Make Wii a Media Center with Orb

If you own a Wii, then you owe it to yourself to make the absolute most out of it. Thanks to an excellent program called Orb, you can use your Wii as the center of your online multimedia universe.

A few weeks ago, Nintendo released the Wii Opera Browser. Immediately, internet video and Flash games were accessible on home televisions across the globe. Though some may have a few gripes about it, especially it’s oversized navigation bar, no one can argue that it isn’t awesome.

So, that’s great for watching videos from YouTube… but what about your files? What about the MP3s, movies, and pictures on your computer? With Orb, your computer is at your fingertips from anywhere in the world on any PC - and yes, even Wii.

Setting up Orb wasn’t easy for me. My difficulties came when I could get pictures to work but I couldn’t get any music or video - the stream was in a perpetual load. Here, I’ve detailed how I did it, step by step, in hopes that my experience will help others.

    Step 1 - Setting Up Orb

  1. Download the latest version of Orb from orb.com.
  2. Install Orb using the default settings.
  3. Upon pressing the Finish button in the installer, Orb will run on your computer. When prompted for a user name and password, create a new one if you don’t already have one.
  4. Click on the Orb icon that appears in the System Tray and then select Configuration.
  5. The first tab is for configuring internet TV - adjust that if you need to, then head over to the Media tab to make sure Orb knows which folders our videos, music, and pictures reside in.
  6. The My Documents folders are selected by default for Video, Photos, Music, and Documents. If you’re like me and have archives on an external hard drive, just hit Add and navigate to the correct folders as necessary.
    Step 2 - Setting Up Port 80
    This is where things get a little tricky if you’re not too computer savvy. You’ll need to allow access from your firewall to Port 80. Don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it may seem. I use McAfee for my personal firewall and have included screenshots below. For those using another firewall, you’ll probably be able to figure out what to do once you read these instructions; if not, contact your firewall manufacturer.

  1. Double click on the big M icon in your system tray to open McAfee SecurityCenter. (For non-McAfee users, you may see your firewall icon as a couple of green bars moving up and down, or a shield, or something else that may or may not represent “protection” or “traffic”.)
  2. Click on Personal Firewall Plus, then Options.
    orb-firewall-1
  3. Click on System Services.
    orb-firewall-2
  4. Scroll down the list of ports until you see Web Server (HTTP) Port 80. Check that box and hit OK.
    orb-firewall-3
  5. Close the other two McAfee windows - you don’t need ‘em anymore.
    Step 3 - Log In On Your Wii

  1. Open your Wii Browser.
  2. Go to mycast.orb.com.
  3. Log in.
  4. Click on a song and let the good times roll. Do the happy dance, if you’re so inclined. (I did the happy dance in my head - my feet aren’t that coordinated.)

If you’re still having Orb issues, make sure you’re using version 2.00.0814 or newer; check your Settings from your Wii to make sure you’re streaming in Flash (link: https://mycast.orb.com/orb/html/settings.html?ts=toolsStream&goBack=1); then, check out the Orb support forums.

I really hope this helps at least one person in the universe. If this does help (or even if it doesn’t), please take a few seconds to leave a comment below.

17 Comments on “Make Wii a Media Center with Orb”

  1. Sorry to all who’ve left a comment here, to find that it’s now gone. I had to change servers, which resulted in some data loss. :(

  2. Thanks, this is awsome, nice tutorial.

  3. Hey dean, I have taken your advice yet I just get that loading option when I try and stream video through th wii.

    photos work fine.

    no joy with my itunes library, or any video.

    I have mcafee but not the firewall, opened windows firewall port 80.

    Have set the settings through the wii for flash to stream

    Nothing doin

    can you help, forums do not give any help…

    Cheers

  4. Are you using at least version 2.00.0814? An older version could be the cause of your woes.

    If that’s not to blame, try disabling your firewall altogether and try to stream audio/video on your Wii. If that works, then perhaps there’s something else you need to do to “truly” open port 80 with Windows Firewall?

    Who’s your ISP? If you have Comcast, you can download McAfee antivirus and firewall for free - http://www.comcast.net/security/?CM.src=top. I highly recommend McAfee firewall vs Windows, as it seems to give you more control (and I’ve always thought it funny that Microsoft wants the program to protect Windows to be Windows).

    Let me know if any of this helps.

