Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Sling and Orb: questions raised over (wireless) broadband

Sling Media picked up interest from Business Week, which also describes Orb Networks. Both have technology for place-shifting TV viewing to any broadband connected device. Sling uses hardware, the Slingbox, which costs, Orb is a free software product.

Interestingly, Orb has trials with wireless carriers in Europe for smartphone/PDA use, while Sling Mobile (a client up for release this month) has a hard time finding a trial partner in the US, according to different reports.
(Of course, the US is ahead in unicast TV, which it wishes to protect. Europe is anxious to fill its expensive 3G networks.)

On the one hand, Sling and Orb would drive takeup of high-end devices and broadband (3G). But: this is another piece of evidence supporting the stupid network vision; a broadband connection as an alternative to (expensive) dedicated multimedia networks.

Finally, would net neutrality safeguard Sling and Orb against blocking plans from broadband wireless operators?

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