Skype video calls go high-definition

Skype-enabled HD televisions are also coming this year, the company said
LG and Panasonic will show HDTVs at CES this week that will ship later this year and come bundled with Skype's Internet calling software

LG and Panasonic will show HDTVs at CES this week that will ship later this year and come bundled with Skype's Internet calling software

  • LG and Panasonic will show HDTVs at CES this week that will ship later this year and come bundled with Skype's Internet calling software
  • LG and Panasonic will show HDTVs at CES this week that will ship later this year and come bundled with Skype's Internet calling software.

Skype users can now make high-definition video calls as long as they have an HD webcam and sufficient bandwidth and processing power, Skype said on Tuesday. The company also announced that HDTVs will ship later this year with its Internet calling software embedded on them.

The HD capability is included in the beta version of Skype 4.2, the company said. The software was actually released for PC users in early December but Skype didn't disclose the HD features at the time, perhaps because it wanted to make a splash at the Consumer Electronics Show, which gets under way this week in Las Vegas.

The software can deliver 720p HD video at 30 frames per second, Skype said. It planned to update its download page on Tuesday to include information about the HD capabilities. There was no word yet about HD Skype for the Mac.

A few companies will introduce HD webcams designed for Skype's software at CES. They'll be able to handle the video encoding and processing on-board, so customers who have one won't need such a fast PC processor, according to Skype.

FaceVision's FV Touchcam N1 is due in February, priced at $99 with a microphone or $69 without, Skype said. In Store Solutions will also sell webcams that do the on-board processing. Its Freetalk HD Pro and HD Pro Plus are due in March for $120 and $140, respectively.

Skype is also joining the rush to put Internet applications on TVs. That's likely to be a theme again at CES, though it's unclear if consumers will buy into the idea in a big way. LG Electronics and Panasonic will both introduce HDTVs at the show that will ship with Skype's software embedded, allowing customers to make HD calls on a big screen.

The TVs from both companies are expected in mid-2010, according to Skype. They'll be offered with optional HD webcams that plug into the TV and can "pick up sound and video from couch distance," Skype said. Pricing and other details weren't yet available.

Skype says around one-third of its calls made between PCs now include video.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

James Niccolai

IDG News Service
Topics: high-definition video, skype
Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?