Skype Certified Webcams Tote Built-in 720p H.264 Video Encoders

If you’ve ever looked for a webcam to use with Skype, you’ve no doubt checked out their recommended webcam list. The list breaks down webcams into Gold, Silver, and Bronze categories, with Gold being the best of what’s out — providing, at minimum, 1280 x 720 pixel resolution at up to 30 frames per second video capture. Well, a new crop of Skype Certified webcams are entering the market that provide built-in video processors to take the load off the computer’s CPU. Benefit: your computer won’t experience a performance hit while video chatting and your video quality — at least for the recipient — will be buttery smooth. Currently, Skype lists a handful of H.264 encoding webcams [PDF] — though you have to poke around the selections in Gold to find them — ranging in price from $59.99 to the latest Creative Live! Cam inPersonHD with 4 microphones (shown above) for $149. Check ’em out. Made for TV webcams are a bit more. The good thing is that these cameras will work well with other applications besides Skype, so Skype’s Gold webcam list is a nice reference to keep bookmarked.

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