Microsoft’s Slingbox – without the box


9 Jul 2007

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Peer-to-peer (p2p) live streaming television will soon be coming to Windows Vista via Livestation, a product using the company’s new Flash-competitor platform Silverlight.

Livestation is an application developed by Skinkers, a privately funded technology company based in London.

Although Livestation has been compared to Joost’s p2p streaming functionality from the founders of Skype, the difference is that it is live, as opposed to video and TV shows.

“We are definitely not taking on Joost! We love Joost and think it’s a great idea, but we are trying to do something different and complementary: we are trying to get live television on the computer,” said Jari Worsley, Senior Product Manager of the Livestation team.

“If you want you can call it a Slingbox without the box,” said Skinkers CEO, Matteo Berlucchi.

With the Livestation platform developed using Microsoft Research technology by UK company Skinkers, a TV signal is taken as is and fed into the computer.

This is displayed using Microsoft’s new leading edge Silverlight interface on Vista.

Berlucchi also added that the same user experience should soon be available for mobile devices on the Windows Mobile operating system.

He said that internet broadcasting is “without doubt the most exciting innovation in broadcasting since satellite and cable television”.

Microsoft has a minority stake in Skinkers, and chose the company as a launch partner for Vista, as the company has developed widget-like next generation applications for the OS, in home banking, online flight and travel booking and live breaking news applications.

By Marie Boran