External webcams aren't nearly the rage they used to be. Perhaps that's because every notebook that ships today includes on, and a slew of new LCDs do as well. But if you're still stuck with an older monitor, or you just want something a bit more detailed than the 1.3MP embedded webcam, Logitech has a new option for you to consider. The TV Cam for Skype is a plug-and-play TV camera that'll let you make and receive high-definition video calls directly from select 2011 Panasonic VIERA
Connect-enabled VIERA HDTVs that feature Skype
. It's exactly what you think: a webcam for your television.
Forget chatting over the PC; that's totally 2010. With this, you'll be able to have the whole family gather 'round in order to speak to whoever is on the other end. You'll find Carl Zeiss optics, Logitech's Fluid Crystal technology, a 78-degree wide-angle lens and a pair of directional microphones. Once the Logitech TV Cam for Skype is plugged in, you can make TV-to-TV Skype calls, as well as TV-to-PC or Mac calls and vice versa. You can also make video calls from the Logitech TV Cam for Skype to select iPhone and smartphones with Skype mobile, but you'll need a broadband connection in your home to really take advantage.
The accessory should ship this month for $149.99; definitely not cheap, but at least it's 720p...
Logitech TV Cam Offers Video Calling on 2011 Skype-Enabled Panasonic VIERA HDTVs
Logitech Teams Up With Panasonic and Skype to Deliver Up To 720p HD Video Calling in the Living Room
FREMONT, Calif. – May 3, 2011 - Taking another step toward making a video call from the comfort of your couch, Logitech (SIX: LOGN) (NASDAQ: LOGI) today announced the Logitech® TV Cam for Skype™, a plug-and-play TV camera that lets you make and receive high-definition video calls directly from select 2011 Panasonic VIERA Connect™ -enabled VIERA® HDTVs that feature Skype.
The Logitech TV Cam for Skype lets you make and receive up to 720p high definition video calls directly from 2011 Panasonic VIERA Connect -enabled VIERA HDTVs – no computer or software-download is required, just connect to the Internet with at least 1 Mbps upload and download speed to start making HD video calls. Using the Logitech TV Cam for Skype is as simple as turning on your TV and selecting the Skype video calling application, which comes preloaded on 2011 Panasonic VIERA Connect-enabled VIERA HDTVs.
"You shouldn't have to wait for the holidays, a special occasion or summer vacation to see distant friends and family," said Joerg Tewes, vice president and general manager of Logitech's consumer video division. "We believe making a video call to loved ones should be easy and natural. We welcomed the opportunity to work closely with respected brands such as Panasonic and Skype to make it possible for more people in more households to connect with one another from the comfort of their living room."
The Logitech TV Cam for Skype offers crisp, clear images – thanks in part to Carl Zeiss® optics and Logitech Fluid Crystal™ Technology – delivering video color and clarity that consumers have come to expect from Logitech webcams and TV Cams. The Logitech TV Cam for Skype also provides a 78-degree wide-angle lens, and two digital, directional microphones that help reduce noise and echoes – perfect for making a video couch call with the whole family.
"The introduction of our first VIERA IPTVs in 2008 and then our first Skype-enabled HDTVs in 2010 elevated the television's place in the home to a whole new level for consumers and changed the way they interact with their TV," said Henry Hauser, Display Group vice president, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. "Collaborating with cutting edge brands like Skype and Logitech has enabled us to push that to even greater heights literally making the HDTV the centerpiece for home entertainment, connectivity and communication with family and friends. With Logitech and Skype, Panasonic's VIERA Connect Skype-enabled HDTVs now deliver loved ones near and far right to your living room in wide screen, high definition making staying connected simple and amazing."
Once the Logitech TV Cam for Skype is plugged in, you can make TV-to-TV Skype calls, as well as TV-to-PC or Mac calls and vice versa. You can also make video calls from the Logitech TV Cam for Skype to select iPhone™ and smartphones with Skype mobile™.
Access to a broadband Internet connection is required to access VIERA Connect features. There is no fee to use the VIERA Connect functionality, however some services such as Netflix Amazon Video On Demand, and league sports sites have a separate fee structure to view movies and sports events.
Pricing and Availability
The Logitech TV Cam for Skype is expected to be available for 2011 Panasonic VIERA Connect™ -enabled VIERA® HDTVs beginning May 2011 in the U.S. The Logitech TV Cam for Skype will be available for a suggested retail price of $149.99 (U.S.) on Panasonic's VIERA Connect Market™. For more information on the Logitech TV Cam for Skype, please visit www.logitech.com. For more information on Panasonic's line of 2011 VIERA Connect-enabled HDTVs, please visit www.panasonic.com.