Slingbox hits the UK

Slingbox is definitely, 100%, not even slightly kidding coming to the UK, and in time for the World Cup – May 31st, to be exact. And why does this mat

Slingbox is definitely, 100%, not even slightly kidding coming to the UK, and in time for the World Cup – May 31st, to be exact. And why does this matter? Because it means you’ll be able to watch your home TV, video recordings and DVDs anywhere in the world, live.

Slingbox connects to your home video sources, be they TV, digibox or DVD, encodes the footage they’re spitting out in real-time and broadcasts it over the net. You can then pick it up anywhere you have an internet connection with sufficient bandwidth, including wireless hotspots.

In order to receive home broadcasts you need something capable of running the SlingPlayer software. That could be a suitably pokey laptop, a Wi-Fi palmtop, a Wi-Fi smartphone, or a shiny new UMPC.

Better still is the SlingRemote, which allows full control of your AV devices over the internet. You can schedule and view recordings, change channels and switch between video sources from everywhere. Grand.

Of course, there are alternatives by the truckload. Sony’s Location-Free TV (available soon) offers similar functionality and will send a signal to PSPs, Rok’s BLCX (available now) is limited to mobile phone use but is available as a World Cup-friendly rental service, and Hauppauge has a super-budget solution of its own.

We feel a group test coming on… stay tuned to this site and Stuff magazine for more – hopefully, we’ll have pricing details soon – and hop on to www.slingmedia.com.