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LocationFree Television In Tokyo 61

Jonny Marx writes "A hands-on review from Tokyo suggests that LoctionFree Television works at long last. There are also photos of it in action, streaming pre-recorded TV over the net to a mobile PSP." From the article: "Sony's previous LocationFree TV products required the use of a dedicated portable terminal -- essentially a portable LCD TV with Wi-Fi connection -- that not only added to the cost of the system but could also be a hassle to carry around, especially for people who already travel with a laptop PC. Recognizing this, or perhaps responding to competition from two U.S. start-ups offering similar products, the latest iteration of the technology, the LF-PK1, isn't so fussy and will stream to laptop PCs running Sony's LocationFree Player or to a PlayStation Portable (PSP) running firmware version 2.5 (a free upgrade to this version is available via the PSP's network update function)."
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LocationFree Television In Tokyo

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  • by cyber1kenobi ( 666018 ) on Friday November 25, 2005 @08:37PM (#14115868) Homepage Journal
    I bet this software doesn't do anything evil to the PCs it touches.
    • On the other hand, for $20 per install I sure hope it does something more than just displaying my TV remotely. At least it will justify the price!!!
    • There's a lot about this system that I think people are overlooking, and that's mainly that it will interface with things like your DVD player or DVR. Picture having a DVD player that has a disc changer in it, especially if it's one that can hold a large quantity of discs. If you could load up all of your favorite movies, or DVD TV sets into your DVD player, you can access them all from anywhere, and have them stream to your laptop or PSP, so long as you have a good internet connection. I don't know about
    • To be fair:

      • Sony didn't actually write the infamous DRM/rootkit software.
      • Sony Electronics is significantly less evil than the music division, and Sony is so large that the divisions really don't know what the others are doing. I bet a lot of the people at Sony Electronics are pretty pissed that the music division (which tied the electronics division's hands and prevented them from making an iPod competitor earlier) is now dragging the entire brand name through the mud.
  • So why not reverse it and and use our broadband connections at home for location free network access? Now I'd buy that...
  • by garcia ( 6573 ) on Friday November 25, 2005 @08:39PM (#14115885)
    The ability to use the PSP as a portable window to my living room certainly sounds like an interesting proposition so I test drove the system for a couple of weeks to see how it works in real life and the verdict is: pretty well.

    It's a portable window into TV. I'm not quite sure that I understand the point and it seems like an awful waste of money and bandwidth. Why not just prerecord the content and then move it to the device and watch it? Is live TV that big of a deal?

    BTW -- you have to upgrade the firmware on the PSP to use this... I wonder why that is ;-)
    • You're right. When I read the summary, I thought this was referring to IP TV, like television content being beamed to your PSP or laptop.

      It is, but only sort of. The idea is that you have a base station set up at your house, and your PSP or laptop is a receiver for television from your base station. In other words, you're getting the IP "signal" from your base station, not from the content providers directly. The content providers are still using traditional means of getting tv to your base station (i

      • I'm not so sure I trust Sony's software on my machine. Their record recently in this regard isn't too encouraging.

        Are you still using Windows?

        I thought so...
        • by Anonymous Coward

          No, don't you dare to try to shift the blame for the Sony rootkit fiasco on Microsoft. Sony isn't some fly-by-night hacker hoping that we'll run their trojan and make them famous for their hacker skills.

          Sony is supposed to be a reputable company, one that doesn't hack its customers' computers or open up security holes to punish the customer for paying good money to the company to listen to the new Van Zant song. (Or the old Neil Diamond one...)

          Most people take some basic precautions to protect their c

      • And personally, Location Free televsision doesn't get me too excited, because I'm never away from my house for that long a period at a time. What I'd really like to see is Network Executive Free television.

        I agree. It seems like most shows aren't that time sensitive. So, the biggest sell I can think of would be watching your local news while you are on vacation. Except that your local news will be broadcast at some sane hour locally, meaning that you would have to watch it at like 4:00 am wherever you ar

    • Not only isn't live television that vital - television itself isn't vital. At first, I thought this device would mostly be useful during important news events like a terrorist attack or the death of a president or another massive natural disaster in the country. Some sort of thing you can't tear yourself away from and you feel compelled to watch a lot. However, if the event is serious enough, where could you go to ESCAPE it in the first place?

