FREETALK’s New Webcam Product Line: Delivering 720p HD to Skype Video Calling

FT logo web 180x631 thumb FREETALK’s New Webcam Product Line: Delivering 720p HD to Skype Video Calling At CES 2010 last week In Store Solutions announced they will be adding three webcams to its FREETALK® product line that set new standards for video calling hardware.

The primary service goal for these webcams is to support up to 30 frames per second transmission over Internet services available via widely deployed broadband (cable and DSL) connections. Here’s a summary of the specs that have been developed incorporating features requested by Skype while contributing to a robust, reliable, user-friendly video calling experience:

Product FREETALK®
HQ Everyman Webcam TALK-710x
FREETALK®
HD Webcam
TALK-7140
FREETALK®
HD PRO PLUS
TALK-7181
  HQ7140.128px thumb FREETALK’s New Webcam Product Line: Delivering 720p HD to Skype Video Calling

7140621.128x128 thumb FREETALK’s New Webcam Product Line: Delivering 720p HD to Skype Video Calling

HD7181.128px thumb FREETALK’s New Webcam Product Line: Delivering 720p HD to Skype Video Calling
Maximum Resolution and Frame Rate VGA: 640 x 480 @ 30fps 720p: 1280 x 720 @22fps
VGA: 640 x 480 @ 30fps
720p: 1280 x 720 @22fps
VGA: 640 x 480 @ 30fps
Sensor 1 megapixel HQ
24-bit true color
5 megapixel HD
24-bit true color
5 megapixel HD
24-bit true color
Microphones

Range

0

n/a

0

n/a

4 using Skype’s beam forming algorithm
4 meters
Video compression via PC’s CPU On board On board
High performance Optical Lens Yes Yes Yes
Auto Exposure and Auto White Balance Yes Yes Yes
Focus Auto Auto and Manual Auto and Manual
Target Audience One-to-one video calling One-to-one video calling
Multi-party video
“One-to-one” video conferencing
(larger room)
Minimum CPU Dual Core 1.8 GHz Dual Core 1.8 GHz Dual Core
Upload bandwidth required 384 kbps 1.2 Mbps for 720p
384 kbps for VGA
1.2 Mbps for 720p
384 kbps for VGA
Skype Version Skype for Windows 4.2 Skype for Windows 4.2
(one-to-one)
Skype for Win 5.0 beta (multi-party)
Skype for Windows 4.2
Target Price
(subject to change)
$40 $70 $140
Availability July 2010 on the Skype Store May 5, 2010 on the Skype Store July 2010 on the Skype Store

Notes:

  • This table has been updated to reflect changes in webcam specifications as of the launch date for shipping the TALK-7140 HD webcam, May 5, 2010.
  • While all three cameras will support High Quality Video calling on Windows, Mac and Linux at VGA resolution, only Skype for Windows 4.2 will support 720p HD calling on the HD webcams.
  • A 1.2 Mbps network speed is required to both send and receive video; the real challenge with this requirement is the scarcity of Internet users whose upload speed meets this requirement. Receiving HD video, even if you can’t send HD video, is still possible for download speeds > 1.2Mpbs.
  • Should an HD webcam encounter network conditions that do not fully support HD video calling, they will revert to support of either High Quality Video at its VGA (640×480) resolution if conditions permit or even lower resolution if conditions degrade further.
  • The FREETALK Everyman HD Webcam also requires either a FREETALK Everyman Headset for Skype (or equivalent) or use of Skype’s echo canceling feature on PC’s with an internal mic and speakers.

And to clarify the video calling terminology:

  • High Quality Video refers to the VGA (640 x 480) video calling offered by Skype on Skype for Windows in November 2007.
  • HD (High Definition) Video calling refers to the 720p (1280 x 720) video calling announced at CES 2010 and initially to be available in May 2010 in Skype for Windows 4.2 (currently in beta).

Bottom line: the FreeTalk-7140 Everyman HD webcam allows a much broader public to take advantage of Skype’s High Quality video at a lower hardware price point; the 7140 and 7181 will establish the benchmark for the emerging world of HD video calling not only on PC’s but also TV’s.

Full disclosure: In Store Solutions has become a client of Denali InterConneXions, publisher of Voice On The Web, building on the author’s previous business development experience with establishing partnerships that can assist with the promotion of a primary vendor’s offerings. A more complete statement will follow shortly.

 FREETALK’s New Webcam Product Line: Delivering 720p HD to Skype Video Calling

About Jim Courtney

Bringing over thirty years' experience in the sales, marketing and management of cutting edge technology businesses.

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