CES 2010: Videoconferencing Via LG, Panasonic HD TVs

At the Consumer Electronics Show last week, Panasonic made it clear that we live in the future when they announced two separate partnerships with Skype and DirecTV to provide videoconferencing and 3D viewing, respectively, through their Viera HD TVs.

In the spring of 2010, people buying Panasonic’s Viera Cast HD TVs will be able to use the device for conducting voice and video calls to other Skype subscribers. LG Electronics has penned a similar deal with Skype, and owners of both LG’s and Panasonic’s new HD TVs will be able to use the VoIP provider’s telephony service to make calls via landlines and mobile phones, as well as receive calls over their Skype numbers.

Skype’s technology, though innovative, is not as sophisticated as what’s offered by vendors offering enterprise videoconferencing services, like Cisco, InterCall, and Citrix. However, this is a major coup for the groups wanted to bring videoconferencing to the consumer market, and will undoubtedly have an effect on the enterprise side.

Not only will those purchasing new LG and Panasonic silver screens be able to conduct videoconferencing—after purchasing a specially designed camera—but they will be able to set up conferences with up to 24 participants. The caveat is that conferences will only be up to 720p video quality, and that depends on the user’s internet bandwidth. Enterprise conferences certainly have more needs than a consumer conference, so while businesses might not switch to this new system, it is going to be a great consumer product.

Panasonic’s partnership with DirecTV is to delivery 3D programming through the aforementioned HD TV line, which begs the question: when will we have 3d videoconferencing?

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