Having sent Stateside gadgeteers in to raptures since its launch last summer, the Slingbox is finally turning its attentions to Europe with a PAL version this summer.
With gadgets like the PSP around, what could possibly cause such a fuss? Well, while Sony’s portable king has started to convince people to carry films in their pockets, the Slingbox goes one further – it lets you access all the live channels and recorded content from your home TV or PVR on your laptop, whether you’re in Dorking or Dubai.
The box just hooks up to your home TV, satellite box or PVR and slings (or ‘placeshifts’, to use tech parlance) the signal to your PC over a Wi-Fi internet connection, with only minimal loss in video quality (it’s apparently VHS level). Install the Slingplayer software and you can change channels, watch recorded programs and fast-forward using the supplied remote.
The possibilities for location-free telly are endless – you could catch a BBC World Cup match from your holiday hotel room, let mates or relatives access your PVR’s movies or even set up a home security camera channel.
Minor frustrations are that it’s a strictly a one-to-one device - no multiple slinging allowed – plus it’s standard def-only, and isn’t Mac-friendly. The PSP’s also rumoured to have a location-free service pencilled in for a UK launch later this year, but the Slingbox will be one of the first devices of its kind to hit UK shores.
It’s expected to be available in spring, with pricing yet to be announced – the tag in the US is $250 (£145). For more info, check out www.slingmedia.com
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