Peripheral and accessory maker Logitech is aiming to bring video calling to the living room—at least for owners ov Panasonic’s Viera Connect-enabled HDTVs—with its new Logitech TV Cam for Skype. The camera enables users to engage in 720p high-definition video calls right from their Internet-connected televisions, with no PC or software download required.
“You shouldn’t have to wait for the holidays, a special occasion, or summer vacation to see distant friends and family,” said Logitech consumer video VP and general manager Joerg Tewes, in a statement. “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 features Carl Zeiss optics and a 78° wide-angle glass lens for high quality imaging—autofocus means the camera can zoom in on things just 7cm away from the camera lens. The camera also features dual mics with automatic noise reduction and echo cancellation, and users just pop the camera onto their TVs with a USB cable: it ships with a 5-foot connected cable and a 6-foot extender if you need it. Of course, the camera requires the Viera Connect-enabled TV be connected to an existing home broadband connection, but once that’s accomplished the full panoply of Skype capabilities are at users’ fingertips, including placing SKype calls to computers and select smartphones with Skype software installed. Users can also engage in TV-to-TV calling with other Skype-enabled televisions.
The Logitech TV Cam for Skype will be available this month for a suggested retail price of $149.99 via Panasonic’s Viera Connect Market. Logitech hasn’t announced if it plans to bring out cameras that work with other Internet-connected TVs, or expand the list of televisions supported by the TV Cam…although Logitech noticeably leaves “Panasonic” out of the product name, implying more brands and models might be supported in the future.