  5. Hmm even when I turn off my firewall altogether, I get a warning from Orb that port 80 is being blocked… My guess is that it’s in use by another program, but I wouldn’t know which one… I tried shutting down all programs except Orb, and it doesn’t help…
    I also tried typing in other ports in Orb, and then I get a message saying that DirectStream is working, but my videos still don’t work on the Wii, so I guess it needs to be specifically port 80…
    Argh!!

  6. Hmm… perhaps disabling the firewall is not the way? Are you on a private network, like a college or business network? Perhaps there’s something you have to do with your router as well? Good luck, let me know if any of that works out for ya.

  7. Kudos to Dean for this wonderful product. i dont run a firewall on my serving computer (probably a bad call on my part) so all i had to do was open 80 on the router, and follow the instructions above. a little tinkering with the options and im sure ill get it working great. the video on movies is somewhat choppy yet, and im looking for a way to go fullscreen to get rid of the stupid nav. bar, but other than that, WONDERFUL app.
    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU

  8. Just to clarify, I didn’t create Orb. I’m glad you like it though! Spread the word!

  9. Hi Dean

    just wondering is it poaaible for the Wii to stream RMVB files from the Pc using Orb..if yes how can this be done?? Thanks a million…

  10. Honestly? I have no idea. I’ve never even heard of this file format before. I know it won’t stream in RMVB but, since you asked, I’m sure it would be worth the effort to check just in case it does work.

  11. Hmm, I’m having the same issue with the spinny load thing just going on forever on audio and video.

    I was using ZoneAlarm, so I shut that down completely. No luck. I then accessed my router and opened ports 80 and 81. No luck.

    I tried making my settings Windows Media Player (.asx) but that just streams the code to me not the video. Switched back to Flash and just get the spinny thing still.

    I just downloaded Orb about an hour ago so it should be the newest version I would hope :)… Hmm I’ll keep trouble-shooting. Maybe Windows Firewall is turned on and I don’t know it…? hmm I’m only on Service Pack 1 though I don’t think I have it. oh well.

    thanks for the help!

  12. For those still experiencing problems, check out your router’s settings. I use a Linksys router, so I could go to http://192.168.1.1/Forward.htm and enter 80 and 81 in the Start and End fields, respectively, followed by 1 in the IP Address field (though this may change depending on the IP of the computer you’re using). Once that’s enabled, and your firewall has been properly tweaked, those ports hopefully won’t have anything else blocking the data transmission. Hope that helps.

  13. Hey I have everything all hooked up and flowing, but the video quality is terrible and its all jumpy and unwatchable. What can I do to remedy this situation?

  14. Dean I’ve had a slight problem with Orb.
    My network problems were solved almost instantly (I rarely have problems with my network). I’ve gotten Orb to work on my laptop and cellphone. When trying to access it on the Wii it begins to run the movie and then freezes. At this point it requires a hard reboot. Any idea on settings it may be?

    Devin.

  15. Sorry, I’m not sure. Maybe try to compress your movie file on your computer to see if it helps the Wii buffer the movie easier, without rebooting?

  16. Hey Dean. Thanks for the tips - I have my wii connected with my PC (Orb 2.0) and I have it working great but the movies (mostly Divx) stop playing at exactly 71:34 every time. This is quit odd but consistently so. I have an overclocked 2.0 Ghz with 504MB Ram, win Xp Pro sp2. Bellsouth (ATT) DSL (Westell Proline 611 Modem), and a Linksys wrt54g wireless router. Have you heard of this kind of problem before? I know I shouldn’t be able to run it at all but by buffer is fast and my video is not choppy. Can anyone help me? Peace from NC

  17. Sorry Karl, I’m not sure. This is just a guess, but it sounds like it MIGHT be a problem with the Wii, as it only has so much internal memory before it’s basically full. I think that even when streaming, the Wii can only stream so much before it has to “clear” the cache, which it has to stop your movie to do. Again, that’s just a guess, but it kinda makes sense. Then again, it could be something weird with Orb itself. Have you tried a smaller bitrate (more compressed) version of the same movie to see if it still stops at 71:34? Good luck.

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    Hi. I'm Dean. Welcome to Deanish. You may have seen me frequent such sites as 4cr, Dtoid, finetune, Y! Answers, and other such entities on the interwebs. Here, you can read more about me; check out my pictures; and/or browse Deanish by tags.
     
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