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Panasonic Viera TY-CC10W review: 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.

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Ty Pendlebury Editor
Ty Pendlebury is a journalism graduate of RMIT Melbourne, and has worked at CNET since 2006. He lives in New York City where he writes about streaming and home audio.
Expertise Ty has worked for radio, print, and online publications, and has been writing about home entertainment since 2004. He majored in Cinema Studies when studying at RMIT. He is an avid record collector and streaming music enthusiast. Credentials
  • Ty was nominated for Best New Journalist at the Australian IT Journalism awards, but he has only ever won one thing. As a youth, he was awarded a free session for the photography studio at a local supermarket.
Ty Pendlebury
2 min read

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.

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7.0

Panasonic Viera TY-CC10W

The Good

Good audio and video quality. Interface is easy to use. More useful than Twitter on your TV.

The Bad

Slow boot-up. Calls don't always connect properly. Expensive. Pop-up notifications can be intrusive.

The Bottom Line

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.

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)