Orb is Free
Full disclosure -- if you missed it earlier, I have been working for Orb Networks for the past few months. But I felt it was worth a post on IP Inferno to mention that the Orb Media product is now free, as TV is the next industry (after Voice) which will be entirely transformed by IP -- and Orb is a good example of how this is happening.
If you aren't familiar with Orb -- the basic idea is to use a consumer's own home PC as the streaming source to deliver video, audio, photos, and live TV (if the PC has a tuner card) to any device that a user has, anywhere they may be (as long as they have an IP connection). The software cleverly re-encodes the data for the appropriate device size, player type, and connection speed, creating the best possible experience for the consumer from a cell phone at 40K to an office PC at 1.5 MB.
When we launched the service at CES we announced that there would be a $10 per month subscription fee. The primary concern was that the cost of providing this service would be so high that we would bankrupt ourselves (quickly) if we didn't charge a fee. Three months later we have enough data (and enough product improvements) to know that it will cost only pennies per month per user to provide the service. This allows us to use an advertising and premium services model to support free use of the core Orb experience.
Our core philosophy is simple -- if you own it, either because you created it or because you have already paid for it, then you should be able to enjoy it anywhere, anytime, on any device. Orb makes it possible.
Orb creates this fascinating new thing -- the ability for a consumer to become the rupert murdoch of their own entertainment universe. Mixing personal content, purchased content, and content streams into a personal media portal that can be accessed any time, any place. This will accelerate a trend already firmly underway -- consumers moving away from the package broadcast entertainment offerings such as TV and on to an experience that they have complete control over -- IP delivery of rich media content anyplace, anytime, on any device.