Orb is now free for everyone


Staff member
Orb.com just announced that they are eliminating their subscription fees, and will be offering their services for free. They will make their money by parterning with many manufactures who will incorporate this technology. If you haven't heard of Orb yet, they allow you to stream any media on your Windows Media Center machine to any windows device , anywhere in the world.

This includes smart phones and pocket PC's, and the service can also stream your TV tuner signal, so you can watch live 'local' tv while on the road. They recently also announced that they are offering this service now for regular XP machines (so MCE is no longer a requirement). I am in the middle of doing a review, but due to some technical issues with my tuner, I won't be able to post it for another week or so.

Read the press release
Anyone know how this compares to, say, Video LAN (http://www.videolan.org/)? This used to be called VLC (Video LAN Client).

I have never tried Video LAN, but the site states it's for high bandwidth networks, which would make it hard to use with a cell phone etc. Orb is designed in such a way that you don't have to open any firewall ports (or forward the ports), it automatically detects the speed of your connection and adjusts the quality of the stream based on that information. I will take a look at Video LAN tho, looks pretty nice!
Well, it works!

One problem is that it grabs the tuners, so I cant watch live tv in BeyondTV at the same time.

First impressions.. it works, but at the expense of stealing the tuners away from my HTPC. Still testing, as I've only had this setup for about 10 minutes, but if it stops BTV from recording... well :blink:

All in all, its good at what it does.

Streaming LiveTV properties:


  • LiveTV_properties.JPG
    30.9 KB · Views: 30
Live TV is where I am having problems at well, it grabs the tuner, and never releases them, even if the software isn't running, so MCE gets pretty cranky :blink: They wanted me to do some more testing since they think it is my dual tuner setup, but all my amp equipment is on top of the system, so it's a lot of work to take the card back out.
Can you tell it that you don't want to stream live TV and have it ignore the fact that you've got a tuner?
I found that if I never go to livetv (in orb), it never grabs the tuners.

I have been able watch a recorded show in orb while watching livetv in BTV. I have not tested it while BTV is recording one show and livetv going, but I dont see it being a problem.

To release the tuners form orb, I had to shutdown the server (app).

Edit: I just watched a recorded show from ORB, while recording one show, and watching livetv in BTV.

I also came within seconds of streaming a show to my phone, but the battery died :blink:
Well, thats kind of cool...

I was recording one show in BTV, and ORB grabbed the other tuner for liveTV viewing. I was then able to go back to BTV and watch the show as it was recording.

Stopped the recording, and was able to control the tuner in BTV.

It took ORB about a minute to give up the tuner, but it did! BTV had both tuners back!

Timed: Gave up the tuner exactly one minute after I stopped the stream.

I have a Verizon LG series (camera, web, etc.)

Edit: I just realized that ORB only uses windows Media or real player...

Well, that shoots that idea out of the sky.
After all the talk in here, I had to go download and check it out! VERY NICE! The live TV part is nice, but only one of the features.

I set the configuration in ORB for my local photo's folder, home movies ect. Then fired up a web browser in the livingroom, and through the ORB network, was able to access the video's/photo's. Makes it nice when away from the house to access the information.

Of course HS could be set to do this as well, but just selecting a video from a list and have it streamed out is a very nice feature.