With today’s news, I can see myself upgrading my 37 inch 1080p HD television a lot sooner than I planned. Skype announced today that the VoIP/video conferencing service is coming to Internet-connected TVs. Combine this with Internet widgets and online video-capability, and my relatively modern TV will soon look a bit long in the tooth.
Both TV manufacturers will be offering sets with Skype software and support for all the stand features that we’ve come to love – voicemail, land-line and mobile calls via Skype-in and Skype-out, free Skype-to-Skype calls, video calling etc. On the hardware front, users will need to purchase and plug in one of the soon-to-be-available 720p web cams that will feature “microphones specifically designed to pick up sound at couch distance”, reports Gizmodo. Now that does sounds cool, although I’m not sure why they can’t come built-in.
Skype is one of those rare web applications that’s mainstream and useful enough that it bridges the generation gap, used by young grandchildren and grandparents alike, therefore getting it into the living room makes a lot of sense. And with “HD support” and decent sound, it’s amazing to think how far consumer video conferencing has come, resembling the multi-thousand dollar set-ups that were until now limited to the corporate world.