A start up plans to release plug and play full quality video on demand to desktops in Europe and Asia by the second quarter, following a North American roll out this quarter.
Jim Ricotta, Clearview Technologies' president and chief executive, said the company was launched in the spring of 1998, but later changed its name to Sightpath to make its Web address easier to find.
Later this week, however, the Massachusetts based firm will unveil two products, Sightpath Appliance and Sightpath Studio, which are currently in beta testing and scheduled to ship in late March.
Sightpath Appliance is a server based device that sits on a local area network and stores multimedia content locally. It can provide up to 20 independent and simultaneous viewers with up to 30 hours of video.
Sightpath Studio, on the other hand, manages organisations' libraries of video content from a central location, before routing pieces of that video content to designated Sightpath Appliances when bandwidth use is light. The device can also attach electronic licenses to content for ecommerce use, so that publishers can control exactly who sees what.
Ricotta claimed that Sightpath enabled businesses to deliver TV quality video on demand across the Internet quickly, without disrupting the existing network infrastructure or raising bandwidth costs and causing security problems. Its key differentiator, he believes, is that the appliance plugs into the network to provide access to local users.
"There are some products that do streaming video and some products that do multicast of video on intranets, but there is nothing out there similar to what we have developed. When an end user clicks on a Sightpath enabled Web link to request content, the request is automatically directed to the nearest Sightpath Appliance, which then will deliver the video," he attested.
David Dines, an analyst at the Aberdeen Group, predicted that demand will increase for online video that can be accessed at will.
"Sightpath's approach gives enterprises a way to deliver high quality video that is both cost effective and bandwidth efficient," he said.
The company was set up by David Gifford and Frans Kaashoek, two former professors from the Massachussetts Institute of Technology, and Ricotta, who was formerly with Sun Microsystems and IBM.
The privately held firm recently received a $4 million dollar investment from Greylock in its first round of funding. Customers include 3Com, IXL and Intergraph Computer Systems.
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