Watch your HDTV from anywhere in the world (with a net connection).
Sony has really been going at the HD TV business hammer and tongs recently, not only releasing a slew of new Bravias as well as media PCs but also now bringing LocationFree TV up to not-quite-full HD 1080i standard. For those of you that missed the boat last time round, the basic premise is that you purchase a box from Sony that shares your Internet connection, via a wireless network, which then allows you to access your tele-box from anywhere in the world where you can grab an Internet connection either on a PC or PSP.
The latest party trick being added to the kit is the ability to stream not only standard definition content, but also HD imagery at both 720p and 1080i resolutions. The device will use the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 codec to compress the content sufficiently to allow it to be streamed. Unlike its SD sibling, LocationFree HD will require the use of a dedicated receiver, presumable because of the required processing power.
This does make the use of the LocationFree name questionable, seeing as you’re required to lug the receiver around anywhere you want to connect to your base station, at least the remote will work over the net though. Also, although the receiver has an HDMI-out port the base station wont accept HDMI-in because it isn’t possible to transmit the signal, what with HDMI transferring completely uncompressed data.
The Japanese model offers two D4 connectors, but we’d expect a UK version to swap those out for component ports, which would offer the requisite HD input. We haven’t been able to get any confirmation out of Sony as to UK details on pricing, release or anything else for that matter. The Japanese will get their mitts on the new kit from the 1st December though, for ¥50,000 which is about £220, although as we know, exchange rate conversions mean little.
Impress story (Japanese, translated to Google).