Skype, the popular VoIP software application owned by eBay, has rolled out the latest version of Skype for Windows that will allow users to make 720p HD-quality video calls at 1280x720 pixels.
The Skype Beta 4.0 for Windows will ‘give individuals an even smoother and richer video calling experience’ by offering 720p HD quality at 30 frames per second.
However, users will not only require a new HD webcam, a PC with a 1.8 GHz dual-core processor but also a high-speed broadband connection to enjoy Skype’s HD video conference facilities.
The internet calling service also announced its tie-up with consumer giants LG and Panasonic which will see Skype’s HD video calling services being embedded in the soon-to-be-launched internet enabled HDTVs that will be unveiled at the CES 2010.
Skype reported on its blog that Panasonic’s line of 2010 VIERA CAST-enabled HDTVs and LG’s 26 new LCD and plasma HDTVs with NetCast Entertainment Access will have Skype preloaded on them and will allow users to make HD video calls right from their living rooms.
Skype also added that LG and Panasonic will provide specially designed Skype-supporting HD video cams which will be sold as separate accessories and will come with built-in microphones that will capture sound from a few meters.
Obviously the HD capability will only work if both the caller and the recipient have a fast line and HD capable webcam. Until then, the whole concept of HD video calls remains something elusive especially given the fact that HD capable webcams are likely to be expensive initially.