Monday, November 28, 2005

Orb: taking the home out of home entertainment

Orb Networks homepage

Another recent discovery which promises to revolutionise my media consumption is Orb - a free web service that enables me to access all of the media stored on my home PC from any web-connected device with RealPlayer or Windows Media Player installed. So, from my work PC, laptop, PDA or mobile I can stream all of my music and videos and view any of my photos. Crucially, it automatically detects the device's available bandwidth and media player and optimizes the size and format accordingly. It even copes with the DRM'd Napster/iTunes content, validating the license locally before transcoding and streaming it. Plus, if your home PC has a TV tuner you can access that to watch live and recorded TV on your mobile device. It's obviously a fairly niche service at the moment, but as more people get Media Center PCs it could take off and just conceivably provide an alternative to DVB-H/DAB for TV on mobile devices. Oh, and they've got a cool strapline: "Orb takes the home out of home entertainment". Nice.

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