The popular video-calling service that is the domain of computer-to-computer chatters and smart phone users, is setting its sights on the more ubiquitous home TV platform. New web-connected televisions from Panasonic and Samsung now arrive with the Skype software loaded. Add a webcam and prepare to make high-definition video calls from the sofa.
The Skype service works only on Panasonic Viera Cast sets and the Samsung 7000 and 8000 series TVs.?The TV-compatible webcams aren’t included, however.
For Panasonic models, the $170 Communication Camera TY-CC10W displays video in 720p high definition. Samsung TV owners can buy the $150 Freetalk webcam but they will have to settle for VGA (640 by 480) video resolution.
Both models have four built-in microphones that provide enhanced directional sound. And they can pick up voices up to 12 feet or so, which means users won’t have to crowd around the TV to make calls.?Skype is marketing the TV-enabled webcams primarily as a communications service for far-flung family members, typically older users who may be intimidated by computers.
But the set-up requires broadband Internet service, as well as a sophisticated TV and webcam.