SightSpeed Builds Its Business Approach

Ever since it was launched at what turned out to be the last Comdex a few years ago, SightSpeed has always impressed with its video technology leadership. They have established a position as a leader in video messaging and, more recently, took feedback from small business users to build a business video conferencing service complete with an administration panel. Its key feature is the ability to host four-participant video conferences. SightSpeed also includes voice calling services with the usual free VoIP calls to other SightSpeed users and low cost tolled calls to the PSTN.

Recently, although they failed to identify it via the traditional ".x" version numbering as an upgrade, SightSpeed recently announced they were offering improved service quality through engineering improvements related to the underlying packet handling infrastructure. This upgrade comes automatically when you initially launch a previously installed SightSpeed. However SightSpeed still requires 1.5 Mbps Internet upload connections to operate at the 640 x 480 VGA resolution achieved by Skype’s High Quality Video at a minimum 384 kbps upload speed. And whereas download speeds on most consumer (cable and DSL) broadband services can range from 3 Mbps upwards, upload speeds on these services tend to cap out around 1 Mbps. SightSpeed still has barriers to cross to achieve the psychologically impressive video performance of Skype’s High Quality Video on consumer grade Internet connections. Frankly it is the quality of Skype’s High Quality Video which has driven me to want to use video on most of my Skype calls. Crisp, sharp, no graininess and even at full screen little, if any, pixelation.

One readily observable difference related to this announcement is the availability of 9-participant video conferencing as a feature of the SightSpeed for Business service. My major question even about 4-party video conferencing is how many talking heads do you want to see on a laptop screen? Desktop sharing and full web conferencing in a conference call has priority for me over the ability to see the other call participants.

On the purely commercial side of SightSpeed, a few days ago Dell launched a new Studio series of prosumer laptops that incorporate a new Dell Video Chat service powered by SightSpeed. Having observed the popularity and acceptance of the Mac’s iChat service, this has to be Dell’s response to that service. While pre-installed on Dell’s new Studio laptops, others can install access the service via a download. I took the time to check it out. It turns out to be the previous SightSpeed version 6 service’s client with a new skin and offers to upgrade to other SightSpeed premium video and voice services. This will certainly broaden and propel the consumer introduction to video calling as Dell expands its Video Chat service onto other platforms.

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About Jim Courtney

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