Page 2 of 4: Orb Installation and Setup

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).



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