Logitech has been experimenting with unusual peripherals and consumer electronics lately, and the TV Cam HD is definitely one such item, or will be once it starts shipping in the US this month (August, 2012).
We should preface this by saying that this isn't your usual, run-off-the-mill webcam, not in the least, for several reasons.
The first and most obvious one is that the camera is not made for PC monitors. Instead, it is supposed to sit on top of a home's TV (provided an HDMI port is present).
The other reason is the extra hardware that the product comes equipped with. Normally, a webcam is just a camera that links to a PC via USB and lets a driver do everything else.
Since there is no PC to operate it though, the TV Cam HD has to do everything itself, which means capture and transmit 720p footage over Wi-Fi or Ethernet independently.
In fact, the device has all the processing power and integrated software it needs to allow for Skype videoconferencing.
“Our mission is to make Skype calling part of consumers’ everyday routine by ensuring it is accessible to everyone at any time and from anywhere,” said Bob Rosin, head of business development for Skype.
“The affordable and simple-to-use Logitech TV Cam HD is a great way for the whole family to share everyday moments through Skype with others near and far – right from their living room.”
Logitech will need $1,99.99 from all those who want to own a TV Cam HD, when shipments finally begin in a few weeks (September in Europe).
“Amazing connections happen when the video calling experience moves to the TV in the living room: the most popular and comfortable place in the house,” said Joerg Tewes, vice president of Logitech’s digital home business group.
“Because of the size of the TV screen and the quality of the video, the new Logitech TV Cam HD with Skype brings a whole new social element to the living room, helping you feel like your family and friends are right there with you. It’s a transformative experience.”