Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Video Chat Through TV - New Option

With a barrage of video chat options on so many devices undeniably the best experience is through the TV.  But those options can be expensive -- Skype enabled TVs can run thousands of dollars (the cheapest at 25" is $800 base) and Ciscos Umi runs a minimum of $400 with a monthly fee (though it is buy one get one right now).  

But today, Comcast has announced a partnership with Skype to offer 'rentable' boxes regardless of which TV you have.  Price is yet to be announced and if its low enough and a one time annual fee it could change the game.  

Per their press release here are some of the features:

·         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.

The service also comes with a remote control for messaging during the service.  The user on the other end does not need anything special just Skype.  The key will be making this an easy set up for the user or with future activations Comcast should offer set up and activation for a nominal fee.  

Here is an older post on Video Chatting capabilities.

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