updated 10:05 am EST, Thu November 16, 2006
3 Intros Slingbox Phones
British cellular carrier 3 has unveiled its new X-Series phone range, combining flat-rate Internet access plans with the first cellphones using the Symbian OS to support Sling Media's SlingPlayer Mobile for connecting to their home TV service. Using either the Nokia N73 or Sony-Ericsson's W950i (pictured), subscribers can access home TV -- including cable, satellite, and Europe's Freeview over-the-air digital broadcasts -- through a Slingbox tuner connected to their home theater. The support extends to features present in the previous Windows Mobile version of SlingPlayer and can remotely program a PVR to record shows.
3 further includes a series of other Internet-based programs with the two phones, shipping them with the ability to make free calls to Skype users, access media from a home PC through Orb, and monitor eBay auctions. The lack of bandwidth restrictions on all of these services means that X-Series owners can use these features as often as they like, 3 says. The service will be available from 3 beginning December 1st in the UK; other service areas are expected to follow in early 2007.