We keep talking about how software is the weakest link in the digital home. Vendors are struggling to build “bridging software” that lets networked devices communicate and stream content.
But even router software can still be hit or miss.
The New York Times’ David Pogue set out to test 802.11n routers last week. Better him than us, apparently.
In his weekly blog, Netgear’s software installer caught the brunt of Pogue’s negative attention—15 screens of nonsense buttons, dead ends, and scary legal warnings. If a networking vendor can’t ensure a smooth install, how will they ever deliver satisfying media convergence?
On the other hand, Orb Networks makes it look easy. Downloading Orb’s remote-access software onto your PC (Windows only) transforms it into a “broadcast device,” the content of which you can now access from any Web-enabled device (PC, phone) with a streaming media player. Orb Networks’ software, MyCasting 2.0, is free.
Cool, yes, but it still doesn’t get PC content onto your TV.
But wait. Orb recently announced MyCasting 2.0 now works with gaming consoles. So if you have an Xbox 360, Wii or PS3, you can stream PC content onto the TV—today and for free. Go here for more information.
Orb’s little piece of software just enabled 17 million households (according to ABI Research) to bridge the PC-to-TV divide using what’s essentially existing technology. Go Orb!
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Toni Kistner is a technology writer living in Cambridge, Mass. Her main focus is networking and wireless technology.