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SlingMedia Gets a Competitor on Smartphones

When it comes to place-shifting—streaming live TV over the Internet to a remote PC or smartphone—Sling Media’s Slingbox tends to grab all the attention. But Monsoon Multimedia has a pretty good solution as well. It’s called Hava, and Nokia has just added the mobile client to its 2008 Forum Nokia Innovation Series.

Nokia’s initiative is designed to support small-to-mid-sized mobile developers designing applications and services for Nokia products, but the Hava mobile client will work with any Windows Mobile 5 or Windows Mobile 6 smartphone connected to the Internet. The software is free, but you must purchase the Hava product that plugs into your TV tuner, CATV box, or DVR at home. Once you’ve done that, you can not only stream live TV (or recorded TV if you have a DVR) but remotely control the device (rewind, fast forward, change the channel, and so on).

The only drawback to these types of devices is that anyone at home will have to watch the same content (or force you to watch whatever they’re watching). Monsoon’s Hava lineup ranges in price from $100 to $250 depending on features (the least expensive model requires a hard-wired Ethernet connection; the priciest supports HD resolution and can connect to an 802.11g wireless network).