Skype and Panasonic Announce Collaboration to Add Skype Software to Viera® HDTVs

Collaboration Takes VIERA CAST™-Enabled HDTV Connectivity to New Level, Offering Voice and Video Communications via HDTV
LAS VEGAS, 5 January 2010 – Panasonic Corporation, a worldwide leader in High Definition technology and built-in TV web entertainment, and Skype, a leader in internet communications, today announced a collaboration that will enable consumers to make voice and video calls over Skype™ on Panasonic's line of 2010 VIERA CAST-enabled HDTVs planned for launch in spring 2010. This collaboration takes Skype to another platform, in addition to the computer and the mobile phone, which is the technology heart of the home, the television. Skype on your VIERA® delivers many familiar Skype features including:
  • Free Skype-to-Skype voice and video calls
  • Calls to landline or mobile phone at Skype’s low rates
  • The option to receive inbound calls via a user’s online Skype number
  • Skype voicemail, if you have it set up
  • Being invited to participate in voice conference calls with up to 24 other parties
“The addition of Skype to our VIERA CAST offerings truly takes HDTV connectivity to a whole new level,” said Bob Perry, Vice President, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. “VIERA CAST was created to offer Panasonic VIERA® HDTV owners a new level of entertainment by giving them access to some of the most popular content-driven web sites. Panasonic VIERA HDTV owners can now not only share photos and videos online; with Skype they can also talk to family and friends from the comfort of their living room.” “Skype has made video calling easy, free and accessible. Today, 34% of all Skype-to-Skype calls include video. In addition, the number one reason why Skype users enjoy video calling is because it makes them feel more connected to friends and family,” said Josh Silverman, CEO of Skype. “This is very exciting for us. TVs are a logical and natural platform for video communications. TVs will no longer be just the center of people’s entertainment experience, but have the potential to be the center of people’s communications experience.” To conduct a Skype video call on a VIERA CAST HDTV, a specially-designed high-performance Panasonic camera, which is sold as a separate accessory, is simply plugged into the television. The camera includes a special microphone system that can easily pick up sound from couch-distance. Plus, it will deliver up to 720p high definition video quality depending on the consumer’s internet bandwidth. Panasonic’s VIERA CAST feature has been widely acknowledged for its distinctive internet application, allowing the consumer to view targeted sites on a large HDTV, rather than a small computer screen. VIERA CAST requires no external box or PC. VIERA CAST is accessed via a single button on the television remote control and there is no fee to use the VIERA CAST functionality (some VIERA CAST services such as VOD have a separate fee structure). Skype joins a growing list of web-based offerings on Panasonic’s VIERA CAST-enabled HDTVs including Amazon Video On Demand, YouTube™, Picasa Web Albums™, Bloomberg News and weather information.

About Panasonic

Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products for a wide range of consumer, business, and industrial needs. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded consolidated net sales of 7.77 trillion yen (US$78.4 billion) for the year ended March 31, 2009. The company's shares are listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and New York (NYSE: PC) stock exchanges. For more information on the company and the Panasonic brand, visit the company's website at panasonic.net. Panasonic is pledged to practice prudent, sustainable use of the earth's natural resources and protect our environment through the company’s Eco Ideas programs. Information about Panasonic products is available at www.panasonic.com. Additional company information for journalists is available at www.panasonic.com/pressroom.

About Skype

Skype is software that enables the world’s conversations. Millions of individuals and businesses use Skype to make free video and voice calls, send instant messages and share files with other Skype users. Everyday, people everywhere also use Skype to make low-cost calls to landlines and mobiles. Download Skype to your computer or mobile phone at skype.com. Access to a broadband Internet connection is required. Skype is not a replacement for traditional telephone service and cannot be used for emergency calling. Skype, associated trademarks and logos and the “S” symbol are trademarks of Skype Limited.

Editorial Contacts

Jennifer Caukin (Skype) +1 408-564-3614 jennifer.caukin@skype.net Aziza Johnson (Kaplow for Skype) +1 212-221-1713 ajohnson@kaplowpr.com Chris De Maria (Panasonic) +1 201-348-7182 demariac@us.panasonic.com Blayne Murphy (Cohn & Wolfe for Panasonic) +1 212-798-9763 blayne.murphy@cohnwolfe.com