Today Skype is announcing and releasing the final piece of the Skype-on-TV setup, the webcam. Of course, you need to have purchased either a Panasonic or Samsung internet enabled HDTV with Skype to use said webcam, but if you have the right television you are one step away from Skyping on your couch.
Two webcams are available, both clocking in around $150, each designed for one specific brand of television. Bad news Panasonic owners, your webcam will not be out for a month. Good news Samsung owners, you can order yours now. The Panasonic webcam will support “HD video at up to 1280×720 pixels at 22 frames per second.” The Samsung camera will “send high quality video at up to 1600×1200 pixels at 30 frames per second.” Not too shabby.
This matches our previous coverage that these cameras were to support crisp enough video to not overly distort your friends regardless of your television size.
If you recall Skype is just beginning to roll out the first builds of Skype video chat for more than two people. Cross Skype on the biggest screen in your house and four of your friends and you have the best video conferencing experience that has ever been available to the average consumer.
The total cost of the setup is prohibitive for nearly every Skype user alive, but it is merely the first step towards a larger goal. Technology prices always come down, and so as the price of internet-enabled televisions settle Skype in the living room will become more and more common.
Of course you wanted to do that with your iPad, but Steve forgot the put a camera on the darn thing. Check out the official Skype press blog post here.