Orb Setup Guide (with Nintendo Wii Playback Instructions)

Original Page URL: http://www.digital-digest.com/articles/Orb_Setup_Guide_Wii_Playback_page1.html
Date Added: Jun 17, 2007
Date Updated: Jun 17, 2007

Orb is a media sharing software that is somewhat unique. Instead of sharing your media between your own network of computers, Orb allows you to share you media with anyone with an Internet connection (or just yourself, through a user login system). You can share audio, video, pictures and even video from your capture/TV card, as well as documents. Everything can be accessed through a web interface, and you can even use Orb's Flash based media player to remotely stream your shared audio/video/broadcasts.

Because of Orb's use of a web interface and Flash based player, this opens up the possibility to use Orb to stream your media to your Nintendo Wii. The Nintendo Wii includes a web browser (Opera based - get it for free before the end of June 2007 through the Wii shop), and it supports Flash based media playback, and so, this means you can turn your Wii into a media hub all using free software.

The first part of this guide shows you how to set up Orb on your computer to share your media - you should have some basic understanding of your own computer network/router (eg. what port redirection is, and how to open ports in your firewall - some links and instructions will be provided in any case). You will then be able to access all your media online. The second part of this guide (really short and easy) will then show you how to use your Wii to access your Orb shared media.

Software you'll need (all freeware):

Hardware you'll need:

  • Optional: Nintendo Wii console

Step 1: Optional: Pre-Orb Installation

Before you install Orb, it is necessary to ensure that you are capable of playing back most media files on the computer that you are sharing the media from - Orb will rely on this ability to playback media files to open them, convert and then stream the video/audio to it's Flash based player. In most cases, you probably have a good working system that plays most video files, so you can skip this entire step. But if you find that Orb has problems opening/playing various file formats, then please come back to this page and follow the instructions here to find a generic solution to most problems.

Ok, first you may need to uninstall all your existing codec packs and codecs and use K-Lite Mega Codecs Pack. This includes, but is not limited to, DivX, XviD, any codec pack, ffdshow ... everything. Don't worry about messing up playback, because the next step is to download and install the K-Lite Mega Codec Pack.

Start the installation process, and K-Lite will detect more codecs and filters on your system that it recommends you remove - do so and uninstall all the software it asks you (it will replace them with a set of decoders, mostly based on ffdshow).

K-Lite Mega Codec Pack: Recommended Uninstall

When you get to the "Select Components" screen of the installation, select the "Default" profile.

K-Lite Mega Codec Pack: Default profile

Scroll down a bit to the "DirectShow video filter" section, and for both the "XviD" and "DivX options , select "ffdshow" to use it as the default decoder. You should probably check the "H.264" checkbox and also select "ffdshow" as the coder (see screenshot below).

K-Lite Mega Codec Pack: XviD/DivX ffdshow

Scroll down to the "VFW video codecs" section and uncheck "XviD and "DivX" codec options.

K-Lite Mega Codec Pack: Deselect DivX/XviD

You can leave the other options alone if you wish, since the default profile will cover most types of playback (mainly using ffdshow and Media Player Classic). Press "Next" on in the installer until you get to the "Select Additional Tasks" section, and select which formats you want to use Media Player Classic to play, or deselect to keep using your current player.

K-Lite Mega Codec Pack: Additional Tasks

As for the other options on this screen, if you don't know or don't care, then leave the other options as it is and continue with the installation process. Once it is done, you can test the playback of your DivX/XviD files, and they should play (in WMP or MPC).

For some extra checks, or if your DivX/XviD files no longer plays, do the following: From the start menu folder that the K-Lite installer created, select the "Configuration" -> "ffdshow" -> "video decoder configuration" program. Make sure your screen looks something like the screenshot below, specifically the "XviD" and "DivX 4/5/6" settings (set to "libavcodec"). Press the "Apply" button, close the configuration window and try playback again of your DivX/XviD file - it should play now.

ffdshow: video decoder configuration

Step 2: Orb Installation and Setup

Download the Orb package that suits your geography and the start the installation program. It is pretty straight forward and won't take too long. Once it finishes, it will open the Orb setup wizard.

Orb: Setup Wizard

Here, you can create a new Orb account or login to an existing one. Do so and continue on. You will then be asked what kind of media you want to share - as the page says, you can change these options after installation too.

Orb: Setup Wizard

Continue on with the setup and it will ask you to configure your TV/DTV card, if you selected to share your "TV" in the previous step. Orb supports a variety of analogue and digital TV cards, and you can use the included channel scanner function to scan and save your channels. Personally, I had no problems with my analogue TV card, although I did have problems scanning with my digital TV card.

Orb: Setup Wizard

Continue on and the wizard should be finished. Once you click on "Finish", Orb will start (look for the tray icon, starting at red and then turning green once Orb has started). If the Orb tray icon is not green, right click on the icon and select "Start Orb".

