Skype for TV Coming this Year

Skype have announced that they are soon to launch Skype functionality for HD TV’s. Some new TV’s in 2010 will come with Skype firmware installed allowing for calls to be made through the TV allowing users to step away from the computer.

Also new Skype software for the PC has been launched. The new version is Skype 4.2 Beta that allows users to make HD calls from their PC at a 720p resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels.

‘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, said Josh Silverman, CEO of Skype. ‘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.

To make use of the Skype software on a PC you’ll need one of the new HD webcams that are going to be revealed at CES this year.

Back on to HDTV’s with Skype built in… they will come with the following features.
* 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

Currently Skype is working with both LG and Panasonic to create the new Skype-enabled HDTV’s with launch dates of mid 2010. Webcams will be made available that can connect up to your TV allowing video calls to be made. The HD webcams will also have microphones built in.

‘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, added Silverman. ‘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.”

It will be interesting to watch if Skype for the TV takes off. I personally think it has some potential.

Via: Skype

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