Sony’s LocationFree Wireless Broadband TVs

We got very excited about this when we first wrote about it in January. Sony have introduced two new LCD TVs that allow you to enjoy media wherever you like at home without running wires. You don’t even need mains as they can run for a couple of hours on their internal batteries.

The LF-X1 display has a 12.1” screen with a resolution of 800 x 600 pixels, whilst its smaller sibling, the LF-X5 has a 7” display with a 800 x 480 resolution. Prices are US$1500 (€1247) and US$1000 (€831) respectively.

The two screens come with a base station which you connect to your video source, and then the station transmits to the screen using any one of the three main WiFi protocols. The TV itself can chose which WiFi variant is most appropriate for the quality of video you wish to watch or amount of interference in your immediate environment.

You don’t even need to be at home – if your content is on a network you can stream it over the internet to the TV using 802.11b, as long as your upstream transfer rate is greater than 300kbits/s.

The TVs are very well catered for with other connections – each features a built-in tuners, ethernet port, two video inputs, USB port and IR port for remote control. For viewing photographs, the LF-X1 has a Compact Flash socket, the LF-X5 has a Memory Stick port.


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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?