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Sony LocationFree: TV on your PSP

Sony's LocationFree package grabs your TV and DVDs and sends them out across the Internet, ready to be picked up by your PSP or PC at any wireless hotspot. As the Americans say, it's super-cool

Sony had a hugely impressive stand at CES, although the live music cramped our ability to film some of the new products. Sony innovated with the PlayStation Portable last year, and it's now pushing that device with another new concept to get travellers excited.

The company's new LocationFree package is already available in the US, allowing you to send media around the world from your home. Hooking into your broadband connection, you can use your PC or PSP to watch TV, DVD or other video sources from anywhere in the world, as long as you have access to a Wi-Fi network.

You plug the media box into your home network, connecting it to your DVD player, TV receiver and any other video player you like. The box then sends all this media out over the Internet, for you to pick up on your wireless 802.11 device, be it a PC or your PSP. If it's a DVD, the box even comes with an infrared transmitter, so you can pause, rewind and fast forward remotely.

Although it copies a device called the Slingbox (also announced for UK launch in Spring), you can see the potential for PSP integration with the LocationFree box. If you're sat within range of a wireless network in a coffee shop or an airport, your PSP now becomes a portable TV receiver as well as a games machine. The v2.5 firmware upgrade (again, currently only available in the US) supports this new feature, and we can't do anything but beg Sony to release the LocationFree package over in the UK as soon as possible.

If this was one of the highlights of Sony's lavish stage, it didn't make the lack of PlayStation 3 at CES any less disappointing. The exact release date is still not decided, nor is the price, but Crave has heard strong suggestions of a $499 (£280) price point when speaking to the high and mighty at CES. Guess we'll have to wait for May's E3 for any further details on the PS3.

Visit our CES 2006 Special Report for more coverage. -GC

Update: a full review of the Sony LocationFree is now live.