Sony's LocationFree is the marketing name for a group of products and technologies for timeshifting and placeshifting streaming video. The LocationFree Player is an Internet-based multifunctional device used to stream live television broadcasts (including digital cable and satellite), DVDs and DVR content over a home network or the Internet. It is in essence a remote video streaming server product (similar to the Slingbox). It was first announced by Sony in Q1 2004 and launched early in Q4 2004 alongside a co-branded wireless tablet TV. The last LocationFree product was the LF-V30 released in 2007.
The LocationFree base station connects to a home network via a wired Ethernet cable, or for newer models, via a wireless connection. Up to three attached video sources can stream content through the network to local content provision devices or across the internet to remote devices. A remote user can connect to the internet at a wireless hotspot or any other internet connection anywhere in the world and receive streamed content. Content may only be streamed to one computer at a time. In addition, the original LocationFree Player software contained a license for only one client computer. Additional (paid) licenses were required to connect to the base station for up to a total of four clients.
On November 29, 2007 Sony modified its LocationFree Player policy to provide free access to the latest LocationFree Player LFA-PC30 software for Windows XP/Vista. In addition, the software no longer requires a unique serial number in order to pair it with a LocationFree base station. In December, 2007 Sony Dropped the $30 license fee for the LocationFree client. However, the software still requires registration to Sony's servers after 30 days.
Note (2016)...When attempting to register on-line, you are presented with a failed message and told that there is no internet connection. This may be operating system version related (Win 7, 8, 10) as the software was written for older Windows versions. The "free" version of the player, which can still be downloaded, will work for a time (30 days?) but then wants to be registered or have a key input. There does not seem to be a key available for the free version so the software must be removed and re-installed to continue using it. There is a work around for this, that may, or may not work for you, depending on your OS. After installing, in the windows registry go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Sony Corporation/LFXLF-PC3US/App/ Look for StartDate. This is a UNIX time stamp number. Change this to a date in the distant future. This is based on using the Free Version ( LFA-PC30US-40353.exe) which was available for download from Sony. Many links no longer work. Any new units came with a CD of the software (usually an older version) along with a key, which can't be used on the free version. Two devices using the same key could not be registered to the same device. The same limitation is not present with the "free" software.
The player (server) can stream content to the following (client) devices:
Sony (Client) Products:
These products do not act as DVRs, since they do not allow content to be recorded to a hard drive.
A user can also access and control from anywhere in the world any device connected to the unit, and switch between multiple devices.
Base stations packaged with LocationFree Player installation disc and instructional DVD
Notes: - Wired models can be used via normal wireless routers. Access via internet via firewall provided necessary ports are opened. Can be used with DDNS.
Client box - enables users to watch streamed content on a television set, without the need for a PC or laptop.
In October 2004 Sony unveiled a portable, wireless and rechargeable SVGA 12.1" LCD tablet screen with dualband Wi-Fi technology (IEEE 802.11a/b/g) which can receive pictures from the LocationFree player up to 100 feet from the source signal. The TV also has web-browsing and email functions, a Memory Stick Duo slot and an on-screen hand-drawing function for use as a drawing tablet. The screen can also be used as an intelligent universal AV remote control. These tablets were bundled with Base Stations.
Three versions have been released: