The Engadget Interview: Jim Behrens, CEO of Orb Networks

The Engadget Interview: Jim Behrens, CEO of Orb Networks – Media PCs –

What’s the consumer experience like for watching video over the Internet with Orb?

Well, I can send you a list of testimonials if you’d like. It’s actually very good. It depends on your expectations. If you expect that you’ll get HD quality over the Web, you’ll have to have a very good uplink broadband from your house to do that. Most people don’t. In my neighborhood, the only broadband available is a Comcast shared-cable modem. Download is 3 megabits but upload is limited to about 450 Kb. In typical TV, with standard compression, about 300 Kb gives you the resolution of a standard TV set today. What I can watch on my cellphone or PDA anywhere else in the world is equivalent to watching a standard television broadcast. On my laptop, with a 1024 x 760 display, I can get a quarter of that screen and see a reasonable picture.

In terms of audio, though, 128kb is basically CD quality. So, slide shows, photos, music are all no different than you’d get right in your own house.