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TV Place-Shifting Solution for Mobiles in UK

A UK mobile technology company called ROK Entertainment says that it is set to launch a "TV place-shifting" set-top box, code-named "BLCX," that will transmit TV channels live to mobile phones via a broadband Internet connection.

It promises that the product will be commercially available in time for soccer's 2006 World Cup. "It seemed to us that delivery of the World Cup matches live to mobile phones would be a fantastic opportunity for the development of mobile TV services" ROK chairman and CEO, Jonathan Kendrick, said in a prepared statement, "but it now appears that only edited highlights of the matches are to be made available, mainly for people on 3G and even then on a pay-per-view basis. That seemed terribly limited to us, so we set out to develop BLCX to enable people to watch all their home TV channels live whenever and wherever they wish on their mobile phone. Providing you have broadband at home, you simply plug your BLCX into your TV and you can watch whichever channels you have at home, live and in full, on your mobile, wherever you are, on a 'what I want, when I want' basis. You can even change the channels from your mobile."

The first BLCX units are scheduled to be available June first. They will be priced at �250, but consumers will also have the option of renting them for around �12 per month. US-based Sling Media, the first company to offer a TV time-shifting solution called the Slingbox, is also working on a version of its service for mobile phones. However, whether major wireless carriers will embrace such solutions, which compete with their own dedicated mobile TV services, remains to be seen.

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