SightSpeed, just like Skype offers high-quality VGA (640x480) resolution @30fps. Although SightSpeed Business is a $19.99 monthly fee and Skype video is free. However, SightSpeed supports up to 4 video participants where as Skype only does 1-to-1. There was a third-party add-on called Festoon that allowed up to 200 people for video conferencing. Unfortunately Festoon disappeared soon after Skype started offering video - leaving no multi-party video conferencing option for Skype. I should also mention that the $19.99/month also gives you 500 free U.S. and Canada telephone calling minutes to any landline or mobile phone, so there is certainly a lot of value in this offering.
If curious, here's the release that went out today showing how SightSpeed thinks their offering is a perfect fit for the SMB looking for high quality video conferencing at an affordable price:
SightSpeed Inc., the leading provider of Internet video communications, today unveiled a breakthrough business video conferencing service that enables all businesses – including small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) – to communicate and connect face-to-face with clients, customers, and colleagues without the need for expensive and immobile room-based hardware.
This new service, SightSpeed Business, combines the high resolution video quality of expensive, stationary room-based hardware systems with the ease of use, flexibility and mobility found in business-class Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services. Available for a fraction of the cost of existing video conferencing products ($19.95 per month and $189.95 per year), SightSpeed Business also eliminates the need for any separate IT investment.
“Existing room-based hardware video conferencing systems, which cost upwards of tens of thousands of dollars, are out of reach and impractical for all but a few privileged businesses,” said Peter Csathy, CEO of SightSpeed. “Those systems ignore the needs of the vast majority of potential video conferencing users. SightSpeed Business eliminates the requirement for costly hardware and places the needs of SMBs front and center, providing the first high quality, easy-to-use, cost effective and secure solution.”
With SightSpeed Business, users also have the flexibility and mobility for conducting a video conference anytime, anywhere – something that is impossible with room-based hardware systems. Since SightSpeed Business is installed on the user’s PC or Mac, face-to-face single click video communications with up to four users can occur anywhere a broadband connection can be found.
Key SightSpeed Business features include:
* Award-winning high quality video (including near high definition with 640x480 resolution cameras)
* Unlimited one-to-one video calling and unlimited and enhanced multi-party video conferencing for up to four participants
* A new streamlined interface optimized for the business user
* In-call collaboration features, including file sharing and multiple video screen viewing modes for better control over desktop view
* Unlimited video mail and video blogging (with extended recording time), and unlimited text messaging and PC-to-PC voice calling
* 500 free U.S. and Canada telephone calling minutes to any landline or mobile phone (and additional telephone “out” calling at competitive rates)
* Voice and video mail for incoming calls with e-mail notification
* Ability to record, publish and archive live video calls and conferences
* Administrative console for central user set up, management and reporting on an individual user and company-wide level, and simple purchase of call minutes, custom phone numbers and multi-user licenses
* Live, face-to-face video support and live toll-free phone support
* Secure, reliable and fully SIP/standards-based – enterprise-class architecture
“There is a need for enterprise-quality video communications solutions for the small and medium business,” said Rebecca Swensen, research analyst at IDC. “SightSpeed Business meets this need by providing quality video via a cost-effective service rather than a costly hardware solution. SightSpeed’s software as a service approach has the potential to disrupt the multi-billion dollar business video conferencing market in much the same way that Salesforce.com disrupted the CRM business.”