Toshiba was showing off their latest and greatest in television technologies at CES, and among them was a set that had integrated Skype video calling functionality. Time to start decorating your living room like your favorite starship bridge and practicing captains catch phrases.
Toshiba’s tech isn’t being released just yet as there appear to be few software issues that need to be ironed out before it is ready for prime time. The review unit we saw was linked to laptop on the other side of the room transmitting video at an absolutely abysmal resolution (160×120 or 240×180 from the looks of it). Great for converting your face into something resembling an Atari 2600 game, but not so great for video conferencing. The TV is linked up to your home network via Ethernet or integrated Wireless-N and we were told is capable of doing 720P video calls now, but cannot currently handle full 1080P HD due to limitations within Skype.
One oddity is that the first generation of these Skype enabled TV’s do not include built in cameras. Instead Toshiba gives you some “recommended” options to chose from, or you can roll your own by using any USB compatible web cam. Later generations should include models with built in cameras we are told. The first generation is set to launch some time in 1H 2011 (which generally seems to mean May/June) ensuring you have plenty of time to complete your living room and wardrobe renovations. Make it so. S|A