has announced it now offer support for Skype (News
) video calls on PCs in 720p high definition and also embeds Skype software into Internet-connected widescreen televisions from its consumer electronics manufacturing partners.
The new version of Skype for Windows is capable of delivering up to 720p HD-quality video calling at 1280 x 720 resolution, at up to 30 frames per second ensuring smooth and rich video calling experience.
To make video calls, users need a high-speed broadband connection, a new HD Web cam, a PC with a 1.8 GHz dual-core processor and Skype 4.2 Beta for Windows.
“With HD-quality Skype video calls, we can bring our users even closer to the ones they love through an even richer, more meaningful video calling experience,” said Josh Silverman, CEO of Skype.
“Imagine being able to see the sparkle of your grandchild’s eyes or the setting of your best friend’s engagement ring. Through the innovation of Skype’s engineers and our hardware partners, these scenarios are now possible without having to buy expensive equipment or software,” Silverman said.
faceVsion and In Store Solutions have also introduced new HD Webcams that can work with Skype and can handle the video encoding and processing onboard - eliminating the need for a high-performance computer to encode the HD video.
The new FV TouchCam N1 from faceVsion is an encoding Web cam optimized for Skype video calling that, according to company officials, will ship in two versions beginning in February this year.
In Store Solutions also introduced two HD encoding Web cams, the FREETALK HD PRO and FREETALK HD PRO PLUS.
With Skype now also embedded into Internet-connected HDTVs, it’s also possible for people to comfortably communicate from their living rooms. The new HDTVs will deliver Skype features such as free Skype-to-Skype voice and video calls and calls to landline or mobile phone at low Skype rates. Users are also given the option to receive inbound calls via an online Skype number and will receive Skype voicemail, voice conference calls and support for up to 720p HD video calls with the HDTVs.
According to Silverman, the popularity of Skype video calling has increased in recent years with an average of 34 percent of Skype-to-Skype calls now including video. Some people frequently video calling on Skype, expressed a desire to communicate with their friends and family from a comfortable location at home and on a big screen. This led to the development of Skype embedded on HDTVs.
Shamila Janakiraman is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Shamila’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Stefania Viscusi