The voip company Skype announced yesterday that they started to support 720 HD video calls in the latest Windows beta version of Skype.
Skype 4.2 for Windows can deliver 720p HD-quality video calling at 1280 x 720 resolution, and at up to 30 frames per second, which is an improvement over the current video calling resolution of 640x480.
Update: Skype has been acquired by Microsoft, and many recent Skype versions for various devices and operating systems support full HD video calls by now.
Not all Skype users will be able to do their video calling in 720p at the time. HD video calling has additional requirements besides the limited availability for the Windows operating system including a high speed broadband connection (Skype recommends uninterrupted high-speed broadband of at least 1 Mbps symmetrical bandwidth to achieve 720p HD-quality video calls on either a PC or television.), a HD webcam capable of delivering 720p 30 frames per second captures and a PC with at least 1.8 Ghz.
Skype hardware partners are starting to offer optimized HD webcams for Skype that handle the video encoding and processing onboard which will be sold for a premium at the Skype shop in the near future.
According to statistics provided by Skype, an average of 34% of Skype-to-Skype calls make use of video which has seen substantial increases in recent years.
Skype announced a partnership with LG and Panasonic in the same press release that will bring Skype to Internet TVs manufactured by those two companies
“For many people who are video calling on Skype, they have expressed a desire to communicate with their friends and family from somewhere comfortable, and preferably on a big screen. Logically, this led to the development of Skype embedded on HDTVs.”
What's your opinion on Skype TV? Can it become a mass market product or will it remain in the tiny nice-to-have-but-not-practical-or-affordable niche. Skype 4.2 Beta for Windows can be downloaded from the official Skype website.
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