      When the london bombings occurred a few months ago, every televis
  • PSP hasn't been out on the market long, and firmware updates are coming out as fast as hacks can be made for them.

    To me, that is funny. The endless waltz of people releasing useful software for them(emulators), and then Sony does an upate soon after, with an incentive like a browser, wireless tv, etc.

    Maybe I'll get a PSP when the dust settles.
  • you really need that much your regular dose of TV when you are in travel?. Seems a little extreme to me
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 25, 2005 @08:43PM (#14115903)
    Someone has finally done it and made the major breakthrough of broadcasting television signals instead of passing them over cable or narrow WiFi connections. This is amazing and a great step forward.

    I wonder what would be next? Someone might consider something that would enable music to be broadcast to special receivers wirelessly, using the new research-and-development IO (RadIO) technology. This could be the true innovation of the 21st century.
    • Well, that depends.

      I don't think this is the start of a new era yet. I think that will come when content providers start skipping traditional media distribution channels (movie theaters and television networks) and distributing content directly to the consumers via the Internet. All this device does is extend the reach of traditional media distribution channels.

      Frankly, I see this device as merely another tool that companies like Sony can use to try to control and observe where, when, and how consumer

    • Truly Funny!
      I would mod you up if I had points.

      Does this mean that the boycott of Sony has ended?
    • Rewritten without sarcasm:

      Someone has finally done it and made the major breakthrough of unicasting television signals instead of passing them over cable or narrow WiFi connections or forcing everybody to watch the same program at the same time. This is amazing and a great step forward.

  • I've had my PSP for about a couple months now. I like like the interface and the fact that there is a large library of movies avaiable that I can watch on my PSP. I wish I could go down to Hollywood Video and rent some of the movies in PSP format. I also like the web browser feature despite the fact that everything is in one font.
    However, I have no need for LocationFree Television. Not when there are other things that PSP users want such as a PDF reader for reading PDF files or a Flash file plug-in for p
  • ...I don't see watching TV on it. I'm sure people would like to, but it seems a little over the top. I think everyone needs to step away from the TV at some point, and being able to carry it around with you on a PSP or other device just seems excessive to me. I bought a PSP to play GAMES, not watch TV. I wish the lines between the differences in certain products would stop being blurred into one another. From MY experiences, even in name brand products, a device made for ONE thing usually does that ONE thin
    • I agree. The LocationFree program is nothing more that the television dinosaurs trying to keep us in line. I gave up on televsion when G4 took over TechTV. Televsion is dead to me. This is just another instance of the flaw of technological convergence. I buy a Cell Phone to place and recieve calls. I don't buy it because it can play video or music. I buy the PSP to play games, movies, music, and browse the internet and some files. I did not buy it to watch televison. When people can let go of telev
  • I forgot about this in my first post, but you can get the same function from My friend got me to purchase a PocketPC 6700 through Sprint (amazing device, same old Micro$oft problems) and their Vision service allows me to log in to the Orb site. With the Orb software running on any of my computers, I am able to have access to all of that content while mobile. Pretty schlick.
  • by Belseth ( 835595 ) on Friday November 25, 2005 @09:10PM (#14116009)
    I've been curious about Slingbox for TV on the go. I was also wondering if you could run DVR software without hardware with one as well. It'd solve some problems at home as well as on the go. I'd be curious to hear from anyone familiar with Slingboxes? Seems like a good solution, just not sure if it works as advertised.
    • "I've been curious about Slingbox for TV on the go. I was also wondering if you could run DVR software without hardware with one as well. It'd solve some problems at home as well as on the go. I'd be curious to hear from anyone familiar with Slingboxes? Seems like a good solution, just not sure if it works as advertised."

