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Sony LocationFree wireless home entertainment
Mark Peters : May 8th 2006 - 15:31 CET
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SonySony LocationFree wireless home entertainment : LocationFree is a completely new way of seeing TV. Instead of going to the television set, the TV comes to you by redirecting your local TV shows to wherever even if you don’t have a TV with you. Even when you’re not at home, LocationFree makes sure what used to be called ‘home’ entertainment stays with you. This revolutionary Sony innovation is the first of its kind to become available in the UK and Europe. With LocationFree, you can watch live TV, play back recorded programmes and even set up future recordings, all from a PC, laptop or PSP (PlayStation Portable) system. Built-in wireless technology gives you the freedom of your own home (and garden), and the Internet does the rest.
Sony LocationFree wireless home entertainment Sony LocationFree
“The great thing about LocationFree is that it does two things at once,” says Hiro Shinohara, Director, Home Video Group, Sony Europe. “It kicks open the door of the TV room and lets people out, but at the same time it can bring that sense of familiarity and comfort to anyone who is away on the road. Essentially it breaks down boundaries, as all good communications technologies should. Boundaries are for cricket pitches.”

Sony LocationFree Base Station
The heart of the system is the LocationFree Base Station. This compact unit has two connections for AV equipment such as a DVD/HDD recorder. The Base Station can be plugged directly into an existing home network or it can establish a wireless link to a PSP system (software version 2.70), notebook or desktop PC, typically over a 100-foot range. The initial Base Station setup is extremely straightforward and requires minimal intervention. Then, once the LocationFree Player software is installed on the target PC or notebook, users can be free from the constraints of a lifetime within minutes. Releasing TV from the living room is only the start.

Broadband internet connection
With LocationFree and a broadband internet connection, it’s a simple matter to watch TV and control a STB or HDD recorder from anywhere on earth with network or wireless access. The process of using the Base Station over the Internet - termed NetAV - is as simple as connecting up within the house. Whether holidaymaker, business traveller or ex-pat, LocationFree with NetAV provides a direct connection to home. And with the World Cup only months away, there’s potentially more at stake than missing an episode of a favourite soap.

Best possible wireless performance
Not that there’s any need to miss anything with Sony LocationFree. At home, you can indulge in late-night viewing on a PSP system from the comfort of your bed. It’s almost as easy to access the Base Station from a hotel while abroad, pick a channel, and watch some live TV. When you know you’ll be busy, you can switch from the STB input to the DVD/HDD recorder and program it to record anything you don’t want to miss. Next time you visit the Base Station, the recorded content will be waiting for you. If a DVD player is connected, so long as the right disc is in the drive, you can even watch your own movie rather than live or recorded TV. In fact watching the big match on a notebook from the wireless hotspot in an airport departure lounge is only the start of it. In the home, the Base Station uses proprietary Sony technology including an optimised antenna and custom software to ensure the best possible wireless performance. Moreover, you can also hook your home video camera up to the Base Station for a great way to see friends and relatives abroad or even to monitor home security while you’re away.

Sony LocationFree - Availability
When the Base Station is accessed remotely over the Internet, further key technologies come into play. First, a free Dynamic DNS (Domain Name Server) service ensures that periodic changes to a user’s global IP never prevent connection to the Base Station. This facility is effectively invisible to the user, but plays an important behind-the-scenes role in the overall ease of setup of NetAV. Once the connection is established, user privacy is ensured by a combination of security measures. Industry-standard Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) encryption is bolstered by WiFi Protected Access (WPA), which improves on the authentication and encryption offered by WEP. One of the revolutionary technologies of the Base Station is the Dynamic VBR technology. The Base Station monitors the band width of the broad u band connection and automatically optimises the Bitrate of the AV stream. Sony Location Free will be available in UK, France, Germany, Belgium and Netherlands from May 2006.

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