Comcast Kicks Off Skype, Enhances Service
Comcast has launched “Skype on Xfinity,” which allows video-calling on the TV screen. The opportunity is available in Boston and Seattle and ticketed for eight more markets this week, including Chicago and Detroit.
Users can Skype on the screen, while continuing to watch TV with a picture-in-picture option. Sports and breaking news might be most applicable since consumers like to watch them live, so a user can “telescope” to a show in full screen, while continuing to chat.
It is another move by a cable/satellite/telco TV operator to meld more offerings with the changing digital behavior of its customers. In the vein of TV Everywhere and t-commerce, it allows purchases with a few clicks of the remote control.
The Skype service -- which costs about $10 a month -- will allow users to connect with friends and family outside the U.S. Comcast users will be required to have a particular set-top box and be a Skype user, but the other party only needs to be a verified Skype user and can connect with mobile devices, such as a tablet.
Word that Comcast would launch the service emerged last year at an industry event. Comcast is offering triple-play customers a free three-month trial.