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Old 12-31-2005, 02:17 PM
kenberman kenberman is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2003
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Default Trip Report: Orb Software

For those that don't know, Orb is software that allows you to remotely access/control all the media files on your desktop, from your laptop.

So, if you're online in a coffeshop in Seattle, you can listen to the MP3's, look at the pictures, and watch any videos you have on your harddrive back in Boston. This is cool. But the real slick part is that you can control the TV Tuner on your desktop as well. This allows you to stream any TV program right to your laptop. You can also remotely schedule recordings and watch any recorded program, a la Tivo.

The software is free.

Since I'm going to Europe next month, and it will be difficult to watch my Patriots, this seemed like a good toy for me to have. So, I went out and purchased a TV Tuner for my desktop. I plugged my cable input into my PC, and after some easy setup, now had basic cable on my computer. Incidentally, Windows Media Center works quite seamlessly with TV Tuners. Very easy, useful, and intuitive - maybe the best Microsoft product I've used.

Next, I downloaded Orb Software onto my desktop. Very easy one time setup. It automatically finds all the media in 'My Music', 'My Pictures', and 'My Videos'. If you have a compatible TV Tuner, it also places links to all TV listings in your area. All of this information is displaced in the "Your Account" area on the Orb Web Interface.

To test this all out, I then took my laptop down to the local coffeeshop and got online via Wifi. I logged on to my Orb account, and voila, had access to all my files. MP3 streaming worked greated, as did recorded programing streaming. The most important part for me, the live TV control, works well, but the quality is only ok. You can watch anything you want, but the image quality is just ok. You can also schedule recordings of any show, and watch them remotely whenever you please.

Overall, this will be great to have in Europe, and is great for anyone that travels a lot. It's very easy to use, and is free. Great stuff.
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