Luxembourg - Skype, based here, said Thursday that Samsung Electronics has agreed to follow LG Electroincs and Panasonic by adding Skype video and voice calling to its 2010 LED 7000 and 8000 series LCD TV models.
The models will include embedded Skype software enabling the capability.
Samsung began shipping Skype-enabled TVs in the Korean market this week, and will add the capability to sets in other regions in the first half of 2010.
The announcement follows similar moves for advanced TV lines announced by Panasonic and LG Electronics at 2010 International CES last month.
"Our consumers want their televisions to be a ‘one-stop shop' for entertainment and communication delivered with the highest quality," stated Kevin Kyungshik Lee, Samsung Electronics visual display VP. "Including Skype on our TVs meets that expectation perfectly. We're thrilled that Samsung's consumers can now use our TVs to experience the rich video and voice communication that hundreds of millions of Skype users worldwide enjoy."
Skype said its goal is to make its voice and video conferencing systems available on a full range of Internet-connected devices, including TVs.
The Samsung LED 7000 and 8000 series televisions include Samsung's free Internet@TV service, which allows access to select online content. Consumers who connect the TVs to the Internet can easily attach a Freetalk TV Camera for Samsung provided by In Store Solutions (ISS), available at www.skype.com/store, making it possible to place and receive voice calls and High Quality Video calls.
Voice calls will use Skype's SILK audio codec, which enables super-wideband audio quality.
Using the TVs' remote controls, consumers can create free Skype accounts, log into their existing accounts and navigate via a Skype interface accessible on the televisions' screens. Skype video calls will be free, as will voice calls between Skype users. Using Skype to call traditional landline and mobile phones will cost just pennies per minute, Skype said.
"Increasingly Skype users want to communicate away from their computers, particularly when it comes to video calling," said Jonathan Christensen, General Manager of Platform at Skype. "Thanks to Samsung, Skype is helping even more friends and families benefit from the meaningful connections that Skype's video and voice calling provides."
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