TouchMyApps » Eric Hung http://www.touchmyapps.com All Things iPhone and iPad for those who like to Touch. iOS App reviews, News, New Apps, Price Drops and App Gone Free Mon, 14 Apr 2014 11:45:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.7.3 OrbLive in Review – Live TV on your iPhone/iPod Touch http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/03/29/orblive-in-review-%e2%80%93-live-tv-on-your-iphoneipod-touch/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/03/29/orblive-in-review-%e2%80%93-live-tv-on-your-iphoneipod-touch/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2009 19:04:25 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=8007 We’re always looking for more cool and fun things to do with our iPhone. I think I’ve found my latest fix for my iPhone addiction – live streaming TV. That is what OrbLive 2.0 for iPhone does. The makers of the popular streaming software have brought the experience to the most popular mobile device on … Read more]]>

orblive1We’re always looking for more cool and fun things to do with our iPhone. I think I’ve found my latest fix for my iPhone addiction – live streaming TV. That is what OrbLive 2.0 for iPhone does. The makers of the popular streaming software have brought the experience to the most popular mobile device on the market.

App Description:

OrbLive is a breakthrough application that provides a new way to enjoy your media on the iPhone or touch.

The traditional iPod approach is to download and store (sync) a limited part of your media collection to your iPod so that you can carry it around in your pocket for playback while you are mobile.

OrbLive changes the paradigm transforming the iPhone and touch into far more powerful media players by utilizing their intrinsic networking capabilities. Instead of being limited to what is stored on the device, OrbLive allows you to stream all your media experiences from your home PC to your iPhone/touch whenever you are network connected. Don’t carry it with you. Connect.

Orb has some benefits to its main competitor – SlingBox. For one, the Orb service is free (the iPhone app is available at a nominal cost). Orb will also work with your TV tuner on your computer, whereas SlingBox is a stand-alone box. This can be beneficial if you use your computer regularly to watch TV, otherwise with the SlingBox you will need to split your TV connection.

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Besides streaming live TV, arguably its most popular feature, Orb also allows you to share all your music, pictures, documents online. It can be retrieved by logging onto your Orb account on any computer, or via the iPhone application. The stream can be optimized for Edge, 3G or Wifi depending on your coverage. I noticed very little interruptions and the video quality was very smooth.

Orb can be relatively easy to set up. If you run into problems, that’s another story – more on that later. First of all you will need to have a TV tuner set up and running on your PC (Mac users have to run Orb on Fusion or VirtualBox). If you receive cable through a set top box or have a satellite, you will need an IR blaster to change the channels on your set top box. Unfortunately, while Orb is very useful and fun, its support and compatibility issues leave more to be desired. Not all IR blasters are compatible. My Hauppauge WinTV 1600HD IR blaster was not, and I had to purchase USB-IRT to control my cable box.

orblive3Unfortunately once I installed the USB-IRT device, Orb stopped streaming TV to my iPhone. I got a message saying “Orb could not find a suitable codec…”. I knew this wasn’t true as it had worked fine before. Orb has discontinued all technical support and instead asks users to help each other via their online forum. After much troubleshooting, I discovered the problem was solved once I downloaded TV guide listings properly. Why this would trigger a codec error is beyond me. Orb seemed to be made to be “too simple” to allow proper troubleshooting of issues.

My other problem was with TV listing guides. Without the TV guide, Orb will not work and will trigger a codec error message. Canadian listings would not come up. Instead a work-around hack had to be employed in order to download the Canadian listings. This solution was discovered after hours of sifting through the online support forum. Once the listings worked, the codec error went away.

orblive4Overall, I would say the pain of setting up Orb was worth the benefits. I can now watch TV anywhere I have 3G or WiFi coverage. On my international travels, its nice to keep up with news back home, and documents on my home PC can be retrieved easily. Orb comes in a free limited function version (which doesn’t let you change as many channels) and a full featured version for $9.99. If Orb had better technical support, or compatibility it would get a better rating. Unfortunately the problems which I and others have experienced are difficult to ignore. Nonetheless this shouldn’t discourage you from experiencing this very nifty product.

