I've been playing around with a pretty cool service this afternoon called SeeToo. It's targeted toward people who want to share a private video with someone else but don't want the rest of the world to see it or for it to sit on some server farm out of their control. Unlike other services that have played around with the idea of multiple users watching the same video at the same time (see Lycos Mix, YouTube Streams, and Meebo's rooms) SeeToo handles video links like one-time conference sessions. You can only get in if the video holder has their browser window open and has given you a private URL. SeeToo then streams the content to one person only, who can interact with the host using a simplified chat window that sits just below the player.
SeeToo doesn't rely on server farms to transcode and optimize the video streams. Instead, it works entirely on the client side, requiring the video host to download and install a small desktop plug-in that sits in the Windows taskbar. It's essentially like Orb, which lets you stream and repurpose desktop data to other devices. There are positives and negatives to this. The good is that your viewers don't need to install anything (assuming they have Flash), and videos begin playing almost instantly. There's also a pretty big cap on video sizes (500 MB), which means you're probably not going to have to shrink down a video before you share. The bad is that you're going to need a capable (Windows) machine to both host and crunch the data. On my month-old Core 2 Duo machine, playing a video was sucking up about half of my processing power, which is about what I expected considering the files were large and encoded in H.264.
The service has some pretty basic upload requirements at 100kb/s, which should be fine for anyone with a cable modem or decent DSL package. Users who have good speeds on both ends get the added benefit of improved quality. SeeToo's creators tell me they'd like to move toward providing higher resolutions almost to the quality of the original video. I'm giving SeeToo a bit of a pass in this department since they're brand-new, but just with interoffice testing, the video got a little choppy and pixelated from time to time.
SeeToo is currently in private beta with plans to open up its doors to everyone soon. You can sign up to be a beta tester here.
[Originally spotted on the Museum of Modern Betas]