV on the home network without a separate set-top box, or to a remote location. Similar to how the Google Chromecast works, customers will use the SlingPlayer Mobile client for iPhone or Android-powered smartphones to initiate the video and send it to the TV with a tap of a button. Sling Media said users will also use the smartphone app to change channels, access the program guide and manage a DVR linked to the Slingbox.

The free SlingPlayer Channel will initially be supported on several Roku models, including the Roku 3, Roku 2 XS and Roku 2 XD and the Roku Streaming Stick. Support for the Roku 2, Roku 1 and Roku LT models will offered sometime next week.  

Roku, which has shipped more than 5 million units in the U.S., adds to a growing list of TV-connected devices that are compatible with Sling’s place-shifting platform. Others include the Apple TV (via AirPlay), WD TV media players, Sony Internet Player with Google TV, and the Netgear NeoTV. Sling Media has also developed apps for two devices that are no longer sold – the original Boxee Box and the Logitech Review – but Sling is no longer updating its apps for those.

The newly redesigned 3.0 version of the SlingPlayer, offered on iOS 7.0 or higher, adds video discovery features and other second screen enhancements, including live scores and stats from sporting events, linkages to Twitter and Facebook, and a split screen navigation element that lets Slingbox users browse for content while they watch live TV.

Sling Media has also set a December launch for it Windows 8.1 app, which will cover desktop PCs, the Surface tablet, and other 8.1-compatible devices.

“With SlingPlayer 3.0, we’re giving customers the tools they need to turn traditional prime time into Prime Time Social Time. Our customers have been asking for Roku support and a Windows 8.1 app. We’re pleased to deliver the Roku channel today and the Windows 8.1 app in the very near future,” said Michael Hawkey, VP and GM of Sling Media, in a statement.