Tuesday, Panasonic and LG have made a deal with Skype to use its software in the latest lines of TVs coming from the aforementioned companies. Furthermore, Skype announced support for 720p video calls, something that will surely be a hit with many.
So, Panasonic’s VIERA CAST-enabled HDTV’s and LG’s total of 26 new LCD and Plasma HDTVs with NetCast Entertainment Access will be capable of “Skyping”. These products should be available sometime in the middle of 2010.
Of course, opportunities such as this one open the doors for many software and peripheral manufacturers, and some already jumped on that wagon. Furthermore, it’s worth noting that the webcams perform encoding independently from the TV.
As for the actual webcams, faceVision has developed a HD encoding webcam optimized for Skype and it should ship in February 2010 with the pricing at $99 (with microphone) and $69 (without the mic). They’re not alone though, as In Store Solutions also announced two HD encoding webcams - Freetalk HD Pro and Freetalk HD Pro Plus priced at $120 and $140 respectively. They should hit the market sometime in March 2010.