Owners of Panasonic Viera TVs can now make free Skype-to-Skype calls from their TV, using a separate HD webcam.
Skype-enabled internet TVs were unveiled at the 2010 Consumer Electronics Show in January, and the compatible webcams have now gone on sale in the UK.
The Panasonic HD Communication Camera is sold separately to the company’s TVs, and is available for £129.99 from high-street retailers and Pansonic’s online e-shop.
The camera can broadcast HD pictures in 720p, although the company says that picture quality will depend on the speed of your broadband connection.
The HD camera also incorporates a unidirectional microphone that Panasonic claims is optimised to pick up sound from ‘couch-distance’ so that the whole family can participate in the Skype video call.
Skype compatible TVs
The Skype webcam is compatible with the following Panasonic TVs:
- Panasonic VT20 3D TV
- Panasonic V20
- Panasonic Viera TX-P42G20
- Panasonic D28 (32-inch and 37-inch)
- Panasonic D25
Skype functionality is a new feature on Panasonic’s Viera Cast system which allows users to access online content using their TVs, including YouTube, Eurosport and Google Picasa web photo albums. For more information on Viera Cast, and a comparison with similar services from Sony Applicast, Philips Net TV and Samsung Internet@TV, read our guide to internet access on TV.
Skype embedded on HD TVs
Josh Silverman, Skype CEO, said: ‘The popularity of Skype video calling has increased substantially in recent years with an average of 34% of Skype-to-Skype calls now including video.
‘Many people who are video calling on Skype 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.’
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