Skype announced support for Skype video calls on PCs in 720p high definition, as well as Skype software embedded into internet-connected widescreen televisions from its consumer electronics manufacturer partners.

The latest version of Skype for Windows can deliver up to 720p HD-quality video calling at 1280 x 720 resolution, at up to 30 frames per second.

To make an HD video call, we will need a high-speed broadband connection, an HD webcam, a PC with a 1.8 GHz dual-core processor and Skype 4.2 Beta for Windows.

New HD webcams are due to arrive at CES 2010. FaceVsion and In Store Solutions introduces new HD webcams that are optimized to work with Skype. The new Skype Certified HD webcams handle the video encoding and processing onboard, removing the need for a high-performance computer to encode the HD video.

At CES, Skype also announced partnerships with LG and Panasonic to offer Skype–enabled HDTVs. Skype software will be embedded into Panasonic’s line of 2010 VIERA CAST-enabled HDTVs and LG’s 26 new LCD and plasma HDTVs with NetCast Entertainment Access.

Both lines are expected to be available in mid-2010. Both LG and Panasonic will offer specially-designed HD webcams that are optimized for Skype video calls as separate accessories that can be plugged into the televisions. These webcams support 720p HD and include special microphones and optics that can pick up sound and video from a couch-distance.

The new HDTVs will deliver familiar Skype features including:

• Free Skype-to-Skype voice and video calls
• Calls to landline or mobile phones at Skype’s rates
• The option to receive inbound calls via a user’s online Skype number
• Skype voicemail, if it is set up
• Being invited to participate in voice conference calls with up to 24 other parties
• Support for up to 720p HD video calls, depending on the availability of high-speed broadband and a HD webcam

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