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CES: Get Orb software on your Blu-ray player with $20 disc

Orb has announced a new $20 disc that brings its streaming media software to Blu-ray players.


LAS VEGAS--Recently Orb has been jumping into the hardware business with the Orb MP-1 music streamer and Orb TV video streamer, but the company's announcement today is back on the software side.

Orb is releasing its media-streaming software on a disc designed to be used by Blu-ray players. Simply pop the disc into the Blu-ray player and you'll gain access to the Orb software. The disc is compatible with virtually every Blu-ray player that has a network connection, as it uses the BD-Java standard.

As with other Orb products, you'll need a smartphone and a computer running the Orb software. The computer is needed to transcode video content, but the upside is you get access to free content from the Web that's not usually available to stream to home theater devices, like Hulu (not Hulu Plus) and network TV content.

Of course, anyone who's dealt with the Netflix discs that were used on the Wii and PS3 knows that it can be kind of a pain to use a separate disc for streaming. Still, it's not a bad workaround if you're a fan of Orb's software, especially if you have an older Blu-ray player with limited streaming-media services. If you haven't tried Orb's video-streaming software, we had mixed feelings in our full review of the Orb TV, but the company is promising fixes in the coming months to deal with many of the issues we noted.

Orb says the disc will be available for $20 in February and we're looking forward to giving it a spin.