Samsung Adds Skype To Broadband HDTVs

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Video chats via your TV are now possible after Samsung became the latest manufacturer to include Skype on its broadband-enabled HD televisions

Samsung is offering its customers the ability to chat to friends and family from the comfort of their living room, after it was announced that two new HDTV models will offer Skype video calling.

The Samsung LED 7000 and 8000 series models will also include Samsung’s Internet TV service, which, if the TV is connected to a broadband network, means that users can surf the web from the comfort of their sofa.

Samsung is not the first TV maker to announce the inclusion of a Skype client with its television. Back in early January, LG and Panasonic revealed they would embed Skype in their latest generation of Internet-connected HDTVs. At the time, Skype launched high-definition video calling with the latest beta of its PC client.

It seems that the Skype client on the Samsung TV will also include Skype Out capabilities, meaning that not only can it make free Skype to Skype video calls (providing it has the relevant TV camera), but it can also allow for calls to mobile phones and landlines, at a much cheaper rate than other service providers.

“Our consumers want their televisions to be a ‘one-stop shop’ for entertainment and communication delivered with the highest quality,” said Kevin Kyungshik Lee, Vice President of Visual Display at Samsung Electronics. “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.”

The Samsung LED 7000 and 8000 series televisions with Skype have now begun shipping in South Korea, but a worldwide release will take place “in the first half of 2010.”

“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.”