Orb

Stuck in traffic? Bored? Waiting at the airport? Bored? Internet connection? Not bored anymore. New technology from Orb Networks takes the home out of home entertainment as it gives you a spontaneous access to your own music, videos, photos and even live television from any internet connected device. Yes this includes your PDA and mobile phone. Best of all, it's free!

After initially setting up your free Orb account and downloading a small program, open any web browser from any internet connected device and log in. Orb then automatically connects to your home PC and shows you a display of all the media you have available in an easy-to-use portal-like environment. Simply select what you want to view or hear and Orb takes care of the rest.

What is really neat is that when you log in, the web site automatically detects the bandwidth and performance of your current viewing device. Content is then compressed to be compatible with your current system. This is seamless, automatic and very very user friendly.

OrbPhoto lets you store and view photos anywhere and send photos from you camera phone, while OrbAudio lets you listen to your MP3 collection when you're away from you PC. OrbVideo lets you watch your prerecorded TV shows from any internet connected device. OrbTV gives you access to TV tuner cards you have installed on your home machine so that you can stream live television and even schedule TV recordings.

Geoff McQueen from our office has tested Orb recently, connecting it to his Media Centre machine at home. It works extremely well, and didn't require him to lower his firewall security at home to make it work. It streams data right to you so there's no long download waits and because the content remains on your PC it gives you a certain degree of security, as well as performance-it is very fast. Additionally, you can share your Orb account with friends and family so they can log in, look at your photos, play your music and even watch your favorite movies.

But this digital media panacea isn't perfect just yet. Without a home broadband connection Orb can be very slow. This is more of a problem in places such as Australia where super fast broadband connections just aren't as ubiquitous as in Japan or South Korea. And if you want to be watching movies from your mobile, you'll need to upgrade to a mobile that can browse the Internet.

But sooner rather than later all your digital media will be at your fingertips whether you're stuck in traffic or waiting for that flight. Download Orb for free at www.orb.com.


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