20060412

SlingPlayer Mobile - placeshifting or shoplifting ?

Sling Media Inc exhibited its recently released SlingPlayer Mobile in Cannes*. For $29.9 per month, you will be able to turn your Windows Mobile device into a remote home TV, "remote home" meaning you can zap on the go through any channel you've subscribed to at home (local channels, pay TV, pay per view...).
SlingPlayer Mobile is marketed as an extension of the Slingbox device, which "placeshifts" your set top box anywhere you bring it and works on Wi-Fi or 3G.
Instead of "placeshifting", cablecos and cellcos would rather talk about "shoplifting" or "boxjacking" : teleporting Spock is good entertainment but teleporting access is bad for business.

Well... slings are supposed to send things that hurt over the air. The problem is the said things are not supposed to fly on their own. Sling Media Inc seems to have made a perfect shot through a loophole and could prove to be as sustainable as TiVo**. Time will tell whether it was pure blind luck or the beginning of something.

* at MIPTV featuring Milia : 3GSM moved to Barcelona but many cellcos keep roaming the center's alleys
** not so sure : TiVo hosts more value than this smart remote control, TiVo already proved to be legal, and even TiVo is not untouchable yet.



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