A cookie-shaped, easy-to-use, $199 video-conferencing solution that you pay for once and then use forever.
Introduced last month at the Consumer Electronics Association’s annual New York-based CES Unveiled preview event (CES 2012 kicks off on Jan. 9 in Las Vegas), the Biscotti TV Phone is a home video-conferencing gadget that works with your HDTV.
Each biscotti-cookie-shaped unit cost $199 and works with any other unit via Biscotti’s proprietary network. You can also chat with anyone on GChat (sorry, no Skype).
Biscotti is not the first HDTV video conferencing solution. Most notably, Cisco (with UMI) and Google and Logitech (with Google TV and the Revue) have made the leap.
The device connects to your HDTV via an HDMI cable. Unlike most other HD devices, Biscotti actually has you run your cable box connection through the device. So the back sports both HDMI-in and HDMI-out ports. Biscotti conducts the video calls over the Internet, which means you’ll need Wi-Fi to use it—there’s no wired, Ethernet option.
Video resolution is at 720p, and the videocamera is equipped with a wide-angle lens (you can digitally zoom and pan, as well).
Simplicity could help Biscotti succeed where others have failed this holiday season. To be fair, the Logitech review camera is cheaper (by $50), but you have to buy Logitech’s Google TV box to use it. Cisco’s UMI is $100 more for a 720p device and you have to pay for the UMI service: $9.95 a month or $99 a year.
N.B.: Biscotti is pay once, use forever—or at least as long as Biscotti lasts.
Read other short reviews: http://mashable.com/2011/11/09/biscotti/#view_as_one_page-gallery_box3053
Find out more: http://www.biscotti.com/biscotti-tv-phone.html
(Curated by Robin Good)