Orb TV: the latest device bringing web to TV
Add Orb TV to the list of devices that is attempting to bring the web to the TV. The Oakland, Calif.-based company launched the product on Thursday — a hockey puck shaped object (pictured on the left) that promises to deliver all sorts of content available on the Internet straight to your TV.
Orb TV is selling for $99 (purchased only through its website) and can help you find any show regardless of the source including content from Hulu, YouTube and CBS or from your computer like photos, according to Orb TV. Users control the device through a smartphone app and can search simply by typing in a show like “Glee.”
“Our belief is that the evolution of digital media has been stymied,” said Orb TV CEO Joe Costello. “The whole premise it that it should be enjoyed anywhere, anytime and to make it simple. The last part hasn’t happened.”
Sound familiar? Of course it does because Orb TV is going up against several other device makers, including Roku, Boxee, Apple TV and Google TV, in a race to dominate the living room in much the same way.
Costello said that Orb has a couple of advantages over the competitors in that the device lets people view anything you can get for free on the Internet on the TV. “We can’t be shut down,” Costello said. Several broadcasters, including CBS, ABC, NBC and Hulu have blocked their content from appearing on Google TV for example. (Check out NYT tech columnist David Pogue’s devastating review of Google TV here.)
Currently Orb TV does not have any content partners since anything that is available on the user’s computer can be viewed on a TV, including Netflix if the user is a subscriber. ”We do talk to content guys like Netflix and Amazon,” said Costello. “But we don’t have to.”
(Photo: Orb TV)