Your TV goes LocationFree

Perhaps the cleverest bit of the whole system is the virtual remote control feature. After all, if you're in Bangkok how on earth do you change channel on your box in Bermondsey? The solution is an infra-red eye on a wire that plugs into the LFTV box at home and dangles in front of your kit. Pressing Triangle on your PSP brings up a simple virtual remote on screen.

Now, by driving a cursor around its buttons, you can press buttons on your machine back home with a tap of X. As far as your DVD player is concerned you're in the room right next to it. It's impressive (your PSP sending your commands back to the box and the box fooling your DVD etc) but, in truth, it's a bit clunky and slow (like asking your nan to operate your Sky+ box for you rather than grabbing the control yourself). But, hey, it works. We were able to negotiate the finer features of a Terminator 3 DVD in Belgium with a lag of about three seconds per button press. The feeling that you were doing something 'magical', however, made the experience easily bearable.
Only one nagging glitch threatened to spoil the day. The combination of continuous, intensive network action and full-screen video is a real battery-killing business. A Sony rep told us that he'd had "no problem watching for a couple of hours". Is that impressive? We'll let you decide.
It's clearly early days for LocationFree TV. The box is the first step in a new way of thinking - you can leave the bulky boxes at home and connect to them all with a single portable device. And once PS3 is available, it'll doubtless use the same technology to sling your hard drive contents remotely. With increasing broadband speeds and bandwidth, and more and more WiFi coverage (get used to the idea of mobile network-style levels of signal), this will be undeniably one day be huge. As for whether you want to be there at the start, however, we suggest a degree of caution.


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