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Robert Freeman's whole Media, Business and Technology thing. Sorted.

Will Slingbox kill Mobile TV?

with one comment

Mobile TV disruption spreads to Symbian phones.

This afternoon at the Symbian smartphone show I saw a vision of the future should make manufacturers of Mobile TV equipment very worried indeed.

Slingbox are about to launch a version of Sling Player Mobile in the UK. This means that if you have a Slingbox at home you can watch your home TV on your mobile phone. The phone can send signals which change the channel and – here’s the brilliant bit – you can connect your digital video recorder to the slingbox and control that.

This means that you could watch the contents of your DVR on your phone, anywhere in the world you can get a speedy enough network connection. You can control the device from your phone (pause, FF, etc), you could even set it to record a programme from your mobile.

The new announcement is that there’s a version of Sling Player mobile for Symbian phones, which are arguably far more popular in europe than Microsoft OS phones, thanks Nokia’s large market share.

This is highly significant to those who are pushing mobile TV broadcast technologies such as DVB-H and DMB. It’s dangerously disruptive to their intended business model.

Why would I pay a monthly subscription to watch a handful of live broadcast channels on my phone, when for a single payment I could watch the wider range of channels which are available on my digital set-top box? Even better, if I don’t like anything which is on at the time, I can watch something off the hard disk, thus creating my own personal mobile TV channel which shows what I want, when I want!

Ironically Nokia is a big proponent of DVB-H.

The product itself is not new, and was actually announced at CES this year, for the US launch for Windows smartphones but didn’t resonate with me at the time. Perhaps it’s one of those things you just don’t get until you hold it in your hand.

Spending a fair amount of time watching video in this way could end up costing you a fortune in data charges, unless of course you have an all-you-can-eat data tariff, or your handset supports WiFi, in which case consume till you get square eyes!

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Written by Robert

18 October, 2006 at 12:07 am

One Response

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  1. Victor Keegan at the Guardian has now tried out the mobile Sling : http://media.guardian.co.uk/newmedia/comment/0,,1971147,00.html

    He seems a bit confused about how the pictures are getting to him, saying they are ‘not coming from a national transmitter but from a Slingbox installed on your TV’.

    Where do you think the Slingbox is getting the pictures from Victor?

    Robert

    15 December, 2006 at 7:23 pm


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