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The Slingbox: UK inbound

The Slingbox has been available in the US for a year, but the Internet-based media-spooler is now set for a UK release. Crave takes a look

Our American counterparts have been raving about this little gizmo for ages. The Slingbox is a clever gadget that turns your home TV signal into an Internet stream that you can access from any networked PC -- so you can watched recorded programming or live TV on your laptop from your hotel.

Luckily, we in the UK won't have to feel like complete technological laggards for much longer, because Sling Media was out in force at CES to assure us it would be bringing the device to our shores for Spring.

The box pre-empts a similar concept from Sony called LocationFree, although these plucky young upstarts will beat the Japanese giant to the UK. Sling is busy optimising the product for UK-based TV services including Freeview, Sky and Cable, so that you'll be able to cheekily catch a bit of Neighbours on your desktop when the boss isn't watching. No news on how much it will cost, but as the US model is around $250, you can expect it to be around £200.

Of course, streaming network media has never been an easy task, but after seeing the Slingbox in action, we have high hopes for its success. Crave is already bombarding Sling Media with product requests, and we'll bring you more info on the Slingbox ASAP.

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

Update: a full review of the Sling Media Slingbox is now live.