Video Review: Sony’s LocationFree TV on Mac, Windows & PSP (Part 1)

In this detailed video review, I’ll show you:

  1. The difference between timeshifting and placeshifting
  2. The brands of placeshifting devices (e.g. Slingmedia’s Slingbox, Sony’s LocationFree Player, Snappy’s HAVA)
  3. How to set up the LocationFree Player on your network
  4. How it works on your Windows PC, Mac and Sony PSP

The story behind this review:
I’ve always wondered how placeshifting devices worked so I got myself Sony’s LocationFree Player off eBay for around $100 and tested it under Windows as well as on the Sony PSP. Since the “LocationFree Player for Mac” was a seperate purchase of $40, I had to request a demo copy from the kind folks at I-O Data USA for this review. If you’re wondering what made me go with the Sony LocationFree Player Pak over the other brands, it’s pretty straightforward:

  • It’s become more affordable (eBay for around $100, retails as low as $150)
  • Sony’s the first to have a Mac client, with their Windows Mobile client coming soon. The Slingbox player for Mac is still not available
  • Works great with the Sony PSP, which goes more places than my MacBook Pro
  • It has more video inputs, just in case I wish to hook up security cameras or a TiVo DVR
  • Sony is serious about LocationFree TV. Just look at their new LocationFree lineup (Also see via SonyStyle.com)

In a future episode, I’ll show you how the LocationFree service performs at a public hotspot. If Sony’s willing to send me their newer LocationFree devices (i.e. LF-B20 and LF-BOX1), I’d gladly do a comparative review on those as well.

Update: Part two of this video review is now available

  • NS

    Hi just one more question. Can you setup the lfp on the computer without a cd?

  • LFP

    If I have a cable box and also that thing you have that splits the cable in two can I watch something different than on the T.V.?

  • http://theory.isthereason.com Kevin

    NS: The CD contains the LFP software, but if you can download the software off Sony’s site, then you really don’t need the CD.

    LFP: If you have a Cable box, then it’s most likely that you your cable’s encrypted and you can only watch one channel at a time as controlled by that cable box, not your LocationFree unit.

  • adish

    hey guys,Plz tell me how to install software on psp plz tell me

  • NS

    Do I need an ethernet cable conected to my router if my LFP has an IR Blaster? Or do I need an IR Blaster if I have an ethernet cable conected to my router. Or do I need both?

  • NS

    I mean, do I need both of them, or only one?

  • Josh

    Hi Kevin

    I have a few questions for the location free for the PSP

    1) What do you mean bring it anywhere, in home range or all over the state…etc?
    2) is there alot of time when the screen/cable freezes?
    3) is it just ike watching live tv from one of my tvs in my house?

  • Mitchel

    Yo!

    Yeah I am with this josh guy u said anywhere what exactly do u mean by that like around the home or everywhere like i can take it to school and use it there. Show us!

  • Josh

    Hey another question

    1) With those yellow/white/red input ports/holes idk on the back of the locationfree box, does tat mean u can use ur psp as a screen 4 other videogames/dvd play..etc?

  • Ian

    Hi,

    Have you found out yet if the LF B20 will work on PAL. I live in the UK and Sony dont offer that model here.

  • Aaron

    Hello,

    Just following up on the LF-B20. I have spoken to Sony who do say that it will work in the UK, but I would like a second opinion.

  • jb

    Hey, all
    Mac question. it appears from the IO site that the software for the Mac does not work with the LF-B20. that sucks since i don’t have a windows laptop. it said all over the box and internet that it would work but apparently now it won’t…anyone have any input???

    also, i can’t get my psp to connect to the base station from the internet. apparently the setup red light is on w/ the top 2 green lights. hmmmmm….

    jb

  • RH

    1) Can the software be used on a iBook G4

    2) If the iBook were to be re-imaged with program on it, would I be able to reinstall the program with the same disk on my iBook

    RH

    Thanks

  • Stagpole

    Any way to make LF-B20 work in UK

  • x

    Can you watch sky on the location free while it is connected to the psp?

  • Jason

    Is there a downgrade for the psp version 3.50 and if so can you give me a link to it.

