Comcast and Skype have joined forces to bring customers HD video calling on their TVs. The two companies have entered a strategic partnership, which will allow Comcast customers to communicate with their friends and family through their TV via HD video calls, whether their friends and family are using Skype on their own TVs or on PCS, smartphones or tablets.
Even better, it will be available in HD widescreen. Customers will be able to:
- Make and receive Skype video and audio calls, or send instant messages via Skype on a television while watching their favorite TV show at the same time, and accept incoming calls during a TV show with the help of Caller ID.
- Make and receive video and audio calls, or send instant messages via Skype on a compatible mobile phone or tablet.
- Import friends to their address book from their Facebook, Outlook, Gmail and smartphone contact lists, find them on Skype and see when contacts are online and available to talk.
"Our unique relationship with Skype not only will change how our customers interact with their TV, but also will create new and meaningful ways to bring our customers closer to the people they care about," said Comcast Cable President Neil Smit. "TV has evolved into a social experience, and Comcast and Skype will be delivering a product that personalizes the TV experience even more, and brings friends and family together through the biggest screen in their homes."
"We are pleased to announce this partnership with Comcast, added Skype CEO Tony Bates. "By combining Comcast's broad living room reach with Skype's innovative communications platform and worldwide community of users, we can bring video calling into the heart of the home allowing people to share life's experiences both big and small."
The service will be delivered through an adaptor box, a "high quality" video camera, and a special remote control that lets you text on Skype while you control your TV. The person on the other side doesn't need any of this special equipment.
Customers will also be able to use Comcast's Xfinity Mobile app to access mobile features and engage in conversations.
Skype says the offering will come in trials at first in the coming months, and then they'll make additional details available later in the year.