Time to find out if all the hype was worth it.
I’ve already touched on LocationFree TV a number of times so we’re not going to run through it all again children but safe to say it’s gone live.
Ok, I’m not entirely mean hearted. For those too lazy to perform a few clicks here is the service in a nutshell. A Sony Base Station plugs into your audiovisual equipment of choice be it a digibox, hard disk recorder, DVD player or simply a TV and transmits lets the signal be accessed both wirelessly in the house or – using installed software – from any location with broadband access. In addition, users can actually control their home devices remotely setting recordings, changing channels, etc.
Of the name is a bit of a misnomer. It’s isn’t really ‘location free’ because you need to be either hooked up to a broadband connection or within range of a wireless hotspot but we’ll forgive the creative linguistic licence.
Now despite what LocationFree TV brings to the table I’m still tempted to see it as more of a bridging technology than really representing the future. For me, the ultimate aim is to get all of our TV streamed to us directly from the broadcaster over lightening broadband connections. This is still a few years off, but already Channel 4, the BBC, ITV and Sky have systems in place whereby programmes can be downloaded directly from their respective websites.
This method saves all the hassle of leaving existing living room equipment on while you’re away from home, it avoids the potentially messy situation of trying to mix Sony LocationFree TV software with existing control systems such as Sky+ and eliminates the need to set recordings at all.
Despite this, LocationFree TV does look like it will provide a nifty service for today’s tele addicts. A LocationFree ‘Player Pak’ (this is why children these days spell so badly) starts from $349.99 and includes the Base Station and software, but Sony is also offering bundles with either a 12.1in SVGA touchscreen monitor or any of their line of Bravia HD televisions.
Whatever happened to fresh air and playing outside?