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First Skype HD webcams from In Store Solutions detailed

First Skype HD webcams from In Store Solutions detailed
Tim Stevens
Tim Stevens|January 5, 2010 12:42 PM
Remember those 720p-capable webcams we mentioned yesterday, specifically positioned to work with Skype HD? We've got the details courtesy of In Store Solutions, which is launching a trio of models, two of which are HD and feature integrated video compression chips, so less than cutting-edge machines should be able to get their high-def on (though a 1.8GHz, dual-core processor is still recommended). They are the Freetalk Talk-7170 HD Pro and the Talk-7181 HD Pro Plus, both offering 720p sensors and H.264 video compression, the latter also packing quad cardioid microphones with a four meter range. The former gets by with just stereo. An 800Kbps connection (both upload and download) is needed for HD streaming, so if you're stuck on low-tier DSL you may be more interested in the Freetalk HQ Talk-7140. No specific details were given for this one, but most "high quality" Skype cameras are 2 megapixels, and at a price of just $40 this looks to be the cheapest. No MSRP mentioned for the two HD models, but you can read all about them after the break.
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Three New FREETALK Webcams Provide Skype Users with
True High-Definition Video Calling and True High-Quality Video Calling, Starting at Just $40

FREETALK HD Webcams deliver true high definition video calling via Skype;?HQ Everyman Webcam is market-leading technology priced far below comparable products

Las Vegas (Jan. 5, 2010) - In Store Solutions today launched two new Skype Certified™ HD webcams, the FREETALK® TALK-7170 HD PRO and the TALK-7181 HD PRO PLUS. Both webcams enable true high definition video (720p) when used together with Skype 4.2 for Windows. In Store Solutions today also launched the FREETALK® HQ Everyman Webcam TALK-7140, a new, distinctive and value-priced webcam that allows users to access High Quality Video using Skype at an unmatched low price.

To further accelerate sales of its line of Skype Certified products, In Store Solutions worked with Skype to develop the FREETALK HD webcams, which address one of the major hindrances to achieving HD video calling on PCs. The high definition video capabilities of the FREETALK HD webcams are powered by an onboard chip that eliminates the need for additional processing by the computer running the Skype application, enabling superior video conversations between people.

Targeted at consumers, the HD PRO comes with two built-in microphones and is suitable for one-to-one high-definition video calling over Skype. The HD PRO PLUS is the high-definition solution perfect for road warriors or businesses that are looking for low-cost videoconferencing. The four built-in professional cardioid microphones enable a four meter audio pickup, which, together with Skype's beamforming algorithm, deliver crystal clear voice quality and help improve echo canceling performance.

The FREETALK HD webcams use H.264 video compression technology to create the most pristine video quality available today, when used with a fast broadband connection (800 Kbps symmetrical bandwidth or higher) and a computer with a 1.8 Ghz dual-core processor. For HD video calls in both directions, there should ideally be a similar set up on both ends. The FREETALK HD PRO webcam costs $120 and the FREETALK HD PRO PLUS costs $140. Both webcams will be available as of March 2010 for quick and efficient purchase through the Skype Shop, which is run by In Store Solutions.

"Together with Skype, In Store Solutions recognized the need that Skype users have for High Quality Video, but at a far lower price," said In Store Solutions COO Craig Smith. "Together with Skype, we have created the FREETALK HQ Everyman Webcam to directly address the many Skype users who are using video calling for the very first time and are looking for a low-cost, but high quality webcam."

In Store Solutions also worked with Skype to develop the FREETALK HQ Everyman Webcam. Delivering true VGA video, this webcam outperforms the competition in its price category and joins only a handful of other webcams to have been certified by Skype to deliver against the High Quality Video requirements. FREETALK has, once again, brought to market a best-of-breed Everyman product, at a price far below products of comparable quality.

The FREETALK HQ Everyman Webcam is available for immediate purchase through the Skype Shop. The revolutionary low price of $40 follows the lead of its stable mate, the FREETALK Everyman headset, currently available for $23, which has already sold more than 100,000 units in four months and is expected to sell more than 250,000 units in 2010 via the Skype Shop.

"Skype is working closely with In Store Solutions to develop new, exciting products under the FREETALK brand that can serve the growing worldwide community of Skype users," said Manrique Brenes, Skype's director of business development and product management for consumer electronics. "The availability of these new webcams through the Skype Shop will make High Definition and High Quality Video calling accessible to Skype users around the globe."

Product specifications for the HD Webcams include:
¥ 5 megapixel HD sensor
¥ High performance optical lens
¥ 24-bit true color depth
¥ Auto Exposure and Auto White Balance
¥ Manual focus capability for personalized focal setting
¥ HD video encoding at resolutions up to 1280x720 at 30 frames per second in H.264 format
¥ Less network bandwidth and CPU cycles required for HD video calls
¥ Two or four professional directional cardioid microphones together with Skype's beamforming algorithm provide crystal clear voice quality
¥ Skype Certified encoding camera to enable HD-quality Skype video calling on a PC
¥ Universal clip enabling attachment to a wide range of displays and monitors

Product specifications for the HQ Webcam include:
• High performance optical lens
• 24-bit true color depth
• Auto Exposure and Auto White Balance
• Auto Focus capability
• Supports resolution up to 640x480 through Skype (true VGA)
• Skype Certified High Quality camera
• Universal clip enabling attachment to a wide range of displays and monitors

For more information about FREETALK HD Webcam and FREETALK HQ Everyman Webcam or to order a unit, visit http://www.skype.com/shop. Skype for Windows 4.2 beta is available as a free download from www.skype.com/download/skype/windows/beta/.

About In Store Solutions
In Store Solutions is a channel innovator that enables manufacturers and service providers to regain control of their brands and leapfrog the inefficiencies of legacy distribution. Utilizing its high-performance web commerce platform, In Store Solutions enables companies to quickly implement their own branded online stores and sell across borders to over 181 countries, in 44 currencies and 41 languages – all through a single licensing agreement.

In Store Solutions then merchandizes those stores, with synergistic products and cross-selling opportunities, all without sacrificing the primary brand's supremacy. Additionally, the company's "imagineering" team identifies new and untapped market opportunities while creating product innovations specifically designed to leverage and extend its clients' brands.
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