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Sony upgrades LocationFree platform

Improved video compression for PSPs

Sony is upgrading its LocationFree platform with more efficient video compression and a receiver add-on for televisions.

The upgrade comes a year after Sony last introduced a new base station and should mean better video images for users, the company said.

The LocationFree platform allows streaming of a live video and audio signal from a base station to client devices such as computers and the PSP (PlayStation Portable) games device.

Streaming to local devices can be done via wireless LAN while a connection to the internet allows video and audio to be streamed to remote clients anywhere in the world as long as they are connected to the web via broadband. The system is promoted as a way to watch local TV or other content from home when travelling.

With the launch of the new base station, the LF-PK20, Sony will begin the Mpeg4 AVC compression system. This is more efficient than the Mpeg2 and Mpeg4 systems used in the current devices and should mean that a better-quality image can be transmitted across slower connections.

Sony is also adding a new receiver device, the LF-BOX1, or LocationFree TV Box. The device connects directly to a television to allow for viewing of streamed video on a TV.

The LF-PK20 will go on sale in Japan on 20 October and will cost around ¥33,000 (about £150) and the LF-BOX1 will be available from 27 October for around ¥23,000 (£105). Details of the UK launch were not announced.


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