Free alternative to Slingbox - orb.com - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 06-16-2006, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
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I finally decided to give orb.com a try. It has some of the functionality of a Slingbox. It was very easy to setup streaming of pre-recorded RTV mpeg files over WAN. My cable modem has a 30KB/sec upload cap and yet I was able to stream medium quality RTV mpeg's and the quality looked very reasonable considering the upload speed limitation. It was nice to be able to watch a soccer game in a window on my work PC

The beauty of it too is there is no client side software needed - from a PC a web browser and media player is all you need.

Haven't messed with pc capture cards & set top boxes which presumably orb.com can also handle (with help of IR blaster of course), but it's nice to setup orb.com to point to your DVArchive folders and be able to stream anything there over WAN with very minimal effort. Also nice thing is you you can allow access to your files to anyone else with an orb.com login of your choice, so I can let my parents have access to my recordings from another country.

I'm sure this software has many limitations compared to a full-featured Slingbox solution but for being free it seems to offer most of the functionality I need.

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post #2 of 22 Old 06-17-2006, 09:28 AM
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I'd more call it a limited subset of Slingbox functionality, using a PC. I love using Slingbox to stream all of my networked replay content to my wireless palmtop, with full control, without a host PC. All this simple but powerful tech for a couple hundred bucks is money well spent.

But Hey, free is free.

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post #3 of 22 Old 06-19-2006, 10:12 AM
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One thing I don't like about orb is that it keeps pausing to buffer video which take the joy of watching video. It still happens even when I lower the speed to 350 kb same as my upload cap.

I wonder if slingbox has this problem.

Dan L.
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post #4 of 22 Old 06-19-2006, 10:17 AM
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For me (who has a 2Mbps upload cap) buffering ONLY happens at start up which is normal.

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post #5 of 22 Old 06-19-2006, 11:09 AM - Thread Starter
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From my limited testing thus far I also only see buffering when streaming first starts. It probably depends how reliably constant upload streams can be maintained. FYI I was also able to stream HD transport streams recorded from my Fusion5 HDTV USB card using this solution which I sure didn't expect to work. For HD transport streams my home PC had to work pretty hard to do the HD transcoding in real time, hitting close to 100% CPU consumption, but resulting stream was fairly good with a few hiccups for the 15 minutes I watched.

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post #6 of 22 Old 06-21-2006, 10:20 PM
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I think Orb is a great service for accessing content other than television. I used it all the time to stream music when I'm at work. Or if I'm visiting someone and I have pictures to show them, I can pull them right up. And like others have said, it's free so you can't really complain with what you get.

I actually like to watch shows that I've put on my computer via DVArchive through Orb more than my slingbox. The reason is mostly because I don't have to install any client software when going through the Orb network.
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post #7 of 22 Old 06-22-2006, 01:19 AM
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any quick tips on how to set up the port forwarding on your router so that you can get high-bandwidth streams when operating internally at home? i'm trying to stream from my htpc to my laptop in another room but it has to go out the internet and then back in so the window size is pretty small. I was also concerned that they wanted you to open up port 80, which is the standard http port. is this a security risk since its such a common port to try?
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post #8 of 22 Old 06-22-2006, 02:32 AM
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now if i could figure out how to get it to also use my svid in and line in allong with a remote way to "click" menu buttons on my replay , i could watch directly from my replay remotly without having to use dvarchive to grab the shows off it.
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post #9 of 22 Old 06-22-2006, 10:22 AM - Thread Starter
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collin, I didn't have to open up any ports in my router to get orb working. Your router has to support local loopback to get full LAN speeds. However, for what you are doing you could run DVArchive on your htpc and another on your laptop and stream from one DVA to another. Also you can use Videolan VLC with commercial skip as the streaming media player and get commercial advance.

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post #10 of 22 Old 06-22-2006, 01:54 PM
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the weird thing is that when i first installed it on my htpc, i could connect to my.orb.com and watch streams from my laptop, albeit at small frame sizes. then later and now, i can't get the streams to connect at all. based on the orb help pages, they seem to imply that you need to setup port forwarding on your router to enable "DirectStream":
http://support.orb.com/support/solution.jsp?sol=178

I'm pretty familiar with router configuration, but my understanding is that port forwarding has to do with requests coming from the outside getting fowarded to a particular machine and can't figure out how that applies here.

btw, I'm not necessarily streaming DVA stuff here since the htpc also has its own tuners run by BeyondTV.
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post #11 of 22 Old 08-16-2006, 10:05 PM
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Just installed Orb (http://www.orb.com) , its very easy to setup, hardly have to do anything. I have it pointed to my dvarchive directory and mp3 tree.

Didn't have to do anything to my router. I use it with Sprint Power Vision, what a nice toy to add to the pile. I only wished that I could fast forward through the programme being streamed, use a Samsung A920.
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post #12 of 22 Old 11-20-2006, 03:11 PM
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Orb Users

There's a new plugin that lets you watch google, youtube, etc videos from your cellphone/pda

indirect link that has description:
http://www.lifehacker.com/software/y...one-214856.php
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post #13 of 22 Old 03-07-2007, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Rempalski View Post

I'd more call it a limited subset of Slingbox functionality, using a PC. I love using Slingbox to stream all of my networked replay content to my wireless palmtop, with full control, without a host PC. All this simple but powerful tech for a couple hundred bucks is money well spent.

