Comcast is adding a service that will allow subscribers to make Skype video calls over their television sets, reports Bloomberg.
The service, part of an effort to keep customers from canceling their cable plans, will let people make high-definition video calls, the piece says.
The service was set to launch this week in Boston and Seattle, and was expected to expand to other cities including Atlanta, Chicago and Miami by week’s end, the story says. The cost will be $9.95 for Triple Play customers, who pay for Internet, TV and voice.
The piece reports: “Comcast, based in Philadelphia, is seeking ways to keep its cable customers loyal while adding features that can bring in additional revenue. Skype on Xfinity, which includes a video camera and a special remote control, lets users make video calls and send instant messages while watching TV. The service may be attractive to those for whom using Skype on a personal computer is unfamiliar or unappealing.”
Richard Doherty, an analyst with the consulting firm Envisioneering Group, said: “It’s really going for a PC-agnostic user: seniors, large families who don’t want to crowd around the PC.”