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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.

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