  • Paulo

    I installed Parallels Desktop and installed windows vista with location free but once i try to open location free a get the answer: FAILED TO INITIALIZE DIRECTX. PLEASE RESTART YOUR PC AND TRY AGAIN. FOR DETAILS, CLICK HELP BUTTON AND REFER TO HELP. ERROR CODE 0200101394024.

    What should i do?

    Tks.

  • Ryan

    Sry i typed to fast. I meant do i need a router to setup a location free player?

  • http://theory.isthereason.com Kevin

    @Ryan: You don’t need a router. In fact the LocationFree unit also doubles as a wifi router.

  • PLEASE HELP

    PLEASSEE HEEEEEELLLLP!!!!!!! I need help installing the new locationfree software on my macbook running parrallels!

    Email=keeg1234dude@gmail.com

  • Ivan_PSP

    I can’t wait to get this and watch TV on my PSP is gonna be fun.

  • Jeremiah

    Hi, like your video description, however I have a couple of question. So one really does not need s-video cords or RCA cords, one can actually just connect with a cable splitter directly if one goes that route. Also, I have a WRT3000N router. I plan on leaving the Sony device hard wired to the wired though I realize this will cause more intermittment. However as for accessing the device via internet, away from home and on same subnet, I know ports 5036 I think it uses, these ports and application must be allowed through via VPN or what. Also does the ISP block this traffic or does it also have to be encrypted in case the ISP does block the traffic, ie packets. Thanks if you can be specific on the router setup side.

  • Brian

    Where did you get/find the LocationFree Demo version for the Mac? Does it work with OS X 10.5? Can you send me a copy?

  • R8ders2K

    Brian,

    Yes, the I-O Data/Taxan LocationFree 1.1.0 software is Leopard compatible.

    I’m running 10.5.5 on a 24″ iMac (2.4 GHz, 2GB) and it runs fine, especially if it’s Standard Definition (SD).

    If you get the LF-V30 base station, you can connect component cables and you can get HD. But you might have some bandwidth issues with HD.

    It would be nice if Taxan would open up the licensing like Sony’s done with the PC software.

    Now, I find it interesting that Kevin like the Mac sofware. I think that it’s lacking. The PC software will actually give you a remote that looks like your device’s remote. In my case, I’ve got the LF-V30 connected to a DIRECTV H20-600, but I don’t get a DIRECTV looking remote like the PC software gives you.

    • R8ders2K

      hey i have the lf-v30 just like you with direct tv and on my psp how do i find the direct tv remote on the psp. all i can find is the digital satelite when i click direct tv and the remote doesnt respond.

  • Daniel

    Hi,

    Whats the link to purchase the mac sofware to use on the locationfree?

    Thanks in advance

  • Alan

    I am looking for the software by IO-Data that work with the locationfree in Mac. I look everywere online. I can’t found it. I also try to use VMware fusion to set up the locationfree player but it doesn’t seem to work. Please.. Help

    Alan

  • Daniel
  • Kathi

    Thanks to the enduring nature of the internet, I was able to find your review and use it to help me make a decision as to whether I should go with a SlingBox or LocationFree TV. Your review tipped the scales in favour of the latter; I got one for Christmas along with a brand new PSP3000 and its been the best present ever! I use it every day while I work — I have no cable outlet in my home office so I stream tv to the psp so I can watch tv while I'm working and not have the overhead of yet another application running on my computer. Thanks for the review — it really helped me make up my mind!

    • http://theory.isthereason.com Kevin Lim

      Great! I must say that I'd get a Slingbox if not for my PSP :)

  • Kathi

    Thanks to the enduring nature of the internet, I was able to find your review and use it to help me make a decision as to whether I should go with a SlingBox or LocationFree TV. Your review tipped the scales in favour of the latter; I got one for Christmas along with a brand new PSP3000 and its been the best present ever! I use it every day while I work — I have no cable outlet in my home office so I stream tv to the psp so I can watch tv while I'm working and not have the overhead of yet another application running on my computer. Thanks for the review — it really helped me make up my mind!

  • http://theory.isthereason.com Kevin Lim

    Great! I must say that I'd get a Slingbox if not for my PSP :)