VoIP specialist Skype has signed deals with LG and Panasonic to embed its client into next-generation TVs, finally putting video calling into the living room. The deal promises that TVs featuring Skype functionality will be available from Panasonic and LG by the middle of 2010. Both companies will also sell branded web-cams to …
Shouldn't be too difficult to make a revenue stream out of this. Just plop a couple of unobtrusive ads on the side of the video stream and you're done. I wouldn't even mind that as long as they weren't animated, flashy monsters that drew attention to themselves more than necessary, and I'm the sort of person who skips and avoids ads anywhere it is possible.
And here lies the problem....
...no doubt the other user will have to be a skype user for VC to work. So free (i.e. cost carried by Skype).
Skype out = No VC, therefore will you really use your telly to make voice calls? Therefore no revenue for Skype.
Only thing I can see is licensing for hardware.
If it was popular enough
If every new TV had it then a lot of people would try it.
More of those people would wonder why, if they have this and a mobile, they need a landline at all. So they then use skype for all their calls while at home, including skype-out calls and get a skype-in number as well = money.
I can't understand why skype didn't already do this with the Nintendo WII, it's sitting there in my living room, with a wifi connection, always on (still net connected in standby) and has a couple of USB ports for a webcam and handset.
Just what I want - pay an extra $300 for a device with a pretty long shelf life (at least 10 years) that will be instantly obsoleted when the "next big thing" comes along.
I know a number of grandparents who use webcams to keep in touch with their families, and they all use IM clients to do it - Live Messenger and AOL Messenger primarily, with Google Chat turning up in the mix. No Skype.
I can just hook up my mobile phone with a TV-out lead and use it's wi-fi connection and I have a better version of this solution because it's easily upgradable and likely to be replaced with a better model in under 2 years.
I feel sorry for the person on the receiving end of the video call, particularly if said person is in a country with sh!te internet connection.
Why not an add-on box?
OK, I know we tend to have too many boxes anyway, but will anyone upgrade their TV just to get Skype? If you want to keep the box count down, you could always build it into a Blu-ray or HD Freeview box. If Virgin could figure out a way to stick it into their cable boxes that would be a plus.
Webcams in televisions! Why not make it mandatory? After all, if you are not doing anything wrong...
Us inner party members can turn the view screens off ....