Comcast Corp. and Skype have announced a strategic partnership between the two companies to create an HD video calling service that will work through customers’ television sets using a broadband connection.
Customers “will soon be able to make and receive Skype video calls from their television, whether their friends and family use Skype on their home TVs, PCs, compatible smartphones or tablets,” Comcast said.
“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 Neil Smit, president, Comcast Cable. “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.”
Added Skype CEO Tony Bates: “We are pleased to announce this partnership with Comcast. 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.”
Comcast said the service will enable customers 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.”
Trials are planned for sometime in the next few months, with additional product details expected later this year.