LocationFree LF-V30: Sony's latest stab at a Slingbox killer
Due September 2007, Sony's latest Slingbox competitor adds component video pass-through, an improved interface, and easier setup.
Gadget aficionados are well acquainted with the Slingbox, which lets you stream home TV signals to a wide variety of computers and smart phones. Less well-known is Sony's line of LocationFree products, which actually the "place-shifting" market a full year before the debut of the first
The LF-V30 will be the fourth iteration of the LocationFree line, and--for those interested in the palace intrigue of Sony's interdepartmental politics--it's now being shepherded by the company's VAIO PC division. The VAIO folks have been boosting their new baby by pre-installing the LocationFree viewing software on all notebooks that have shipped over the past few months. On paper, certainly, the LF-V30 is a viable competitor to the
The updated specs show, at least, that Sony's been noting the criticisms of past models. I'm hoping the promised interface and setup improvements on the LF-V30 pan out, as the LF-B20 wasn't nearly as easy to set up and use as the Slingbox. It's also still a mystery to me why Sony doesn't expand compatibility to additional Sony Ericsson models--or add LocationFree viewing software to the PlayStation 3. Having the PS3 double as an extra cable or satellite box certainly couldn't hurt the game console's sales, nor that of the LocationFree base stations. Synergy, anyone?