I was skimming Popular Science's Best of What's New 2005 a few days ago and ran across the mention of Slingmedia's Slingbox. I'm pretty sure I'd heard of it before, but what I heard wasn't enough to pique my interest.
I guess PopSci does a better job of describing things, because their article sure caught my eye. Assuming you have a broadband Internet connection with a decent upload speed at home, the Slingbox will let you watch your TV from anywhere you can hook up your laptop to the Internet. This includes controlling your TiVo from afar—wow!
Now, I'm not a TV addict who has to watch TV wherever I go. Quite to the contrary; I despise most of what's on TV and generally only watch sports or news. (OK, OK, some occasional cooking shows and Westerns as well.) However, I also travel a lot for work and find that my TiVo quickly fills up with shows that I can't take on the road with me to watch.
TiVoToGo isn't an option for me because I'm a DIRECTV subscriber, and DIRECTV hasn't seen fit to enable the Series 2 functionality that allows for TiVoToGo. It'd be really nice to get back to my hotel room at the end of a long day and veg out to whatever my TiVo at home had stored for me. A Slingbox would let me do that.
There are a couple of drawbacks I see, though: 1) I still couldn't watch anything while on a plane, and 2) some of the hotels I stay at have hugely saturated Internet connections, so I wonder if I'd be able to get a decent stream to my laptop.
On the whole, Slingbox has some potential. I like the pricing model, too--no recurring fees, just a one-time cost of $250 for the box itself.