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Streaming joy from PC to PDA

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American company Orb has released software that streams live or recorded TV, MP3s, photos or other digital media stored on a home PC to portable devices such as a laptop, cell phone or PDA. Customers can listen to their MP3 music or watch recorded videos on a mobile phone while on the go.

The service - launched at the 2005 International CES tradeshow in Las Vegas - offers secure access to digital media through a simple web interface.

All customers need is a device with a web browser and a home PC with Windows XP Media Center 2004 or 2005 and a broadband internet connection. A release for Windows XP is expected within the next two months, but to watch TV you'll need a PCTV card.

The company, headed by Silicon Valley veterans Joseph Costello and James Behrens, will bundle its software with hardware products from Creative, NetGear and Pinnacle.

The service starts at $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year and is available in the US only. Other geographies will be supported during the course of 2005.

Orb has a different approach to MobiTV, another recently-launched service which delivers live television feeds from MSNBC, TLC, Discovery Channel, Fox Networks and Fashiontv to subscribers in real-time over existing cellular networks.

Viewers do not need extra equipment beyond a subscription to MobiTV and their carrier's data package. MobiTV is compatible with most Java- or BREW-enabled phones with colour displays. ®

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