Wiping the Drool off my SightSpeed TV
I had a look at SightSpeed TV with the new version 5 code. Since I don’t have a TV Tuner in any of my computers, I connected to a demo that SightSpeed has set up. Let me just say, this rocks the house.
When you connect, you are given a view of your television tuner and the ability to change channels up and down. It’s not quite as crisp as the video conference I did with SightSpeed CEO Peter Csathy a little over an hour ago, but it is very watchable all the same. I’m willing to believe that’s an artifact of the video tuner card they are using, not SightSpeed. Channel flipping? Instantaneous. SightSpeed kept streaming 30 frames a second without missing a beat.
My issue with it right now is that SightSpeed TV requires a TV Tuner card of some sort. What’s not clear is what TV Tuner cards are compatible with SightSpeed TV. I’m sure a more complete list is coming, though the Hardware Compatibility list currently lists PCI TV capture cards with a BT848 or BT878 chipset and Hauppauge WinTV USB Pro.
When I talked with SightSpeed President and COO Scott Lomond last week, one question I asked about SightSpeed TV was about streaming content I already downloaded (e.g. video podcasts). They don’t do this right now. The reason: they want to be careful about running afoul of legal issues. The concept of placeshifting your television is fairly well understood and on fairly solid legal ground from what Scott says. Placeshifting “other content” has potential risks, they say.
One issue I can see with streaming already downloaded content is the amount of work that will likely have to be done to transcode the video file from whatever form you downloaded in to whatever form SightSpeed sends the video in. That is going to be some work.
I’ll have to play with some of the other goodies in SightSpeed 5.0 later on.