Advanced SightSpeed Video Codec Debuts Tonight

This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.
This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.

SightSpeed 5.0 rolls out tonight, and it's bringing 30fps IP video calls that are reportedly jaw-dropping. The software and web-based service gives you low latency and high resolution, using its mysterious, unspecified Advanced SightSpeed Video Codec for webcam calls and Slingbox-like video viewing without the Slingbox. There's more than just video, too, where SightSpeed takes a potshot at Skype by letting you call out to regular PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) telephones and receive calls from them as well.

Check out PC Magazine's enthusiastic take on the service, even though columnist David Janowski was looking at an early beta. It looks like SightSpeed has found a hole in the Skype armor, bringing high-quality video to Web conferencing at long last. Might be worth a look.

SightSpeed Site [via TechCrunch]

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Here's why open source matters. I'm trying to play "Thief" on my PC. Its full-motion movies use the Indeo video codec that MS used to include in Windows, but MS dropped the codecs. The old download is no longer compatible with Windows XP. [] will sell me the codecs for $15, but I doubt they'll continue to work in later Windows. The work to adapt them is no doubt trivial but until they're open source there's no guarantee it'll happen and you're likely to pay money to continue accessing stuff you legally own.

You may be willing to kiss goodbye to your encrypted iTunes tracks, your WMA DRM music files, your iPod library data, your old video files, and now your "SightSpeed 1-minute video e-mails" when technology or business changes, but it's a bad deal for consumers.