I spent some quality time catching up with the Hava team yesterday. They make a line of placehifting products that compete with the Slingbox. And like the Sling of old, Hava’s not afraid of taking on big media. In fact, they’re really rolling the dice and tempting fate by introducing Sociable TV. Taking an entirely different approach than Sling’s yet-to-be-seen online archiving and sharing service (Clip+Sling), Hava will enable Hava owners to share live television feeds (or DVRed content) via a web portal. To a select group of friends. Or, to the entire worldwide population. Sociable TV is slated to arrive mid-year, assuming the studios, networks, or lawyers don’t intervene, and will include other “sociable” features such as friends list, text chat, and content starring.
Like everyone producing mobile software, Hava’s also got an iPhone client in the pipeline. It’s looks pretty far along in development, and they expect to have it up in the iTunes App store within just a month or so. The app features a very basic remote control interface, but you’ll get your all of your home television on the go in both portrait and landscape modes. Unlike Sling’s mobile software, all of Hava’s mobile software is free of charge.
Speaking of the iPhone, or any video-capable iPod, updated Hava software will transcode and recorded content onto those devices. While the recording features aren’t new, and still not offered by Sling, the MPEG4 conversion are. Also featured in the new PC client, coming soon, is a fullscreen guide.
Last, but not least, Hava’s getting back into the OEM business (see Pinnacle). Instead of launching their own Slingbox PRO HD-alike, Linksys is incorporating HD Hava streaming into an upcoming media product.