CES 2010: New HDTVs include Skype video calling
LG Electronics has announced that select upcoming TV models will have the ability to make Skype video calls, allowing owners the ability to communicate all over the world from the comfort of their living room.
The announcement lost some bravado, however, as Panasonic also proclaimed yesterday that some of its Internet-enabled HDTVs will soon receive Skype video calling. Many analysts expect at least one other company to announce TVs with Skype, once CES officially kicks off.
LG will sell webcams that offer video streams in 720p format for use by the TV manufacturer. Skype also plans to introduce 720p video calls for PC users, but it’s unknown when that will happen.
Similar to the PC version, Skype video calls hosted on TVs will be free to other Skype users, or pay a charge for calling mobile and landline phone numbers.
The South Korean tech manufacturer LG has invested heavily into bringing additional support and features into its TV models. Sony, Panasonic, Samsung and other HDTV manufacturers utilize similar Web-enabled technologies, which has put increased pressure on HDTV innovation.
LG hasn’t announced when the new Skype-capable HDTVs will be released — it’s believed they should be available by late summer in 2010.
I expect most mainstream HDTV manufacturers will have features similar to Skype, as consumers become more comfortable with using their TVs for multiple purposes.
Are you interested in using Skype on your TV? Are you using the Internet and Web-based applications in your living room?
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