Slingbox - home TV pictures on your mobile

Sling Media, the company behind Slingbox, the broadband TV broadcast box, was at the Smartphone Show in London this week, telling everyone it will have a viewing client for smartphone mobile phones available by the end of the year.

The Slingbox is an interesting gizmo, as it plugs into your Sky or Freeview box (or any other SCART-ed TV source) and broadcasts the output of that box across the Internet.

The idea is that you can watch - and control - your box's output from anywhere there is an Internet connection. And, come the end of this year, you'll be able to watch the footy from your home Sky box (and everything else) on your mobile.

Neat stuff, but I'm not sure how Sky or the TV broadcasters view the Slingbox system, which I had a chance to test earlier in the summer.

And yes, it does work, and it does allow - with a bit of `tweaking' - more than one person to view a Slingbox's output.

In theory, this could allow a group of people to tune into, say, a Sky Sports or PremPlus footy match, and watch the match with only a single subscription between them.

Ah - now I have your interest -Ed.

The slightly bad news with the mobile client for the Slingbox - which sells for around 180 quidlets at Dixons - is that it requires around 60 kbps of bandwidth to give a good picture, so GSM/GPRS is out, in favour of a 3G or WiFi-equipped mobile.

That could change in the future, but I suspect that Sky will be bleating into its copyright cup before long about Slingbox, and a new generation of Internet transmission gizmos that will be along fairly shortly.

Ah, my heart bleeds for Sky. Yeah, right...