I’ve just been reading about a new feature in Windows 7 RC – Remote Media Streaming. This reminds me of Orb which I’ve previously used with some success on my Media Centre. I can still remember being at TechReady (an internal Microsoft conference) in Seattle when, during an idle moment, I decided to see if I could connect to the Media Center back home to watch an episode of Top Gear on my iPAQ. To my amazement, it worked remarkably well.
Orb would open the recorded media file on the MCE machine and re-encode on the fly based on the available bandwidth (and probably some other factors) giving you a streaming endpoint. Windows Media Player on the device would just hook up to the stream and start playing.
There were at least two downsides  the MCE machine had to be permanently on (the wake up functionality never really worked)  you had to open up a port(s) on the MCE machine to accept incoming connections thereby increasing your attack surface.
It’s a long time since I’ve used Orb and I’m sure their app has changed dramatically. Even back then I was impressed but it did have its problems. Sufficient problems that it didn’t become part of my “must-have MCE apps” so someday, after one of the many rebuilds my MCE has had, it just didn’t make the cut.
Now, if that functionality is in the OS and it’s reliable (Orb wasn’t always, for me) and it overcomes the other issues, this would be fantastic. I have a single device (the Omnia) that would be a great client for watching video / listening to music streamed from my Media Center.
I’d never spend a dull moment in an airport again!