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App Summary
Title: OrbLive (v2.0.9.18) Developer: Orb Networks
Price: $9.99 App Size: 3.5 MB
  • Cheaper than SlingBox
  • Live TV will put your data plan to good use
  • Retrieve music, videos anywhere in the world
  • Free version to try out
  • I got to learn a lot through all my troubles
  • Non-existent technical support
  • Compatibility issues with IR blasters
  • Canadian TV listings require a hack
  • Error messages displayed are not accurate making troubleshooting difficult

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ATC 4.0 in Review – You Gotta Keep’em Separated http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/02/27/atc-40-in-review-%e2%80%93-you-gotta-keep%e2%80%99em-separated/ http://www.touchmyapps.com/2009/02/27/atc-40-in-review-%e2%80%93-you-gotta-keep%e2%80%99em-separated/#comments Sat, 28 Feb 2009 00:47:24 +0000 http://www.touchmyapps.com/?p=5735 Ever wondered what the most stressful job in the world feels like? ATC 4.0 introduces iPhone gamers to the world of Air Traffic Control. The role of a enroute air traffic controller consists of sitting in dark radar rooms monitoring the flow of traffic, they issue instructions to follow headings, warn pilots of conflicting traffic, … Read more]]>

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Ever wondered what the most stressful job in the world feels like? ATC 4.0 introduces iPhone gamers to the world of Air Traffic Control. The role of a enroute air traffic controller consists of sitting in dark radar rooms monitoring the flow of traffic, they issue instructions to follow headings, warn pilots of conflicting traffic, and clear aircraft for arrivals and departures. At times, it may feel like a video game….or does it?

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Cloudy skies keep aircraft hidden.

ATC 4.0 boasts an impressive 49 levels leaving the player well occupied with the challenge. The first levels are relatively straightforward: The screen has 4 destinations (A,B,C,D) which aircraft must be guided to. You must ensure that a conflict (i.e. two airplanes occupying the same space at the same time – crash!) does not occur. If you don’t pay attention to a plane, it will continue to fly off your screen till it becomes “lost”. If either a plane becomes lost, or a collision occurs, game is over.

atc40_2The next levels get progressively more challenging. With the addition of an airport in the higher levels, you not only have to handle enroute aircraft, but also arrivals and departures. Arrival aircraft are much harder to handle than enroute or departures where direct waypoints can be issued. Arrivals must be aligned with the runway, thus involve more waypoints, and more attention. Do not become too fixated on one aircraft; otherwise you’ll be surprised by a collision somewhere on your screen. An aural alarm warns you of impending conflicts and “lost” aircraft. Aircraft types range from general aviation private planes to airliners, as well as high speed fighters.

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Conflict! This is what you don't wanna see!

Additional scenarios later on make the game more interesting and challenging. Computer failures will make the waypoints unreliable. Hurricane force winds blow aircraft off-course. Presidential visits will create restricted “no-fly” zones on your screen. Night and deteriorating weather will hamper your visibility. Aircraft on fire must land before they crash. And so on…

While ATC 4.0 is a fun game, its control could use some tweaks. When issuing vectors to aircraft, it is easy to issue the wrong vector due to accidently selecting or deselecting an aircraft. In tense moments such as trying to resolve a possible collision, this wastes valuable time. One feature that would be nice to have would be the ability to keep planes at certain altitude so that you can use vertical separation – you know, like in real life. Another feature I’d like to see in a future version would be the ability to tell individual aircraft to speed up or slow down – in the current version you can only control the speed for all planes at once (in realty this only speeds up or slows down game-play).

ATC 4.0 is absolutely a great addition to any iPhone. It’s enough to keep you occupied while you wait for your flight. While it’s definitely not meant as a realistic simulation by any means, you’ll learn to appreciate the challenges air traffic controllers face (As a pilot myself, I certainly do!).

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App Summary
Title: ATC 4.0 (v 1.0) Developer: C3 Software
Price: $2.99 App Size: 4.0 MB
  • Challenging scenarios
  • Allows you to save your progress
  • Enough levels to keep you hooked
  • Controls are a little too sensitive

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