You may not know it, but the Skype internet telephony application can be used for a lot more than just simple phone calls. For example, Japanese company Novac has taken advantage of Skype's video-call ability to stream TV broadcasts across the internet from home to anywhere you happen to be in need of a flicks fix.

The Novac Itsu Demo TV II costs 12,800 Yen (£57) and consists of an analogue TV tuner that connects to a home PC and software that takes the video stream coming from the tuner and pipes it into a Skype client running on that PC.

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The Skype client should be logged into whatever account you set up to handle the TV stream and then set to automatically answer incoming video calls from remote computers. The Novac software introduces a security layer to make sure only designated callers (i.e. you) can connect and that's all there is to it - Bob's your remote-TV-streaming uncle.

The package works only with Windows XP, so Mac users are out of luck, and there are no plans to sell Itsu Demo TV II outside Japan. Anyone hungry for a slice of internet TV pie could always try Slingbox or Orb while they wait.