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Carry your TV with you -- everywhere

Written By Sambasivarao on Wednesday, October 3, 2012 | Wednesday, October 03, 2012

First there was time shifting for TV using DVRs. Now there’s place shifting. Place shifting lets you watch TV shows you receive at home in other locations and on devices other than TV sets.
The Slingbox, for example, is a $250 piece of hardware that enables you to watch your TV programming from wherever you are by turning an Internet-connected PC into your personal TV. 

Remote access
Placeshifting technology, a little over 10 years old, is about accessing contents of one device through another using the internet. It followed another technology called timeshifting, which involved recording a live programme and watching it later, using gadgets like video cassette recorders and then digital video recorders. SlingBox is one of the popular gadgets that enables placeshifting. It is a product of California-headquartered SlingMedia that has its R&D facility in Bangalore. 

The SlingBox is connected to a video source like a set-top box, DVR, DVD player or security camera, and to a home network router. The device receives the signal, transcodes it into MPEG4 and transmits it over the internet. "We are now embedding the SlingBox in set-top boxes so that there is no need for a separate transcoding device," said Raman. At the other end is the device that is used to remotely access the television programmes. This remote device can be any internetenabled one like a smartphone, tablet, laptop or a smart TV. To watch the home TV, one has to install the SlingPlayer software on the remote device. It works in conjunction with the streaming technology to receive the video signal. What is coming on television can be replicated only on one other device. 

Reliance Digital on Cunningham Road, which sells SlingBox, said the device was gaining popularity. "The customers are people who regularly travel, especially abroad, and they don't want to miss their TV programmes," a store employee said. He said he wasn't aware of actual sales figures. 

Space Shifting (Place Shifting) 
Space shifting (or spaceshifting), also known as place shifting (or placeshifting), allows media, such as music or films, which is stored on one device to be accessed from another place through another device. Space shifting is frequently done through computer networks, for example by viewing a television broadcast from a WiFi equipped set-top box on a WiFi equipped notebook. Other media shifting processes include time shifting, a process whereby a radio or television broadcast is recorded and played back at a different time, and format shifting where media files are converted into different formats.
A practical purpose of placeshifting is to avoid copyright infringement claims, as when viewing content through The Slingbox or similar consumer electronics.

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