Skype Partners With Comcast For Integrated Big-Screen Chatting

Skype on the television isn't a brand new concept; chatting on your HDTV has been possible for some time now, but the partnerships to make it more mainstream than ever seem to be popping up far more rapidly now. Comcast has just announced a new deal that will enable their customers to communicate with family and friends through HD video calling on their television. They 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.

Neil Smit, President, Comcast Cable, talks big game, but he's pretty much dead-on: "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. 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."

Of course, this basically means that Microsoft and Comcast now share a bond, so long as that $8.5b deal goes through. Thanks to this particular deal, users will be able 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. They'll also be able to make and receive video and audio calls, or send instant messages via Skype on a compatible mobile phone or tablet. Finally, they can 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.

Customer trials for this offering will begin in the coming months, and further product details will be made available later this year. In other words, hang tight for now!