Right in time for the FIFA World Cup in Germany, Orb Networks recently released a new PC version of its Orb remote media software. If you don't know Orb yet, please see my earlier preview here. Basically, as of today, Orb is the only (free) software solution which lets you place shift your TV to any place, where you have a kind of broadband Internet connection (GPRS is good enough already, to listen the sound but for real-time video you better have EDGE, UMTS, HSDPA or W-LAN).
So with this new PC release of Orb, French and German DVB-T users gets better support for DVB-T while DVB-T is still "beta" in the UK and other countries since the folks over at Orb haven't been able to test as much. Therefore they ask for your feedback as well (please keep in mind, there is no DVB-T in the United States and therefore it's hard for a US-based company to develop and test as fast as they might want to get it up and running, therefore our feedback is important).
And no, I have no clue why the configuration wizard looks that psychedelic but the stream will looks correct (which is more important at all):
Other enhancements and updates of Orb PC release 681 are that you can choose your installation folder now, Orb now supports streaming of DailyMotion and Google videos and the TV Guide of the Canadian version is fixed now.
Last Friday, right in time for the start of the FIFA World Cup, I got Orb's TV streaming up and running - after working on the configuration for more than 1 week. What I can tell you is, that it even works with current Windows Vista Beta 2 Ultimate Edition and a Hauppauge WinTV-NOVA-T PCI TV card (at least for me and as far as I've heard also in France while it seems to have problems with the UK version). Also it looks like Orb isn't recognizing USB TV cards (also my Pinnacle PCTV 200e USB TV card isn't recognized) so it might be much a better option to go with a PCI TV card instead.
Nevertheless, one problem with Orb stays: the co-existence of Orb and Media Center Edition PCs because both want to get access to the TV cards. Hope this will be fixed sooner or later to get a deeper Orb integration into Microsoft's Media Center Edition PCs (maybe with a configuration wizard right within the MCE UI).
But no, Orb (and place shift TV in general) isn't only worth while traveling (or sitting in the office during the World Cup) but also if you want to follow your TV while you sit on your balcony or in your garden, which is - in best case/for sure - covered by your W-LAN. In this case, the stream isn't going back through the Internet but is streamed locally within your own network which means that you get a way better (in best case full screen) quality!
Happy place shifting and good luck for your football team, if it attends the FIFA World Cup as well.
UPDATE: Since I haven't found too much information about which TV card works or not, I thought about creating a thread in the forum where everybody, who is using Orb for place shift live TV, might can post his configuration which works. This might be helpfull for others to get a proper working (DVB-T) TV card as well.
Cheers ~ Arne