I spend a lot of time searching iTune's App Store for new tricks for my iPhone 3G to perform. In that world of mostly free or 99-cent apps, I recently purchased my first $30 app, the SlingPlayer Mobile, which lets me watch a signal from my home TV (via a Slingbox Pro) on my iPhone 3G.

I spend a lot of time searching iTune's App Store for new tricks for my iPhone 3G to perform. In that world of mostly free or 99-cent apps, I recently purchased my first $30 app, the SlingPlayer Mobile, which lets me watch a signal from my home TV (via a Slingbox Pro) on my iPhone 3G.

I've had a Slingbox attached to my TV since the gadget first hit the market in 2005. The concept is genius - as long as you're connected to the web, you can stream video from your TV to your PC.

About a year later, Slingbox introduced the SlingPlayer Mobile software, which allows users to stream video from a TV to a cell phone. And last week, Apple released SlingPlayer Mobile for the iPhone to the public.

While SlingPlayer Mobile comes in many forms for different cell-phone operating systems, the iPhone 3G version of SlingPlayer Mobile is hands down the best of the breed.

The catch is the iPhone 3G version only operates with newer Slingbox models (Solo, Pro and Pro-HD models: yes; Classic, Tuner and AV models: no). Worse, it only operates via a WiFi connection, and not over AT&T's 3G cell phone network.

Frankly, a SlingPlayer Mobile app for the iPhone 3G that can't be accessed over a cell phone network is like Mountain Dew without caffeine or a Victoria's Secret model with a flat chest. What's the point?

If you own a Blackberry (or a cell running on the Palm or Nokia's Symbian operating systems) with service from AT&T, you can probably stream your home TV to your phone without a problem.

And rumor has it that AT&T is planning an app of its own that'll allow U-verse TV service customers to download or stream TV shows to phones over the AT&T cell phone network.

But AT&T views this app differently when it comes to the iPhone 3G, a smartphone it considers a personal computer. The company explains that redirecting TV signals to a personal computer via Slingbox could potentially overload the wireless network - not to mention it's prohibited under AT&T's terms of service.

So what's a frustrated iPhone 3G owner to do? Well, at least one programmer's come up with a solution - TrickerThreeG, a free program that tricks the iPhone into thinking the SlingPlayer Mobile app is using WiFi when it's really using AT&T's 3G service. TrickerThreeG can be used on iPhones that've been "jailbroken" (which Apple points out is an illegal use of their product).

I'd never recommend doing anything illegal. I've been watch 24 way too long to know that in a Jack Bauer world, crime does not pay.

Problem is, even for $30, I'm not able to watch 24 on my iPhone 3G unless I have access to a WiFi connection.

Got a gadget question or a high-tech toy to recommend? E-mail gspot@columbusalive.com