Comcast’s Skype on TV accessory hits the FCC, brings video chat to the big screen
Comcast has been talking about integrating Skype with their Xfinity service for about half a year now, and recently the company’s appropriately named Skype on TV accessory made an appearance on the FCC. The device consists of a camera and microphone accessory that attaches to the top of a TV, pictured above, and a small adapter box, see gallery below, which manages connections between Xfinity’s set top box and the camera array. The system also comes with a QWERTY remote that should make typing Skype messages pretty painless.
User manuals for Skype for TV show a 10-foot style interface that does a good job of bringing Skype’s interface to a TV screen. You can make audio or video calls, as well as send instant messages. Most Skype features, such as setting availability and viewing contacts are available on Skype for TV. One thing that appears to be missing is file transfers – although I’m not really sure how that would work anyway.
One interesting feature of Skype on TV is the ability to overlay video chat over TV, or display video chats in a small picture-in-picture style display. Users can toggle back and forth between their video chat and TV, which, while somewhat rude, seems very convenient.