Monday, January 29, 2007

Place-Shifting via Orb

If time-shifting is the mechanism to record and watch TV programming at my convenience, then place-shifting is the mechanism to watch them on any internet connected device with a monitor at my convenience. I have been on the road a lot lately and I have to wait till I return home to watch my recorded shows. I needed a mechanism to stream my data from my HTPC over the internet so I could watch it on my laptop.

I read about slingbox and its capabilities in this regard and then I found out about Orb Networks which I could install on my Windows MCE . Considering my cost-cutting measures, I decided on the latter so I could recoup my investments on my HTPC (Slingbox ~ $275, Orb = $0).

Orb was easy to install and set up (See and after the configuration I was able log in from my laptop and see all my photos, recorded TV programming, songs and videos.

I was able to watch the TV shows on Windows Media Player and Real Player, although at a much lower resolution, than in the original recording.

The compression implies viewing on a Wi-Fi network. This is too good to be true. Orb claims to be working on creating a client for PalmOS so I can watch the videos directly on my Treo 650 and drain my already short-lived battery out!