Videophone Calling: Skype Goes HD on LG and Panasonic TVs

Big news from Skype: They're making a push for better video quality, with both new HD webcams and software support, but that's not the biggest deal here. They're also partnering with LG and Panasonic for Skype-enabled HDTVs.

The new Skype 4.2 beta can achieve better quality video than ever before: 1280 x 720 resolution at 30fps. They've also got a line of HD webcams (hardware from faceVision and In Store) that pack video encoding and processing on board, so as not to confound your grandma's crappy old computer. There are two versions from each manufacturer: FaceVision has one with and one without a microphone ($100 and $70, respectively) and In Store has the Freetalk Pro at $120 and the presumably ever pro-er Freetalk Pro Plus at $140.

Now for those HDTVs. LG and Panasonic are the hardware partners here, and they've integrated both a webcam and Skype software into their HDTVs. They'll have just about every Skype feature the computer software has--voicemail, landline and mobile calls, free Skype-to-Skype, all that, as well as a 720p webcam and microphones specifically designed to pick up sound at couch distance. Want to say hello to your kid, niece, nephew, grandkid, whatever, but he or she won't sit still in front of a computer? Let 'em run around in front of the TV! We'll get more info from Skype on specific pricing and availability for these TVs this week.

[Skype]

 

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  • alterseekers

    This is really a great new feature from LG and Panasonic. Imagine, you can now enjoy communicating with your friends and relatives through Skype, in the comfort of your own living room . Most of these should be connected wirelessly via WiFi connection, and having a wireless rotuer in your home can really help. Anyway, speaking of wireless routers, if you're looking for a good one, I recommend you check out the Netgear Wireless Router for Video and Gaming. You can use this device to connect computers, gaming consoles, notebooks, or wireless printers, and also your networked home theater devices. You can also use this to stream video and music from a USB drive to media players and DLNA TV's, even without using a computer. Not that's one powerful wireless router for you. For more information about Netgear's Wireless Router for Video and Gaming, check out this site: http://bit.ly/bByST7. Enjoy!