Skype Announces Video Calls in High Definition for PC and TV
Skype today announced support for Skype video calls on PCs in 720p high definition (HD), as well as Skype software embedded into Internet-connected widescreen televisions from its consumer electronics manufacturer partners.
In order to make HD video calling available to as many people as possible, the new Skype Certified HD webcams handle the video encoding and processing onboard, removing the need for a high-performance computer to encode the HD video.
faceVsion developed the FV TouchCam N1, an HD encoding webcam optimized for Skype video calling. Two versions of the faceVsion webcam will ship, beginning in February 2010: one with a microphone ($99) and one without ($69). In Store Solutions introduced two new HD encoding webcams, the FREETALK® HD PRO ($120) and FREETALK® HD PRO PLUS ($140), which will be available in March 2010. Both the faceVsion and FREETALK webcams will be available for purchase online via the Skype Shop (skype.com/shop).
Skype is already renowned for popularizing video calling and bringing people closer together through rich, real-time communication. With Skype embedded into Internet-connected HDTVs, the company is creating a new experience that will allow people to communicate from the comfort of their living rooms.
The new HDTVs will deliver familiar Skype features including:
- Free Skype-to-Skype voice and video calls
- Calls to landline or mobile phones at Skype’s low rates
- The option to receive inbound calls via a user’s online Skype number
- Skype voicemail, if it is set up
- Being invited to participate in voice conference calls with up to 24 other parties
- Support for up to 720p HD video calls, depending on the availability of high-speed broadband and a HD webcam
Skype recommends uninterrupted high-speed broadband of at least 1 Mbps symmetrical bandwidth to achieve 720p HD-quality video calls on either a PC or television.
For more information about Skype-enabled televisions, please visit skype.com/go/TV or view a demonstration during CES at the Panasonic (Central 9405) or LG (Central 8205) booths.
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