Friday Update I – Video Communications

I just reinstalled SightSpeed on my “rebuilt” laptop and am always impressed with the video quality. It is reminiscent of the days about 25 years ago when the first color monitors became available for the mini-computer-based instrumentation I was selling at the time. My budget-limited customers (mostly university based researchers) thought they could get away with budgeting for a black and white monitor until they actually saw the color monitor … it took all of two minutes to change their mind once they realized the features color added. Somehow the additional funds for color magically appeared quite quickly. (I won’t mention the price they paid for simple monitors at that time!) When you see a SightSpeed video its quality just hits you instantly as being the benchmark for video communications. And this week PC Magazine thought so also.

While it is a challenge to market in a space containing the GYMAS-five, Peter Csathy seems to be ringing up the wins by working with partners who can take advantage of SightSpeed’s video messaging functionality. Two of note: a deal with MTV who is using SightSpeed on their Total Request Live offering to bring viewers into the show; SightSpeed is also making its debut in politics as a campaigning tool. Would be interesting to see if my university colleagues Michael Ignatieff and Bob Rae start to use SightSpeed in their tight run for the leadership of Canada’s Liberal party this fall where they need to approach 4500 delegates spread across 4,000 miles.

In fairness I need to point out that PC Magazine makes a point of how Skype video is more associated with ad hoc “phone” communications as opposed to SightSpeed’s video messaging approach. Great to have two players in the game where one sets the benchmark for one particular feature that can be leveraged for targeted messaging while the other provides a total real time communications platform.

Other commentary on SightSpeed: Jon Arnold, Ken Camp and check out SightSpeed CEO’s video message on their implementation of peer-to-peer communications.

Turning to another aspect of video, SlingMedia announced a family of three new products this week:

  • SlingBox Tuner for those who still receive their TV “over-the-air:
  • SlingBox A/V for those with cable/satellite service and PVR’s
  • SlingBox Pro for those who want to use HD signals or access multiple devices (say, cable box and DVD player)

A key feature of the new products is the enhanced resolution – from the previous 640×240 to 640×480 for local network connections; it remains at a very acceptable 320x 240 for remote connections. Any hope for Skype integration in the future to add a personal audio channel with the viewer of the “home” TV setup?

About Jim Courtney

Bringing over thirty years' experience in the sales, marketing and management of cutting edge technology businesses.

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