But Hey, free is free.

Limited subset of Slingbox functionality? As far as I know, that is just false. What are these limitations you speak of?
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post #14 of 22 Old 03-21-2007, 01:08 AM
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Here's a key difference that I think exists.

Can ORB send my remote PC a live TV signal like the Slingbox can? It seems that if I hook up a Slingbox directly to one of my Replays I will be able to see all the content from it (and the networked units) and get the live feed (or whatever it's recording). I know ORB can work with a tuner card in the host PC but I don't want to put the load on it.

If I've got this wrong let me know. Buy.com has the Slingbox AV for $125 with free shipping, which is seems like a reasonable one-time cost to get live TV and Replay content at my office.
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post #15 of 22 Old 03-21-2007, 06:51 AM
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I think you have it right. I think Slingbox streams whatever input you select, even the menu's. I do not think Orb can do it that way. You would have to control the RTV remotely and set it to record and have Orb record to the PC then stream that recording. Although the capture cards have hardware encoders there is still a small load there and then streaming the recording is another load, apart from having to setup remote control of the RTV through a 2 step process.
Of course, if you had a PC based PVR then you would already have a hardware encoder and the recorded content on a PC. Then ORB would just have to stream whatever recordings you have or start the capture then stream.

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post #16 of 22 Old 03-21-2007, 07:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oratzk View Post

Here's a key difference that I think exists.

Can ORB send my remote PC a live TV signal like the Slingbox can? It seems that if I hook up a Slingbox directly to one of my Replays I will be able to see all the content from it (and the networked units) and get the live feed (or whatever it's recording). I know ORB can work with a tuner card in the host PC but I don't want to put the load on it.

If I've got this wrong let me know. Buy.com has the Slingbox AV for $125 with free shipping, which is seems like a reasonable one-time cost to get live TV and Replay content at my office.

You got it right as far as what the slingbox AV can do. If you get the slingbox pro, you also get a build in analog tuner as an extra input so you don't need to use the RTV for Live programming. I think both the AV and the pro have the ability to control external boxes via IR blasters, and with the pro you get more inputs.
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post #17 of 22 Old 03-21-2007, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oratzk View Post

Buy.com has the Slingbox AV for $125 with free shipping, which is seems like a reasonable one-time cost to get live TV and Replay content at my office.

I bought one of the $125 Slingbox AV's and am very happy with the way that it works with the Replay. I have two 50XX Replays, and the Slingbox is connected to the output of one of them. It works exactly as advertised: the virtual Replay remote controls the device just as if you were standing in front of it (with some delay of course) and I can stream content from that Replay, the networked Replay, the networked DVArchive server, or live TV. Within the home network the picture is beautiful; when accessed from elsewhere in the world it is acceptable, limited by my DSL uplink speed (~350 kbps).
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post #18 of 22 Old 03-22-2007, 06:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bivalve2 View Post

I bought one of the $125 Slingbox AV's ...

Buy.com has them down to $119 today.

- A

It's true - I read it somewhere. I wrote it down, and then I read it.
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post #19 of 22 Old 11-10-2010, 07:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skywaystudio View Post

One thing I don't like about orb is that it keeps pausing to buffer video which take the joy of watching video. It still happens even when I lower the speed to 350 kb same as my upload cap.

I wonder if slingbox has this problem.

Dan L.

Over the past three years I have bought four Slingbox Pros. This company is a scam! After the warranty expires, a firmware update breaks the device, rendering it useless and forcing you to buy a new one. Tech support is another scam. Basically they are only there to take your money instead of helping you fix a problem they created. They know the device is FUBR, but are only there to rob an additional $29.99 from you. Their tech support basically consists of rebooting the router, rebooting the Slingbox, and resetting the slingbox, which is basically useless when the device refuses to receive an IP.
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post #20 of 22 Old 11-10-2010, 08:18 AM
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^^^

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post #21 of 22 Old 12-16-2011, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slingboxisascam View Post

Over the past three years I have bought four Slingbox Pros. This company is a scam! After the warranty expires, a firmware update breaks the device, rendering it useless and forcing you to buy a new one. Tech support is another scam. Basically they are only there to take your money instead of helping you fix a problem they created. They know the device is FUBR, but are only there to rob an additional $29.99 from you. Their tech support basically consists of rebooting the router, rebooting the Slingbox, and resetting the slingbox, which is basically useless when the device refuses to receive an IP.

I've been on the original slingbox a/v for the last 5 years. I've gone through the updates, software wise and through multiple OS's - xp, vista, and now 7. I don't ever recall getting prompted for a firmware update, but you sound pretty bitter and I would have thought you learned after the first "two." I can't even solid evidence of this online.
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post #22 of 22 Old 12-26-2011, 01:50 PM
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I have had 2 power supplies fail on my original Slingbox (5+ years old), the first one after 2 years of use. Slingbox replaced that one for free. They have been alright by me.
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