There will soon be something new to watch on TV as Skype launches video chat for televisions.
To be embedded in upcoming internet-connected, high-definition models from LG and Panasonic, the internet calling service will allow users to chat and use video calling free of charge to keep in touch with friends and family.
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Webcams with built in microphones specially designed for living room use will be sold separately for those wishing to take advantage of the Skype service from the comfort of their sofas.
Chief technology strategist of Skype, Jonathan Rosenberg, said: “This is the year when Internet-connected TVs will start to take off, and there is no doubt that soon every TV that ships will have built in Wi-Fi, webcams and microphones,” He added: “This is our first step.”
According to Skype, Panasonic’s VT and G series television will support the internet calling, whilst LG will embed Skype in 26 new LCD and plasma screens.
Due to become available by mid-year, Skype’s latest addition to its hugely popular service is expected to be just one television based development on display at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Increasingly slimmer models, back-lit LED displays and household 3D units are all expected to be tempting consumers to part with their cash and upgrade from their recently purchased flat-screen TVs at CES.
Skype are also due to announce high-definition video services for computers with high speed broadband and a HD webcam at CES.