Two weeks ago, I expressed some amount of happiness that SightSpeed was releasing the latest version of their video chat software, a version that ostensibly improves the quality of the video enough to perhaps put it on par with that of Apple’s iChat/iSight combo. I’m now here, with four or five lengthy SightSpeed chats under my belt over the past week, to say that the company’s claims are completely true — SightSpeed 5.0 video chats are just plain awesome. The quality held up not only on Mac-to-Mac (iSight-to-iSight) chats, but also on Mac-to-PC chats, and I had not one lick of trouble using SightSpeed through the home router firewalls that existed at both ends of all the chats. I’m ecstatic… it seems like it took way too long to happen, but cross-platform video chat appears to have finally made it to the big leagues. This means that my parents are now going to get to video chat with my sister and her family in London — and that tonight, Shannon and I got to spend an awesome half-hour chatting with our best friends in Brookline and their twin five year-old sons. Life is so much better!

If you’re interested in high-quality, cross-platform video chat, then grabbing SightSpeed is pretty much mandatory for you. And in my experience, the crap that has been passed off as reasonable-quality in the PC-to-PC video chat world pales in comparison to what I’ve experienced over the past week, so if that’s your world, then moving up to SightSpeed is probably worth it for you as well. Feel free to share your experiences!