I reported on Sling Media’s SlingPlayer for Facebook a week ago, and today it is available to everyone. The good news, such as it is, is that it is written in Flash. So it should work in any browser and on any platform that supports Flash. I’ve already tried it in Google Chrome on Windows 7. It is very likely that this player uses the same code foundations as the previously demo’d SlingPlayer for Google TV and SlingPlayer for Boxee. How about releasing those Sling? Please?
Other platforms aside, SlingPlayer for Facebook seems to work well. I was able to connect to my Slingbox SOLO without any problems. Unfortunately my Slingbox PRO-HD recently died (won’t boot, power LED just flashes) and I haven’t replaced it yet, so I can’t test HD streaming. Note that these are the only two models that will work with this new player, just as with recent releases for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, etc. So if you have a Slingbox Classic, AV, TUNER, or PRO – sorry, you’re out of luck. The SOLO and PRO-HD are the only two models that stream in H.264, and that’s what the recent players are using due to platform requirements. Flash natively supports H.264, but not WMV, which is what the older Slingboxes used. Same for mobile devices – pretty much every mobile device has hardware H.264 decoding, but few support WMV.
In addition to releasing SlingPlayer for Facebook, they’ve also added Chrome to the supported browsers on watch.slingbox.com. This one is an extension for Chrome, not a Flash-based player. Officially, watch.slingbox.com works with the PRO-HD, SOLO, and PRO. It may work with the Classic, TUNER, and AV, but Sling recommends using the old desktop clients with those.
Here’s Sling Media’s Vicky Shum demonstrating SlingPlayer for Facebook:
Now, for the geeks, I poked into the markup, and this is the URL that will load the bare Flash SlingPlayer: http://download.slingmedia.com/player/embedded/v14/austinapp.swf I’d love to hear reports from people trying it on different platforms – game consoles, portable devices, etc. Leave a comment.
I wonder if I could even embed the player right here? Let’s find out!
EDIT: Well, the answer is yes. But the embed code included some kind of token so everyone who used it was accessing my Slingbox. Unfortunately, looking at the markup on Facebook, the login form is external to the Flash player so it looks like you can’t login or logout within the player. I’d thought it was just because I’d logged in on Facebook and it cookie’d me, but I guess not. So I’m just going to pull that out of the post.