Soon you will have something new to watch on the living room TV: your relatives and friends from around the globe.
Panasonic and LG electronics, two of the top television manufacturers, announced at Consumer Electronics Show 2010 (CES 2010), that they are integrating the free online calling service Skype into their Internet-connected high-definition televisions.
Panasonic is providing a line up of plasma televisions that revolves around the company’s 3D-compatible TC-PVT25 series,TC-PG25 series, and the TC-PG20 series. To make all the internet services easier to access, these set of TV series will have a pair of USB ports that you can connect to an optional Wi-Fi dongle or to an external keyboard. The feature to integrate a keyboard with a television is significant. Similar to any other HDTV announced at the CES 2010 show, plasma or LCD, all of the Panasonic plasmas qualify for Energy Star 4.0. This surely means less power consumption, more savings and a greener environment for the users.
The Skype service on a TV will work similarly as it does on a PC, but with some limitations posed by current technology and consumer budget. A TV program will pause playing once you make or answer a Skype call; this is because the processors integrated in television sets are not yet powerful enough to allow people to chat and watch a TV show simultaneously.
Panasonic which based in Japan, and LG, based in South Korea, will sell specially designed Web cameras for their Skype-enabled TV sets, which should cost $100 to $200. These cameras will be customized for the wide range of distances between the TV and viewers.
Until now, TVs that have the capability to connect to internet, have been able to access only a limited number of online services, for example: Yahoo widgets that offer weather and news updates, or streaming movie service from Netflix. TV makers are now trying to change the identity of the primary screen in the house, by adding more internet services and making a television set more like a personal computer.