updated 04:15 pm EST, Thu November 16, 2006
Home TV on cell phones
UK cellular carrier 3 has unveiled its new X-Series phone, combining flat-rate internet access plans with the first cellular phones using the Symbian OS to support Sling Media's SlingPlayer Mobile for connecting to home TV service. Using either the Nokia N73 or Sony-Ericsson's W950i, subscribers can access home TV -- including cable, satellite, and Europe's Freeview over-the-air digital broadcasts -- through a Slingbox tuner connected to a home theater. The support extends to features present in the previous Windows Mobile version of SlingPlayer, according to Electronista, and can remotely program a PVR to record shows. The service is scheduled for availability from 3 starting December 1st in the UK, with other service areas expected to follow in early 2007.
The two phones also include a series of other internet-based programs which allow owners to make free calls to Skype users, access media from a home PC through Orb, and monitor eBay auctions. The lack of bandwidth restrictions on all involved services translates to X-Series owners using the features as often as desired, according to 3.