this is a view into the future but I would like to discuss it with you here.
Since I've arrived in Seattle, I haven't switched on my hotel TV a single time
but I have running my home TV via different place shift technologies (Sling
Media Slingbox, ASCII Express WebGuide and Orb MyCast) and I wonder if hotel TVs
will face the same future hotel telephones faced already. I mean, take it
serious, since we have such a mobile phone penetration and virtually every
traveler is carrying one, when do you made a phone call from the hotel phone the
last time? And I'm not talking about room to room conversations which is cheap
because it's free but I'm talking about long distance calls. I haven't done it
for maybe the past 8 years or so but the phone is just occupying space on the
And now let us talk about place shift TV: why should someone watch local TV if
he can watch home TV? Sure, some want to do this anyway and it's fine, it might
be the same amount of travelers which are still not carrying a mobile phone but
I don't have to watch TV programs I'm either not understanding (I'm not
traveling to Seattle/the U.S. only but I'm also traveling to countries which
language I don't speak) or I'm not interested in. Now take a Notebook in
opposite - or even more flexible your Windows Mobile device - which you hook-up
to the hotel broadband (which means every hotel has to serve broadband) and
watch your home TV on your portable or mobile device? Or even better, connect
your equipment to the TV in your room and watch your home stuff on the big TV
In my humble opinion it's not too unrealistic at all but for sure there are some
requirements which has to be settled first like:
- Easier installation of the place shift stuff at home. Sure, the
Slingbox is on the right way already, since it works pretty much out of the
box and it is easy to configure, if everything works smooth (but don't
stumble across your router if you have no clue about IP). Software is always
a little bit more complicated which is in the nature of software.
- Broad upstream at home. Today's asynchrony DSL lines doesn't
fulfill what we need to place shift TV in high resolution (and I'm just
talking about PAL or NTSC, not about HDTV). I mean let's face is - most
(mobile) HSUPA networks serves a better upstream than DSL lines serves
- Broadband in every hotel. This could be archived either by hotel
(W)LANs or by wireless access through a mobile network (as long as you are
not roam internationally).
- Easy configuration on the mobile device. It must work out of the
box like the home hard- and/or software.
But if all these 4 requirements are fulfilled, what keeps us away from
streaming the home programs via IP to the hotel room?
As I said, it's a view into the future but maybe someone reads this posting
in 10 years and asks what I was writing about back in 2007. An unrealistic view?
I don't think so since early adapters can do it today already - at least it's
what I'm doing now.
Cheers ~ Arne