Tuesday June 14, 2011 8:53 pm
Comcast to bring Skype video calls to Xfinity
Today, Comcast and Skype announced a partnership that will let Comcast customers make and accept wide-screen, high-definition video calls (as well as communicate via instant messages) through their television sets.
Skype on Comcast will let users identify incoming Skype calls via caller ID, accept incoming calls while watching TV, and import friends and colleagues' contacts from Facebook, Outlook, Gmail, and smartphone address books.
The Skype service will be delivered to Comcast customers via a combination of an adapter box, video camera, and a special remote that will let them input text as well as control their televisions. The other party does not need any special equipment beyond what is normally needed to use Skype.
"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," Neil Smit, president of Comcast Cable, said in a statement. "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."
In addition, Comcast subscribers will be able to access mobile features through Comcast's Xfinity Mobile app (available on the Android and iOS platforms), and continue to enjoy Skype conversations by switching from one compatible device (such as smartphones, tablets, or televisions) to another.
Comcast states that it will begin customer trials "in the coming months," and further details will be made available later this year.
This article, written by Jeffrey L. Wilson, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc.