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THOUGHT: Could the Place Shift Technology replaces Hotel TVs in Future?
Posted by Arne Hess - on Wednesday, 14.03.07 - 02:15:16 CET under 09 - Thoughts - Viewed 11216x
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Okay, 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 table now.

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 screen.

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 today.
  • 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


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Posted by kirchhofer rainer on 20.03.07 - 11:43:43

I do this all the time I am travelling to watch some news from my home country. Howeve I also enjoy watching all the channels on my travel destination and sometimes after a work day I just want to zap around which is not (yet?) easily possible using streaming technology. I mean you can change channels of course its just not lazy instant zapping from the bed using remote control ;-))

Posted by Arne Hess on 20.03.07 - 13:58:22

I agree, it can be fun to watch travel destination channels but it can be definitely hard if you are anywhere in Asia to follow-up what the show is about. And I fully agree with you that zapping is even harder on IPTV-based solutions (something also commercial IPTV provider have to fix, otherwise IPTV in the home environment cannot fly since the user is used to zap - since we got the remotes into our hands).
On the other hand, this makes a good EPG even more important to make sure you know what's currently on air.

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