Sony treats UK to LocationFree TV

Just when we were getting bored of the high-def revolution’s glacially slow progress, Sony drops an explosive TV bomb in the UK – its LocationFree off

Just when we were getting bored of the high-def revolution’s glacially slow progress, Sony drops an explosive TV bomb in the UK – its LocationFree offering.

Available later this month, the service consists of a Base Station (pictured) and software that streams your TV’s content to other devices around the home and – here’s the best bit – anywhere else in the world.

Sound familiar? That’s because we’ve been wittering on about one of its rivals recently, the Slingbox, which is due to hit Europe later this summer. Contrary to its previous form, though, Sony has managed to launch the tech first.

The setup sounds pretty straightforward. To get telly streamed around your house, you just plug the Base Station in to a set-top box or telly – there are two AV ports for DVD recorders and PVRs too – and either connect it to your existing network or create a new hotspot.

You can then catch the thrown content on your PC or laptop by installing the LocationFree Player software. Your PSP can also join in the fun, provided it’s loaded with the latest 2.70 firmware.

The feature we can’t wait to try out, however, is connecting it to our broadband connection. Doing that lets you watch the content - and even set your PVR to record programmes - from anywhere in the world, so long as you’re in a hotspot with 300kbps speeds.

Sony still hasn’t confirmed how much it’ll all cost but you can get full details from Sony’s LocationFree site here. Bookmark this story for a pricing update later.

Update 2pm, 3/5/06: Sony has told us that LocationFree will cost £350 and will be available later this month from the Sony store here (www.sonystyle.co.uk).

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