Skype this afternoon announced a partnership with Comcast to bring video calls to more television sets — signaling that it isn’t standing still while it waits for its acquisition by Microsoft to be completed.

Comcast says it will offer high-definition Skype calls as an extra service for its cable subscribers. It will work via an adapter box, a video camera and a special remote control for texting on Skype in addition to controlling the television. Pricing hasn’t been announced. Trials of the service will begin in the coming months, and the rollout is expected this year.

Some of the planned features list in the announcement …

  • 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.

Microsoft announced plans last month to acquire Skype for $8.5 billion. Among other plans, the Redmond company is expected to integrate Skype into products including its Kinect motion controller for Xbox 360, another method of making TV video calls.

Comments

  • Guest

    Thank you to Microsoft and Comcast for continuing to innovate!

  • Ray

    Skype is a pretty cool service to use. It is nice to see Comcast being innovative and finding new ways to gain an edge in the market. I work in the TV industry for Dish Network and I am always reading articles to see what new things are being introduced. Even though this is a great idea, Comcast falls a little short in some aspects of the industry. If you want to compare the pros and cons, pricing, and customer service for a few of the largest TV providers just go to BestTVforMe.com. It has plenty of great information so you can be well informed before you choose where to get your TV from!

  • rsgalloway

    I’m considering developing an inexpensive OEM Skype set-top-box for the TV. If you’re interested, you can sign up here: http://skypefortv.com

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