What is Placeshifting?
The inspiration for placeshifting came from the desire to watch home team baseball games while traveling for business. Placeshifting lets people catch their home team's game live, wherever they are. Their TV subscription service and associated content follows them wherever they have an Internet connection.
Placeshifting is viewing and listening to live, recorded or stored media on a remote device over the Internet or a data network. Placeshifting allows consumers to watch their TV anywhere.
Placeshifted content can be enjoyed in the home or away from home. Most consumers do both—placeshifting in and around their home where they do not have a TV; and away from their home—at their desk at work, at a café or in their hotel room halfway around the world.
Placeshifting or Timeshifting, What's the Difference?
In the late 90s, we began to hear about timeshifting and a new category of products called digital video recorders (DVR). The DVR allowed users to record a program and watch it later, at a more convenient time. Consumers could record programs using their VCR, but the DVR automated the process and added many more streamlined features and capabilities.
Placeshifting is even broader—it encompasses timeshifting. Placeshifting enables consumers to watch live or DVR recorded content on any device with an Internet connection, anywhere they happen to be. They can watch their live broadcast or recorded program remotely on their computer, tablet, mobile phone or even another TV.
Types of Placeshifting Technologies
IP-connected consumer electronics devices can provide placeshifting functionality from a video source such as a television, set-top box, or DVR. The Slingbox® from Sling Media® is an example of a standalone product that, when connected to a home entertainment system allows users to stream video to another device such as a computer, tablet or mobile phone.
Placeshifting functionality can also be built into the set-top box, DVR, or other IP-connected device, eliminating the need for a separate piece of hardware. Sling technology is also being built into set top boxes including DISH Network's XiP® 913 DVR.
A hybrid solution that takes advantage of a higher degree set top box integration than a standalone Slingbox, but still not built in to the box is the Slingbox 700U. The Slingbox 700U attaches to an IP-connected set top box via a single USB connection. It transcodes the video content and streams it inside or outside the home via the set top box’s data connection.
With a placeshifting product such as a Slingbox or Sling technology integrated into other consumer devices, users can watch their live and recorded content from practically any standard-definition or high-definition audio-video device, anywhere over the Internet.