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Wii+Orb
Posted February 08, 2007 at 05:17:37 PM by Bean in the Obsessions category
Orb.com rocks. Specifically, mycast.orb.com (Orb 2.0) rocks. If you are like me, you probably have a lot of digital media stored on your home PC. Orb lets you easily access that media from any internet capable device. It's in the realm of SlingBox (ala m1blog) but has some major differences: SlingBox is a non-free hardware device that basically broadcasts your TV (or any standard "TV input") over the internet (or to any local device), whereas Orb is a FREE software product that does the same for your PC-based digital media. Orb now even encodes live streams, which allows you to use a tuner card to encode and broadcast live TV. And if you are listening or watching on the same LAN as your main PC (i.e. in your home), the stream speed is only limited by your LAN (not your internet link). I have only tested my Wii with Wireless G, which is the highest wi-fi it supports. Nintendo offers a $30 USB2.0->Ethernet adapter (and confirmed 3rd party knockoffs) that are supposed to be faster than G, but I have not tried them yet. There are definitely limitations (Wii plays via Flash, Opera has a browser bar that you cannot hide), but Wii+Orb really does impress me "out of the box".

Orb is easy to use (multiple web-based GUI interfaces), secure, and allows you to create "favorites" and "playlists" as well as invite others to share your media. Note that this doesn't "share" like BitTorrent, but with live streams. I think Orb, along with other services like it, is going to change the way we view the Internet.

As I mentioned in a previous blog, there are lots of websites popping up that are designed for the Wii. Wii, when on the "Internet Channel" is basically a set top box with a point and click cursor, so it fits very well into the HTML world. There's a huge market for inexpensive set top boxes (with mouse-like remotes?) and internet tablets RIGHT NOW, and the first manufactures to come out with them are gonna reap some profit, bigtim.

Also: here's a streaming audio site with a killer Wii interface: finetune.com/wii

Before I got a chance to post this blog entry, Fooie emailed me and told me all about his xbox media center setup, and his current WinMCE setup. I wish I had an XBOX back when this shit was starting. So, this is not really a "new" thing, and I'll admit that I am a newbie in the area, but it sure seems like sharing/streaming/broadcasting/etc over IP is going to obsolete every other type of data transmission that there is. We wont need phones or cable, just volts and some ninnernet techmology! Stuff a battery in the mix and look ma, no hands. All types of data/media/communication in any form on any device that tunes in to the tubes!

Please discuss your home media setup, if you have one. I currently have s-video + rca-audio running to my TV on Video2. No DVR or anything though.
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5 comments
m1 (February 09, 2007 at 07:35:40 AM):
Also, your last paragraph is what industry calls "convergence". And, I think 2007 is the long-awaited year of the PC in the living room. It is for me, anyway!
m1 (February 09, 2007 at 07:37:17 AM):
Not sure what happened to my first comment, but FYI opera for PC has a view full screen mode. Don't know if that's helpful to yas at all.
Bean (February 09, 2007 at 08:42:19 AM):
It's not particularly helpfull, but it is good to know that that feature exists, so that it may make it's way into the Wii version.
Bean (February 09, 2007 at 08:46:37 AM):
Forgot to mention, re: my setup, that I use tvrss.net+utorrent to automagically download all of my favorite shows, usually less than 12 hours after they air.
jctmh (February 12, 2007 at 05:01:12 PM):
I have the old fashion DVD and Tivo to Receiver to TV with a slingbox and Wii in the mix. I used to have plans to add a media pc, but I don't know what I would gain. Tivo streams in, slingbox streams out, Wiis got tubes. Just got a Blackjack that adds your look ma no hands functionality.
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