Orb TV controlled by smartphone app

Orb TV joins the fight for web-to-TV viewers in the US. The super thin Orb plugs directly into a television and streams content to the TV via a computer running free Orb software, called Orb Caster. The software acts like a personal content control tower.

Joe Costello, chief executive and founder of Orb Networks, recognises that he is heading into a crowded space with a lot of big-name competition, but he believes the simplicity of his new product will separate the Orb from other digital video goods.

In its quest for simplicity, the $100 device doesn’t come with a remote control. Instead, users are asked to download a free application for a smartphone or mobile device running the Apple iOS or Google Android. The phone then becomes the remote for the Orb.

“We’ve created a great user experience with the smartphone and we think this really separates Orb TV from the others in the space like Roku and Google TV,” Costello said. “This is key for simplicity as most devices in the living room are in an awkward phase right now — almost like an awkward teenage phase — but we’re finally figuring it out.”

In addition to Hulu content, the Orb TV will play video available on YouTube, ESPN3, Comedy Central and Netflix.

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