I recently downloaded and installed the PSP 2.5 software update and it has an application called Location Free. What is it and how do I use it?
Great question, actually, and something I haven’t dabbled with so it was a good excuse for me to do some research and learn about this very cool video streaming system from Sony that’s received surprisingly little visibility.
From the top, here’s how Sony describes this product:
“You never have to leave your home entertainment behind again. With LocationFree you can stream TV or movies from your home over broadband internet to your PSP system virtually anywhere in the world. At home, simply connect your A/V components (TV, DVD Player or DVR) and broadband internet to your LocationFree Base Station. On the road, connect your PSP system to a wireless hotspot and click on the LocationFree icon to start streaming your favorite TV programs. Change channels, pause or record on your components at home with the onscreen universal remote. With LocationFree on your PSP system, you can enjoy your home entertainment beyond the living room. And, not only is LocationFree designed to provide the ultimate in entertainment on the go, but its wireless capability makes it perfect for use around the house too.”
Sony has a Quick Start Guide to LocationFree (PDF) if you’d like to read all the technical nitty-gritty.
Unfortunately, the LocationFree base station isn’t cheap. It appears that the least expensive solution is the LocationFree Player Pak (for PC or PSP), which retails for a cool $349.99 from Sony’s store:
That’s over and above the cost of your Sony PSP device, of course, so you’d need to ask yourself: is it worth $350 so you can watch TV and DVDs streamed live from your home audio/video system? You could buy quite a few UMD movies for that same price and have perfect video fidelity and complete portability, just as one possible comparison.
So my take on this is that it’s a very cool idea, but prohibitively expensive for all but the most die-hard fans. That’s too bad, because streaming video is something that we could all enjoy and would really help us be free of the shackles of sitting in front of our “tubes”.
Of course, I haven’t tried Location Free. If you have, please leave a comment with your experiences.