06 July 2005


It took long enough, but finally another prediction has come true.

A relatively new company Sling Media has released the SlingBox, a device which retransmits an video signal over a broad-band connection. The call it place-shifting but really it's just piping the signals from your tuner card out through a broad-band connection so you can watch it from another computer. An idea that has long been predicted and finally someone is trying to make it commercially viable. Gauging from their initial sales, I'd say they are doing pretty well.

An interesting note is that this company is another example of a start-up pushing their research and development overseas to create products for release in the US. In this case, Bangalore, India serves as the off-shore incubator for this technology company.

While a fan of the innovation and respectful of their ability to bring this to market, I'm more engaged by the underlying moral dilemma this creates. Being on the road constantly I deeply understand the desire to have access to media from anywhere. However, this is such a blatant retransmission of copyrighted content, it is sure to create a firestorm of debate. I for one am anxiously awaiting the day that mainstream media produces realize their ultimate wealth is the sale of media as a source, not a distribution channel. The same awakening we see in music we'll eventually see in all copyrighted forms. It surprises me that not one mainstream producer can see the direction the water is flowing and jump into the stream. The first that does will have a significant advantage for certain.

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