Europe gets TV-over-Internet service

An electronic gadget that promises to unshackle consumers from their TV sets became available in Europe for the first time, opening up new ways for users to watch television wherever they go, a Reuters report said.

According to the report, the Slingbox plugs into a terrestrial, cable or satellite TV set-top box and then transmits the video over the Internet.

Users could then tune in via a PC or a laptop. This was part of a new product category known as "placeshifting," similar to the "time-shifting" made popular by digital video recorders such as Sky+ and TiVo, the report said.

The Slingbox would available in Britain this week, ahead of a broader European launch later this year, the report further said.

Slingbox users in the US could also use mobile phones to watch video, although that service was not yet available in Britain, the report said.