You may already know about a product called Sling Box. This is a device that you attach to your TV like a cable box. Then, using special free software, Sling Box will stream the cable television channel of your choice on any computer or mobile device. Sounds pretty cool and, in fact, it is. Unfortunately, the software is the only free part. Buying the Sling Box tuner box is going to set you back about $150 or more depending on which model you buy. Still not a bad deal if you're interested in watching your home TV channels remotely.
If you prefer not to spend money unnecessarily, we've got an inexpensive (read: free) alternative. It's called Orb and all you'll need is a computer equipped with a TV Tuner card, which is common in today's multimedia PCs. You can buy one for around 40 bucks. Hauppauge makes some inexpensive tuner cards.
Orb installs on your home PC and gives you remote access to, among other things, the TV channels of your cable system. As an added bonus, you can also access to videos, music, or documents stored on your computer. Once Orb is installed on your home PC, you gain access to these digital goodies by logging into a web site on a remote PC or handheld device with a user name and password. You won't need any special software on the remote device besides a standard media player capable of playing streaming video and audio. It really is that simple!
Steps to set up orb on your computer:
- Visit www.orb.com.
- Download "Orb Caster" (link: www.orb.com/en/download.html)
- Install Orb Caster on the computer that has the TV Tuner card.
- Follow the prompts to set up Orb Caster or consult their User Guide.