Will mobile carriers block place-shifting?

Place shifting is the process of using technology such as the Slingbox from Sling Media to push the TV shows from your home to mobile devices anywhere in the world. The only requirement needed to place shift your video content is some video gear like the Slingbox, a high-speed connection to the internet, and a mobile client capable of receiving and playing the video. Dave Ciccone, Kevin Tofel, and I (MobileTechRoundup) have discussed the upcoming Windows Mobile client from Sling Media that provides the ability to receive and view videos sent from a Slingbox to any device running the Sling client. Imagine being able to watch the TV in your family room back home on your Pocket PC device in your hotel room around the world. It is easy to see why place shifting is getting a lot of attention.

An article on Forbes looks at the middle requirement I mentioned above for place shifting and details the problems that Sling Media is having partnering with mobile carriers. It seems the big carriers, Verizon, Vodafone, and Cingular/ Sprint, have yet to agree to allow Sling’s content to be carried over their networks. All of the major carriers are offering (or soon to offer) their own premium video casting services and they see the Slingbox as a direct competitor to those offerings. It will be interesting to see if there is fallout from their existing customers if they actively start blocking their customer’s Slingbox content on their networks. This could get very nasty if all involved are not careful.

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