Call of confusion
Given that, in many cases, you won’t know what equipment the other caller is using, making and taking calls with the TV is going to be problematic at times. Skype suggests ‘later this year’ for Mac support and currently calls to a Mac do get a sound connection, but a mystifying absence of video.
Features a wide-angle lens and four microphones, but seems pricey given the current calling limitations
If you have compatible equipment, the Panasonic TY-CC10W is a simple – if pricey – way to get people connected up for video calling. But given the need for broadband (and so likely computer ownership) to use it, I think you’d have be a very keen video caller to find Skype for TV worth it. ®
Panasonic TY-CC10W Skype camera
Ah - I see the internet's big brains are all over that idea...
ZDNet wrote an interesting blog about the convergence of facetime and this sort of webcam
So - how long before we see Apple TV with a similar plug in camera
Now we've seen the Apple TV tear downs exposing an A4 processor, decent RAM and 8GB of flash inside the Apple TV, isn't it only a matter of time before facetime hits the living room via a similar webcam device... interesting.
As someone who skypes often with my partner to other couples or family, I think sofa to sofa makes much more sense to me than having four or more people crowded around a couple of PCs so there is a really good usage case for this. A niche - but potentially a decent sized one.
This panasonic device and its like are likely the thin edge of a wedge.
Cool but meh
I recently acquired a panny plasma, though not the latest skype model, along with a sound system and an asrock 330 box which is running xbmc, and one of my first thoughts was how perfect this kind of setup would be for my technologically-challenged parents; Skype is in the middle of open-sourcing their interface for their linux client, and when that comes to pass it shouldn't be too difficult to include skype as a plugin for xbmc, and it being a proper computer means I would be able to hook up any combination of webcam/mic and video-call anyone and not just tv users (:
we have two of these, connected to panny plasmas in two offices
the camera has its own h264 encoder chip, and so you can only talk to clients with h264, which is why you can't talk to mac or linux and get video, only audio
the same problem exists, so I believe, with the samsung version
in theory the mac skype client will be sorted out some time
the skype client works OK, but there's none of the conferencing facilities of the full desktop client; you can add/delete contacts so you don't need to set up the account on a full computer first.
the camera is the same price in US$ as it is in GB£, so you can save a bundle if you know anyone visiting the USA.
Oddly, for someone who wears a metaphorical tinfoil hat, I've never cared whether Skype was encrypted or not. Maybe it's getting so used to assuming some guys in North Yorkshire have been running my conversations and email through patter-matching algorithms for years, or perhaps it's because I don't really care if anyone hears my usually inane babbling to my mates.