Video calling has yet to have its mainstream moment, but it’s certainly getting there.
Skype, a major player in video telephony and internet calling, reported a big opening in 2011 bolstered by an increase in video calls. Its mobile video chat app for Apple’s iPod Touch, iPad and iPhone has so far been downloaded around 10 million times. The company is also receiving some additional help from Panasonic, who announced recently that Skype would come standard in a few of its new Blu-ray players.
Home Media Magazine reports that three new models of the company’s high-definition Blu-ray players will offer Skype-enhanced capabilities, including a specific button on their remote controllers to quickly access the online service. If purchasing a Blu-ray player finally became an option due to an undying love of internet-based voice and video conversations, bear in mind using Skype via Panasonic’s new hardware also means buying a video camera.
Perhaps that points to the final hurdle for the technology to become mainstream – an all-in-one machine. Something a normal consumer could walk into a store and purchase, then bring home and do anything and everything they wanted.
In addition, Panasonic’s new players boast apps for various popular sites and services, such as YouTube, Amazon VOD, Twitter and Netflix.
As is par for the course these days, the Blu-ray players are 3D TV compatible – which may not mean too much to the average consumer since that technology also struggles to reach the mainstream due to exorbitant pricing and the lack of a compelling standard, among others.
Video calling isn’t a sci-fi movie dream anymore. But will it attain the same ease-of-use and widespread appeal as in those fantastical stories? This new addition to Blu-ray players may help it get there.