Orb Networks today announced new software for Blu-ray and PlayStation 3 players that allows consumers to watch thousands of online TV shows from Hulu, HuluPlus, Comedy Central and more on their home TV. The new Orb BR (Blu-ray) software works with an Internet- connected Blu-ray player, and is easily controlled through a smartphone app (iPhone, Android, iPad, iPod Touch).
Priced at only $19.99, Orb BR leverages the consumer's investment in a Blu-ray player, and offers an easy and cost-effective way to enter the new world of connected TV without buying or installing any new hardware. In addition to an extensive array of online TV options, Orb BR provides consumers with access to thousands of movies on their TV, via Netflix and Amazon Video on Demand. Orb BR also makes it fun to watch YouTube, personal videos, and photos on a TV, connected to a Blu-ray player, as opposed to viewing on a PC or Mac screen.
"The combined cost of a Blu-ray player and Orb BR software is less expensive than most of the other Internet TV solutions, like Boxee and Google TV, while providing more capabilities," said Joe Costello, CEO of Orb Networks. "With more than eight million connected Blu-ray players and 40 million PS3 players already in homes, the market opportunity for Orb BR is huge."
At the same time, the number of consumers watching TV online is on the rise. A recently published Forrester Research study shows a significant increase in the number of people using the Internet to watch streaming video; 33 percent of adults surveyed in 2010 said they use the Internet to watch video, up from 18 percent in 2007.
Orb BR makes it easy to get started watching online video on a TV, because there is no hardware to install. To set up Orb BR, consumers simply insert the Orb BR software CD into their Blu-ray player, download the free Orb Caster software to their PC or Mac, and then download the free Orb controller app to their smartphone.
Orb BR works with a range of Blu-ray players and PS3 units that are connected to the Internet via a wired or wireless connection. And, Orb BR supports HD output at 720p and 1080p resolution. To help consumers easily find and watch their favorite shows, the Orb controller app features a powerful and easy-to-use global index of TV shows. Consumers can type in the name of the show they want and then Orb quickly finds the show, without requiring the user to specify its source (e.g. Hulu, ABC, CBS, etc).
Orb BR availability is planned for late February, and can be ordered online at orb.com for a price of $19.99.