      I'm not exactly sure what you mean by "run DVR software without hardware" question. The Slingbox hooks up to a video source, say a Tivo, and allows you to control that video source as if yo
      • Since it was acting like a tuner I was wondering if you could use the signal to run DVR software without a tuner card. I should have been more specific. I've yet to try any of the DVR software but it'd be a way to run the software without additional hardware potentially. There are external tuner boxes of coarse but it'd be a lot cheaper and simpler if I could just do it through the slingbox. I'm already thinking about it as a rabbit system so I can run wireless cable through all my computers. Potentially ea
        • Hi,

          I work for Sling Media - been lurking on slashdot for about 6 years, btw - just wanted to let you know we don't directly support recording at this time, although it is a feature we've been looking at for a while. The reason we didn't include it at launch was due to most of our first customers owned TiVos or other DVRs, so we felt we could prioritize on other features to start.

          Best, Jeremy
    • I have a slingbox. I am able to watch my living room tv on my laptop as long as I am in range of a Verizon ev-do signal.
  • Nokia today announced the demise of the N series, saying they will move to focus on TV on mobiles/handshelds in 2006 (in addition to other things)... br>
    Someone knows something.
  • This all seems interesting, but a bit pricey if you ask me. I can copy shows from my TiVo to my PC on the home network and watch them on the PC without paying another nickel. In the U.S. at least, I think LocationFree TV is going to be up against some stiff competition in the form of TiVo To Go.
    • Now that it allows you to use the inexpensive PSP as your portable viewer the only expensive part of the setup is the base station. An interesting rumor that I read is the possibility that the PS3 will include the base station capability. So if you are a gamer the system is pretty much available at no added cost.

      Also I think some people have been assuming too many limitations. Besides allowing you to view live TV from your home anywhere in the workd where you have broadband access it is also supposed to all
  • This is similar to Digital Multimedia Broadcasting service which is available in Korea at this moment. What is available in Korea is location free Digital Satelite REAL TIME TV broadcast. Not a recorded VOD download or anything like that. So cell phones in Korea has chip in it so while you are moving you can watch digital channels just like you would watch at home without having carrying giant 3feet long antenna or 1foot wide satelitte dish, it is integrated into small chip with much smaller antenna which i
  • I guess it would only work in Japan or Korea because our broadband is so piss poor in the U.S. Go regional monopolies!
    • The original LocationFree TV had 5 different bandwidth modes available. Without at least 300-500k upload speed at the video source, the video was pretty choppy and the audio sounded like it was coming out of a tin can. Although, speeds in my area have been increasing lately... Upload speeds of 512K-1MB are not unheard of for about 50-70 bucks a month... Live tv is cool, beats having all the encoding time and the time to transfer the vids over to the portable device (whether it's a psp, video ipod, pocket
  • . . . will stream to laptop PCs running Sony's LocationFree Player or to a PlayStation Portable (PSP) running firmware version 2.5 (a free upgrade to this version is available via the PSP's network update function)

    ...aaaaaaaaaand a rootkit.
  • I`ve been looking for an open source video server for Linux that can send TV/video/audio to my laptop etc.. does such a beast exist?
    Peercast [] or Videolan [] would probably be a good start.
  • I think most people didn't get what it really is.

    Imagine you're from Finland, Local TV is mainly a 'coax cable' TV. Impossible to see outside Finland.
    With SONY's solution you can move to Brazil, Spain or Elbonia and watch the live TV broadcasts from Finland.

    In Major parts of Europe, most people have a coax cable connection with over 50 channels of local TV (even Town-TV), not on satellite or anything else. For these guys it's a really nice solution that enables them to see live TV anywere on the planet.
  • Buddy of mine is a famous musician and is currently touring in Europe. I set his unit up for him and he's using it to watch football while on the road. He said he watched a 4 hour game the other day from Germany (home in Los Angeles) on his PSP and it woked like a charm!
    • Couple caveats though: (problems Sony has because it's a content provider as well has hardware manufacturer, and they insist on including DRM which often times kills the product)
    • It only allows you to set up 1 psp per LocationFree unit.

They are called computers simply because computation is the only significant job that has so far been given to them.