Orb Software, developers of the Orb streaming media software and various hardware boxes have taken their software to the Blu-Ray disc, with the forthcoming launch of the Orb BR disc. Orb will rival traditional STB offerings such as Apple TV and Boxee Box, with their innovative disc alternative.
The Orb BR disc will be released in February for $19.99 and be compatible with internet connected and capable Blu-Ray players such as the PS3 and will allow for media streaming from networked PCs as well as access to Netflix, Hulu Plus, Comedy Central, Amazon VoD, and YouTube.
The Orb Blu-Ray disc marks a first in Blu-ray software, as it is expected to be the first widely-available app for Blu-ray which is distributed on a disc. Blu-ray as a standard builds upon older platforms such as DVD, with more robust Java ME software support. Combining Java ME with the built-in H.264 decoding capability enables the Orb BD disc to display a wide range of content from the Internet.
The key to this process, is the Orb software which runs on end-users Mac or PC. The software allows for the computer to post-process Internet content which is not possible to be directly fed to the device via H.264. This ensures that all the Blu-ray player receives is content that is, essentially, the same exact content that would be fed from a standard BD-ROM disc. The BD-J (or Blu-Ray Java disc) will also enable software updates to be pulled from the Internet, and stored in the device’s RAM.
Orb also benefits from built-in Blu-ray storage pools. Configuration data, such as a user’s Orb login, can be optionally stored on the device, ensuring that a user does not have to re-login each time the Blu-ray player is rebooted, or when the ORB Blu-ray disc is removed from a Blu-ray device. Nearly all Blu-ray players support BD-J, thus ensuring that all a player requires, is an active Internet connection for the software to work.