Slingplayer Now on Android – “Bellyvision”

I would like to extend a warm welcome to Slingplayer. It’s nice to have this functionality again, which I’ve enjoyed for many years on my Windows Mobile devices. Now I am happy to report that it’s available for Android handsets.

In case you are not familiar with Slingplayer, let me introduce you. It’s all about the use of placeshifting technology, which enables you to stream video from your TV, DVR or other video source such as a DVD player or home security camera over a broadband Internet connection.

What this means is that you can view your favorite TV programs from your home TV on your Android phone. You can also view programs you have recorded on your DVR. If you have Comcast or Time/Warner with On Demand, you can also view these offerings.

In order to make this happen, you will need a Slingbox that connects to your home TV/DVR/receiver and then connects either through a cable or wirelessly to the router of your home computer. In my case, my Slingbox in on a different floor from my router, and I am able to connect wirelessly with two little Vudu units purchased separately. Of course, if your TV is near your router, you can connect with a standard Ethernet cable.

You have your choice of two models, the Slingbox SOLO for $179 or the Slingbox PRO-HD for $299. The basic difference is that you can receive HD quality video with the pro model.

Set up is usually a simple matter accomplished by connecting your Slingbox to a TV receiver with a set of RCA cables for standard video or an additional set of component cables for HD quality. You may wish to purchase a set of remote adapters if your router is not close to your TV.

Then it’s just a matter of a little fine tuning, entering your registration code, and you’re all set to go. If you have any trouble, Slingmedia maintains excellent free customer service on a 24/7 basis.

You can download the software for a desktop or laptop computer free from Unfortunately, however, it will set you back $29 for the Android software.

Once you have installed the software on your phone, you can control your TV and DVR remotely for viewing list for recorded material. You can completely control your TV/DVR from anywhere in the world from your phone.

Navigation begins with a bar across the top of the screen with four options: Back, Navigation sidebars, Keypad for channel selection, and Misc. The Misc. button evokes an in-depth menu that includes Program Guid, My DVR$, Volume UP, Volume Donw, Mute, Channel Up, Channel Down, Power on/off, Menu, Last Channel, TV/VCR, Favorite, A, B, C, Help, HD Zoom, On Demand (for Comcast and Time/Warner), Stop, and Swap PIP–just like the big boy clickers.

It’s such a pleasure and a bit of a comfort to be able to access my favorite recorded shows when I’m on the road in a strange hotel room with different channels and program schedules.

Warning: Don’t leave home with our TV receiver turned off or you will not be able to receive any remote streaming.

Frankly, I was feeling deprived using a Droid until Slingplayer became available. Now I’m a happy camper. I cannot recommend this system more highly. It has given me hours of pleasure at remote locations around the world. It’s just so cool to be able to stream HD quality video into my trusty Droid. I call it my “Bellyvision”.

It works seamlessly on my Droid X, and it is compatible with all Android models. When you are ready, you can grab a copy of Slingplayer for your Droid from Google Market.

Top 5 Android Apps

As the iPhone continues to play second fiddle to an exploding Android mobile operating system it’s worth looking at the top Android apps. Developers are flocking to Android in droves and porting over apps left and right. To sort through the tens of thousands of apps, let’s start small to make sure you’ve got the basics are covered.

  1. Groupon: Groupon is gaining steam and could become one of the hottest things online since Facebook. The daily deal site has created an app that will let you view your daily deal as well as actually buy it! The app itself provides you the opportunity to kick your printer to the curb and even use your Groupon deals through your device. The Groupon deals will cost some mula but the app itself is free. money
  2. Urbanspoon: This long time iPhone favorite is further cementing itself as the top mobile restaurant guide with its entrance to Android. Your favorite features are all there-the slot machine style view, reviews and the unique Shake feature.
  3. Google Sky Map: Everyone can become an astronomer with Google’s free Sky Map app. Through impressive use of the phone’s accelerometer you can simply point your phone to the sky and get readout of the different planets and constellations up above. Now you can learn to point out more than the Big Dipper!
  4. Angry Birds: This game is genius. Move through levels by utilizing your tool chest of different birds to fling across the screen, knocking down various structures. The simple gameplay and quality graphics made it a long time iPhone hit.
  5. Foursquare: The competition for your location based fun is tight with Gowalla and Foursquare still battling it out. Foursqure may be breaking into the lead with substantially more users though. Download the free app now and rule the roost at your favorite local spot by becoming the Mayor!