When we first reviewed Sling Media's Slingbox the technology seemed groundbreaking. It's a ‘place-shift' enabling set-top box that lets you access anything playing in your living room over a broadband.
But the emergence in the past year of large numbers of IPTV deals mean there are now far more ways of viewing television content.
However, that hasn't stopped Sling Media from increasing the uses for its technology, and you can now use the box to enjoy TV on a mobile phone. You still need a Slingbox plugged into your TV, Freeview box, personal DVD recorder or satellite receiver, along with a wired or wireless home network and a compatible mobile handset.
Having set up the hardware, you can install free software to your Symbian 9.1 mobile phone - the Nokia N73 we used for testing here is the first pure phone to support it, although Windows Mobile 5.0 smartphones and PDAs offer a similar functionality.
The Slingbox itself has a built-in Freeview tuner, while the 3 mobile phone network offers flat rate mobile internet access on its X Series Gold subscription for £45 a month, with the Slingbox hardware discounted from £180 to £99.
To get the SlingPlayer on your phone, press the 3 services button and download it from the 3 site. Once installed, enter your Slingbox's IP address. The resulting broadcasts depend on your home setup, but since UK Slingboxes have built-in Freeview, you get these channels as well as standard terrestrial ones.
The upstream of your home broadband connection is as critical as anything to determining how well TV-over-broadband works. However, the compression software seems to compensate well for fluctuations in bandwidth and we found watching TV on a handset quite mesmeric.