Orb Tray Icon

Right click on the Orb tray icon and select "Configuration" - this opens up the Orb setup window. The "TV" section allows you to configure TV sharing options. You can click on the "Set up TV signal and provider" button to return to the section of the Orb setup wizard where you scanned your TV card for the channels. You can also specify a different directory to store recorded TV programs.

Orb Configuration: TV

On to the "Media" section. Here, you can specify the sharing folders - any media files listed in these folders will be shared using Orb.

Orb Configuration: Media

Now on to the "Advanced" section. Here, you can configure several options, we'll go through some of the important ones.

Orb Configuration: Advanced

The "Start Orb when Windows starts" when enabled will start Orb sharing whenever Windows starts.

"Enable UPnP A/V MediaServer" will tell Orb to act as a UPnP media server - much like Windows Media Connect (used by Zune/Windows Media Player's media sharing functions) or TVersity, a UPnP server allows compatible devices (eg. the Xbox 360) to access shared files.

"Use UPnP for DirectStream" - this option, and DirectStream, will be covered a little bit later in the "DirectStream Port Setup" section below. Basically, if your router supports UPnP (most do) and Windows has UPnP enabled, Orb can automatically setup port redirection for your computer. Otherwise, you have to do it manually through your router's config. Again, more on this in the "DirectStream Port Setup" section below.

Click on the "Codecs" button and select a MPEG-2 codec to use. I like to use "ffdshow", if you have it installed.

Orb Configuration: Codecs

Finally on to the "Users" section. Here, you can manage your Orb accounts - you can have multiple Orb accounts per computer, handy for sharing different set of files with different people. We will now go into more detail about DirectStream port setup.

DirectStream Port Setup

Normally, Orb works by first connecting the sharing computer (server) to the Orb streaming server to upload the media, and then the Orb client would then connect to this server to get the content. This will slow down the connection considerably, and unnecessarily so if both your server and client are on the same network. It's going all the way around the world just to get to the next room. DirectStream works by directly connecting server and client if they are on the same network - but to do this, several ports will need to be set up/opened on the network so access can be granted.

The simplest method is to use UPnP to set up port redirection - if you have UPnP enabled on your router and UPnP enabled in Windows, then Orb will automatically set up the needed ports. To enable UPnP on your router, please refer to your router's instructions. To enable UPnP on Windows, please have a look at the "Enabling UPnP in Windows XP" section on this page.

If for some reason you are unable to set up UPnP, you will have to manually set up the port redirection through your router's config. The instructions for doing this vary from router to router, but this page gives you good instructions, as well as links to individual set up pages for different brands/models of routers. If you are manually configuring ports, please disable the "Use UPnP for DirectStream" option in the Orb configuration's "Advanced" section (see above).

You can check if the DirectSteam ports are setup properly by going into the Orb configuration's "Advanced" section and clicking on the "Check" button underneath the ports. If you are finding it difficult to set up the ports, you can try changing the port numbers here as well (eg. changing from 80, which is a very common port often used by other apps, to something like 8080 might help).

Step 3: Connecting to Orb

We will now test Orb's media sharing capabilities. You should try this on another computer, but you can equally do it on the same computer the Orb server is running on.

Go to http://mycast.orb.com/ and login. Click on the "Open Application" button at the top and then click on the "Control Panel" option. From the drop down menu, select "General".

Orb Control Panel: General

Here, you can select which type of media streaming to use. I find the "Orb Flash Player" the best, since it does not require you to install any additional media streaming software such as Windows Media Player or Real Media Player. Click "Apply" and "OK" to close the control panel.

From the "Open Application" button again, you can now browse through your shared media, and once you select the media, you can use the "Play" button at the top to play the media or the "Download" button to download it.

Orb Controls

Orb has a lot of other features (eg. remote file uploading, online video support, blog media sharing), and it will take some exploring to figure all of them out. This guide will end here - the next page deals with connecting to Orb on the Nintendo Wii.

Step 4: Connecting to Orb on the Wii

Assuming your Wii is already connected to the Internet, first download the Wii Internet Channel if you haven't done so already. Go to the Wii shop, Wii Software section and then select the Wii Internet channel - the download is free until the end of June 2007, or 500 Wii points afterwards.

Wii Shop: Wii Internet Channel

Start the Internet Channel and type in the address (use the "WWW" button down below) "mycast.orb.com" and press "OK" - the Orb login page should now open. Enter your username and password and use the remember option so that you don't have to login everytime (it might also be a good idea to bookmark this page).

Wii Internet Channel: Entering URL

Once you enter Orb, you will be presented with a simplified interface designed for Wii, and you can now access your media and play them back through the Wii.

Wii: Orb Media

Simple and effective, and we're done :)

Got more questions? Post them in our Wii Forum and get them answered by other expert users.

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