Skype has partnered with LG and Panasonic and will offer Skype-enabled HDTVs in the coming months. According to the company, LG and Panasonic will offer specially-designed HD webcams that are optimized for Skype video calls as well as separate accessories that can be plugged into the televisions.
Skype CEO, Josh Silverman said, “The popularity of Skype video calling has increased substantially in recent years with an average of 34 per cent of Skype-to-Skype calls now including video. For many people who are video calling on Skype, they have expressed a desire to communicate with their friends and family from somewhere comfortable, and preferably on a big screen. Logically, this led to the development of Skype embedded on HDTVs.”
The Skype software will be embedded into Panasonic’s line of 2010 VIERA CAST-enabled HDTVs and LG’s 26 new LCD and plasma HDTVs with NetCast Entertainment Access. Both lines are expected to be available in mid-2010.
In addition to this, Skype has announced that it will now have support for video calls on PCs in 720p high definition (HD). The latest version of Skype for Windows can deliver up to 720p HD-quality video calling at 1280 x 720 resolution, at up to 30 frames per second, giving individuals an even smoother and richer video calling experience.
To make an HD video call, users will need a high-speed broadband connection, a new HD webcam, a PC with a 1.8 GHz processor and Skype 4.2 Beta for Windows.
“With HD-quality Skype video calls, we can bring our users even closer to the ones they love through an even richer, more meaningful video calling experience. Imagine being able to see the sparkle of your grandchild’s eyes or the setting of your best friend’s engagement ring. Through the innovation of Skype’s engineers and our hardware partners, these scenarios are now possible without having to buy expensive equipment or software,” added Silverman.
New HD webcams are due to arrive in early 2010.