Panasonic Viera Skype camera

The Panasonic TY-CC10W Skype camera is hardly an essential addition to your Viera plasma, but gives you one more way to talk to absent friends.


7.0
CNET Rating
3.7
User Rating

About The Author

CNET Editor

Ty is a journalist with 15 years experience in writing for IT and entertainment publications. He is in charge of the home theatre category for CNET Australia and is also a PC enthusiast. He likes indie music and plays several instruments. Twitter: @tpendlebury


While Skype has a hardcore audience that has used it for years, in the popular consciousness it's constantly weaving in and out of view. A while ago, phones with Skype capabilities were all the rage, but where are they now? The idea of video chat has been in the news of late as Fring has tussled with Apple over the use of the iPhone camera.

But what is Skype? Is it a program that, like pretender Apple FaceTime, is designed to bring families together? If so, then it makes sense to integrate into a device the family regularly sits around: the television.

Panasonic has taken this idea and run with it, and several of the company's new TVs including the VT and V series feature Skype access. Unfortunately, you'll need a Viera TV with USB ports to use the service and third-party cameras won't work.

The camera itself features a wide-angle lens, meaning everyone in the family can fit in, and six microphones for better quality audio.

Hooking the camera up was an easy process — plug it into a spare USB slot and boot up the Skype client under VieraCast.

Making calls was a simple process and video and audio quality was good on both sides of the conversation. Quit out of the application and it lays dormant in the background — a pop-up window will appear in the corner if someone calls you.

It's this functionality that still needs some ironing out; for example, if you opt to take the call it will sometimes simply time out for the caller as the TV loads back into Skype. But the receiver is often left with a blank screen and a confused look as to why. Additionally, we couldn't find any way to turn off background calls and this could be unnecessarily distracting in the long term.

Conclusion

Like the Skype phones the appeal of these cameras will be quite niche. Will we see this trend extend to televisions in the future? Who knows? Panasonic's software could do with some work, and we wish we could use any third-party camera, but this solution is more likely to endure over Twitter on your TV.

Panasonic TV Skype camera

The Panasonic Skype interface (Credit: Ty Pendlebury/CNET Australia)



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jackjps
1
Rating
 

jackjps posted a review   

Bought the brand new Panasonic Plasma 3D 65" with the Panasonic web camera. I have cabled ethernet internet connection with Vieracast. The video does not work when calling or receiving from a Mac. Works OK on setup with TV, but I consider a Skype Beta and no video a big no-no. This product was and is not ready for public consumption. Panasonic, make it work or take it off the market!

 

Jordan posted a reply   

I agree, there are a lot of people out there having the same problem. The product simply does not do what it is supposed to. Panasonic and Skype should be ashamed of themselves

 

blackterminal posted a reply   

and who cares if it works with Mac. Use a PC.

 

Mark posted a reply   

Ummmmm, Mac users might care...........

 

DarrylD posted a reply   

blackterminal is in severe need of an education. Apple INVENTED the PC you moron. Fast forward >>> to today. Use a PC? Why?! So I can take several steps BACKWARDS and use an inferior OS to boot? My Mac would eat your wannabe for breakfast. Work out the kinks FAST Skype and Panasonic or this DMP-BT210 is going back for a refund. This feature is not ready for commercial release as is.

 

JoeC1 posted a reply   

HAHAHA you are in more need of a severe education ,The SIMON in 1955 was the first pc you dolt, apple didnt produce til 77's and eve BEFORE that IBM was producing in 1955!!!

Jupiter
4
Rating
 

Jupiter posted a review   

The Good:Nice idea for those without a computer

The Bad:No WiFi, No Ethernet

As a long term user of skype, and an early adopter of Motorola's video calls, and Cisco conferencing, I gotta say that Apple's FaceTime seems to get Video calls just right (rather than pretending as Ty suggests)

Still better late than never for Panasonic. Good picture, and not too bad in low-ish light. Didn't get a chance to see if there are any other other features (it's next door and looks sexy on the TV - my motivation to visit this site), but if it turns out to be more than I've seen, I'll be back to up my rating.

When this has better connection options, and can act as a network camera from your existing computer, it'll make a sweet, aesthetic companion to your TV - which I assume you'll be driving from your Mac Mini (with FaceTime like me) or your Windoze Media Center.

Agree with Moe on the Quickcam AF! It's a nice product with great features.

Sorry for the low rating, but it's just a sexy looking, but low function camera. It may be black, but I rate it Blonde.

Moe's Input
6
Rating
 

Moe's Input posted a review   

The Good:Excellent Idea, wide lens, multiple microphones, fits nicely with Panny TV's

The Bad:You must have VIERAcast, no wifi, nor option for seperate Ethernet plug, multiple software issues.

Well, since I was completely uninformed about this product, I only knew that it was a camera that fits nicely with Panasonic Televisions. Even a gaze all over the box screamed "buy me, buy me!". I was convinced, especially since her laptop was recently broken by our grabby, curious two year old. What it DOES NOT tell you, on the box or in the manual, that your Panisonic TV MUST HAVE VIERAcast. After reading more carefully, it talks about VIERAcast in doses, but it never explicitly says, "This product will not work without VIERAcast". Since our BX (Base Exchange for those who never associate with Military, it's like our Wal-mart, except it sucks) here in Japan seems to lack the ability to understand or market Technology, had my TV model (Panasonic TC-P50S1, older, I know) with a Panasonic Skype Camera on top, plugged into the USB port, to which it provided power. Unfortunately, this is where my knowledge failed. Same model, same capabilities right? Wrong, it was plugged in to show what it looks like, AND it was advertised as having WiFi built in. They were so full of it. I purchased, brought it home, excited to get our family web cam to contact family back in the states, we were met with a pleasant light, and...not much else. I scoured this thing for a wifi switch, an ethernet plug, SOMETHING! After googling for about two minutes, I found out if you don't have VIERAcast, you're pretty much screwed. Whether you have VIERAcast on your Blu-ray Player or not, it may work, I took it back way too fast. Thankfully, I made a slightly cheaper investment, I bought a Logitech Quickcam AF, which tracks movement, the Sound and Picture Quality is impeccable. Even testing it out, it kept our 2 yr old occupied for a long time seeing herself on the big TV. All I had to do was get my old desktop from the bedroom I never used, an old mouse and Keyboard, then boom, I got a Skype Cam on the big screen.

In Conclusion, the tech Panasonic used seems to be in its infancy, I have a feeling that cams will be built into TV's in the same degree that you cannot buy a laptop without a camera anywhere anymore. I would skip this until you see one with Wifi, then again, once it has WiFi, you would be able to use it with any TV with a USB port, so what would be the point? I would give this a year or two to let the software kinks get ironed out, or at least until they put something amazing in it. Good luck, and I hope I steered you in the right direction




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User Reviews / Comments  Panasonic Viera Skype camera

  • jackjps

    jackjps

    Rating1

    "Bought the brand new Panasonic Plasma 3D 65" with the Panasonic web camera. I have cabled ethernet internet connection with Vieracast. The video does not work when calling or receiving from a Mac. ..."

  • Jupiter

    Jupiter

    Rating4

    "As a long term user of skype, and an early adopter of Motorola's video calls, and Cisco conferencing, I gotta say that Apple's FaceTime seems to get Video calls just right (rather than pretending a..."

  • Moe's Input

    Moe's Input

    Rating6

    "Well, since I was completely uninformed about this product, I only knew that it was a camera that fits nicely with Panasonic Televisions. Even a gaze all over the box screamed "buy me, buy me!". ..."

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