Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The best excuse I could find for Slingbox... could be gone?

I love the concept of the Slingbox. Very cool technology. However, I have always felt that it was a technology in need of a problem.

When I discussed this with folks, the best (and really only reasonable) excuse we could come up with to own one of these was in the situation of a "displaced" fan of some form. Displaced fans in this context would be, for example, Red Sox fans living in Tempe, AZ or Twins fans in Miami. A particularly good example would be, say, a college student going to UNC from elsewhere or a traveling consultant.

Well, MLB is already trying to put the kaibash on this and pretty much take out Slingbox's raison d'etre. They haven't sued anyone yet, but you know its coming at some point.

To me, the issue is whether or not the "slingboxer" - the person watching the stream from the Slingbox - has already paid for that content. If they are a member of that household that has subscribed to cable, then its ok. If they are not a member of that household, then it seems like that house is "rebroadcasting" to me. So consultant away from home and college student - ok, distant relative that really loves the Florida Marlins - not ok. MLB has the ability on their site for them to purchase this content.

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