Orb offers media on the go

Streaming joy from PC to PDA

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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