Skype and Panasonic Join Up for Video Calling on Blu-Ray Devices

written by: Richard Kastelein

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Panasonic and Skype announced at CES last week, their decision to team up and add Skype's video-calling facilities on to Panasonic's Blu-Ray Players, available on any VIERA CAST (2011) package. This will make it much easier and more affordable for those who are looking for a new Blu-Ray Player but not wanting to shell out for a whole new TV to get Skype on the big screen in the living room. Skype-to-Skype voice and video calls are completely free. Calls to landline or mobile rates use Skype's low rates. Other options include receiving inbound calls, voicemail, and conference calls.

Electronista reported from CES:

The ability to conference with up to 24 others is retained. When users aren't home to receive Skype calls, the caller can leave a message. If a message is waiting ,the Blu-ray player will indicate this with a blinking light. The DMP-BDT310, DMP-BDT210, and DMP-BDT110 Blu-ray players do require a connected, Skype-compatible camera.

Panasonic and Skype have paired up to deliver voice and video calling on any 2011 Panasonic VIERA CAST-enabled Blu-ray Disc Player.

Traditionally, video calling is mainly used on laptops and computers but due to lack of screen landscape , the number of participants on each end is limited. Bringing Skype to the living room, and on a nice big screen, can make full-family video calls easy, fun, and memorable. With everybody sitting back on the couch, there's no need to cram people into the shot or take turns video chatting one-by-one. It's Social TV in another form.

In addition to providing a larger screen for video calling, Skype on VIERA CAST gives the user a range of benefits including:

  • High definition video at up to 1280×720 resolution at a maximum frame rate of 22 fps (conventional Skype use on a PC has a resolution of 640×480).
  • The ability for callers to leave Skype video or voice messages when the recipient is not available which are stored in the Blu-ray Player for playback. An indicator light on the front of the Blu-ray Disc™ Player's display alerts recipients to the waiting message(s).
  • VIERA CAST's easy-to-use GUI that is operable from the Panasonic Blu-ray Disc Player's remote.
  • Wi-Fi capability– the BDT310 and BDT210 come with built in Wi-Fi, while the BDT110 requires a wireless adaptor (sold separately).

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