Most of us already know, what Sling Media's SlingBox is, but not too many knows, that Sony has a similar product, available in North America already. Bridging two powerful applications to extend portable entertainment, Sony Electronics announced today that one of the products that will support the LocationFree line of products is the PSP (PlayStation Portable) devices, which can now access home audio/video content via the LocationFree Base Station (when upgraded with the Firmware 2.5 update).
Customers of Sony's LocationFree products can access their entertainment wirelessly at home or over the broadband internet while on-the-go, either from their LocationFree TV monitor or from notebook PC's loaded with LocationFree Player software or even from the PSP.
At home, the LocationFree Base Station connects to a variety of audio visual devices, such as a set top TV tuner, DVD player and personal video recorder (PVR). The 12-inch LocationFree TV (LF-X11) monitor can access the base station so you can watch your favorite TV programming, DVDs or PVR content wirelessly in home and over the Internet while on the road with availability of broadband connection. Expanding functionality, Sony's new LocationFree Player Pak (LF-PK1), includes a base station and software, which allows PC users to enjoy the benefits of LocationFree TV.
The second generation LocationFree system simplifies operation and installation with an easy, worry-free on-screen set-up guide. The products also integrate a dynamic DNS service so there is no longer any need to use external dynamic DNS providers. This makes the setup process less complicated.
The LF-PK1 LocationFree Player Pak is already available for about US$ 350, while the LocationFree TV LF-X11 monitor is currently available for about US$ 1,500. 8O The PSP system is currently available for about US$ 250 U.S. for the PSP Value Pack and about US$ 300 U.S. for the PSP Giga Pack, which includes a 1GB Memory Stick PRO Duo. All products can be purchased at SonyStyle.com, Sony Style retail stores and authorized dealers nationwide.
Now, Sony plans to launch the same LocationFree Base Station is Europe too and what makes it even more interesting is the fact, that Sony already licensed the source code for the player to Access, which is currently working on a Windows Mobile version of the player as well as to Kaga Electronics which is working on a MAC OS player version. So Sony can become a serious competitor to Sling Media. Nevertheless, while I have no experiences with Sony's LocationFree and it's capabilities to place shift TV, I wonder how this comes together in terms of the stress Sling Media has with Hollywood (which I wrote about yesterday)? Is Sony not owning Universal Pictures (and Sony Music) or was it a different Hollywood studio?
Cheers ~ Arne