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The Challenges and Rewards of 'Place-Shifting' 125

Grooves writes "Ars Technica has an insightful look at the challenges facing place-shifting. The article talks about new European legislation that could require broadcast licensing for all place-shifting devices, and they review some of the fair use problems in the US and how they could hurt innovation." From the article: "A few cables here, a few networking adjustments there, and you can use a product like the Slingbox or the software-based Orb to watch your TV (or TiVo, or DVD player) from just about anywhere you can get a network connection, be it your office, your hotel room, or the other side of the planet. Yet what makes place-shifting devices so powerful also makes them appear very dangerous to established entertainment and media companies."
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The Challenges and Rewards of 'Place-Shifting'

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 27, 2006 @04:19PM (#15794208)
    Only one law review article mentions SlingBox and it's:

    2006 Duke L. & Tech. Rev. 6
  • Problem Solved (Score:4, Informative)

    by rickett81 ( 987309 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @04:36PM (#15794386) Homepage
    Make the slingbox only allow 1 connection at a time. Then, only one person can view the content at a time. You would have to assume that the one person is the owner.

    Under fair use, you cannot tell me that I can not view something that I have paid for. In the same way it is not illegal to back up your CDs and store them on your computer in MP3 format. (Even if sony tries to make it difficult) The problem is the sharing.

    Only one connection allowed solves this problem.

  • by Aqualung812 ( 959532 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @04:56PM (#15794575)
    Time Shifting is changing the viewing time compared to the broadcast time. For example, watching a show at 8:00pm when you recorded it at 10:00am.

    Space or Place Shifting is chaning the viewing location compared to the location that it is being received. Slingbox and others allow you to watch content over IP, regardless if your source is downstairs on your main TV or if it is a pal overseas who gets BBC.

  • vlc does it cheaper (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 27, 2006 @05:08PM (#15794675)
    Time for some fun kids....

    use vlc ( to watch AND at the same time stream a TV channel from your TV card equipped computer (winderz or linux) to your IP address. Then tell your best friends to also download vlc and have them "Open Network Stream" pointing to your IP address where they can then watch the TV channel stream AND at the same time stream it out to their IP address where THEIR best friends download vlc to watch the stream and forward....

    keep going until everyone in the world downloads vlc, watches and "forwards" the TV stream.

    vlc kicks ass!!!

    slingbox sucks cuz you need a special proprietary program/codecs to view the stream. vlc uses industry standards. And it's Open Source. Runs on a lot of platforms.
  • by Guru2Newbie ( 536637 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @07:18PM (#15795472) Homepage
    Build your own DVR using an almost-foolproof Knoppix-based installation of MythTV, called KnoppMyth []. With the assist from Knoppix, it just works. And with MythTV, you can schedule recordings over the Web, as well as stream recorded content over the Web or across your LAN.

    I started with a 1.33GHz Athlon, and:

    • bought a $110 Hauppauge PVR-350 card from Amazon,
    • threw in 512Mb ram, and an 80Gb hdd I had laying around,
    • downloaded and burnt the open-source software to CD,
    • set up a free schedule-downloading account at Zap2it,
    • plugged in the cable, rebooted...
    ...and 30 minutes later I was recording shows! I've since upgraded to twin 320Gb drives, added a 2nd PVR-350 hardware capture card, plus a 40Gb boot drive.
    I'll never go back to a VCR. Well, actually there are some old educational videos...;-)
  • Re:Old Media is dead (Score:2, Informative)

    by Comen ( 321331 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @07:46PM (#15795602)
    I don't know where you get "Free-loading" from, maybe you are just not informed.
    A Slingbox captures what my cable box is watching at home, from my TV outputs of my cable box.
    My digital cable box is encrypted to the box and the signal coming out of it is what I pay for.
    I stream that signal across the Internet to work or vacation etc... and watch what that box has on it. If the Slingbox changes the channel, then the home TV on the box changes the channel.
    I have friends that have a sling box that are thinking of paying the extra 5 dollars a month for another box just to put it in a closet and hook their Slingbox to it, so they don't disturb what their wives are watching at home.

    I don't see how this is considered "Free-loading" since I do pay for that box and the right to watch certain channels on that box.
    Maybe you can enlighten me, since I am such a "fucking idiot"
  • by Comen ( 321331 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @07:55PM (#15795649)
    I love VLC and use it alot at work for multicast video network tests.
    But I own a sling box, mostly cause it allows me to control my cable box and watch what is on any channel at any time, and get to the DVR functions of my cable box also, so I can watch anything on DVR also.
    (my digital cable box is a DVR also)

Air is water with holes in it.