Hauppauge's TV Anywhere promises free mobile TV

Computers, Personal video players, TVs

have officially launched their "TV Anywhere" PC USB2 device, which when combined with Orb software turns any home PC with access to a standard TV aerial into a PVR which can be accessed remotely over the Internet using your broadband connection.

It’s designed to detect the connection quality of the mobile device you’re watching TV remotely on, and compresses the video appropriately.

Though the hardware and Orb software that receives and streams the signal is designed for a Windows PC, the device you watch it on can be pretty much any graphical device that can connect to a website, including other PCs and Macs, mobile phones and PDAs. Of course, it’s only free if you can get free access to the web, and if you exceed your home broadband bandwidth  then you could get cut off or charged (I’ve never looked into upload broadband limits, which is what this will use up)

The TV Anywhere device (when used with the Orb software) will stream any digital content on the PC over the web, including photos and music.

What’s not completely clear is how the recording is set up. Streaming
live TV is fine, but I am only presuming that it’s possible to remotely
set the PC to record shows – that would be really good.

Looking at the ports on the unit, it’s billed as a USB2 unit but looks like it will also accept USB1.1 connections. It’ll take TV and FM inputs, so presumably you can stream analogue radio if you really want to. There’s an IR receiver, stereo audio in, and composite and S-Video in.

At present, TV Anywhere will work with any standard aerial input, so
you can easily get the five terrestrial channels, and if your Freeview
box can output its signal on coaxial aerial, you could probably access
all of those too. Hauppauge have said they’ll be releasing a dedicated
Freeview digital version of the USB stick in the future.

TV Anywhere is available now, priced £99.99, from Dixons online, PC
World and Currys. We’ll give it a test run soon and let you know how
well it works.

Update: In the comments Brad has said that it’s not the box that streams – it works with the Orb software and you could do it without the unit though it comes bundled with it. And of course if you just want to watch TV at home on your PC and record/timeshift it, this unit will do that anyway.

Andy Merrett
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  • This device doesn’t actually do the streaming itself, like a Slingbox or Hava would. Rather, it’s a USB TV tuner, which allows you to record shows on your PC. The streaming bit comes from Orb Networks (www.orb.com), which provides free software allowing you to stream video. You don’t need a Hauppauge product to use Orb, but the WinTV-PVR USB2 comes bundled with it.

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