With the release of SightSpeed 6 Garrett Smith (Smith on VoIP) has made what I would call a positioning post: "Ten Reasons to Use SightSpeed". Last week I had a post about future business models for SlingMedia. And Skype has been continuously upgrading its video quality and capability (such as by adding Mac support).
But they each have their technology and feature strengths; yet, in many ways, the relative positioning of each has become a case of "Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose" (the more things change the more they remain the same). To review briefly:
- SightSpeed’s strength, as confirmed by Garrett’s post, is personal video messaging – create your own video messages, host multi-party (<=4) video conference calls,. video blogging; to cut to the chase, SightSpeed is the epitome of user-produced and user-managed personal communications video. And, with SightSpeed 6, even better video quality. But their remote television viewing feature requires that you involve a full (usually Media Center) PC at the source with all the associated overhead. And it does not have the simple "ad hoc" ease of use and full feature set for informal conversations involving voice and/or IM associated with Skype
- SlingMedia’s strength is bringing your cable subscription to your PC anywhere on the Internet. A great example of a dedicated "PC" with one major function. With its new SlingBox Pro, I am getting amazing quality at TV resolutions. But when I go to a full screen 1680 x 1050 display, even for the fast action of a hockey game, my major problem is sitting back from the PC screen far enough to accommodate my progressive lenses – no pixelating, no abrupt jumpiness . All the SlingMedia infrastructure is designed to bring very user-friendly implementation and operational processes to this one major function. Handles HD channels, a wide variety of screen aspect ratios, complete simulation of your remote control, remote set up for recording of TV shows and, with SlingBox Pro’s HD Connect Cable, can remotely control up to four video devices (TV’s, DVD players, PVR’s, etc.)
- Skype’s strength lies in two key aspects: (i) a full suite of "private" real time communications modes: voice, IM (presence and chat), voice mail, SMS, two party video and file transfer and (ii) over 170 million registered accounts with up to 9 million users online at peak times. Add in Skypecasts and Group Chats that facilitate "public" conversations. All my Contacts are "in the office next door" when using Skype. And I can simply "knock on their door" when I want to talk/chat, etc.
So I expect to be keeping all three on my PC for the foreseeable future. And use each when my activities requires the key features of the individual service. Now what new primary functionality and feature set will we find with Joost?
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