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Slingbox shrugs off video on demand

It's good, but not that good

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3GSM The folks behind the Slingbox aren't worried by traditional broadcasters getting into video on demand because, they claim, their boxes offer a far more personalised experience.

The Slingbox allows you to watch your TV from anywhere with a broadband connection.

Stuart Collingwood, Sling Media's vice president of Europe, said: "I think video on demand is complimentary to our business. Channel 4 and the BBC are offering their programmes through their portals using their players. But anything that helps educate consumers is good."

Collingwood said the Slingbox is also being used for more than just traditional TV content - you can watch any video content, whether it's from a security camera or DVD player.

He said a lack of decent data tariffs in Europe meant the company was careful not to launch in places where the consumer could be stung by a nasty billing surprise.

The company, which is privately held, isn't giving out any sales figures beyond the 100,000 sold in the six months after launch in the US. In Europe, the company has taken two approaches. In the UK it had an exclusive deal with Dixons Store Group which ended last month. The boxes are now available through online shops.

But in Sweden, Denmark and Norway it is working with operator 3. It will shortly launch services in Finland, giving users a bundled tariff.

Collingwood said the box was attracting interest from internet service providers who were looking for a reason to get consumers to upgrade their packages, as well as from pay-TV companies looking to differentiate their broadband offerings. ®

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