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Comcast Testing 'Skype On Your TV Set'
New Xfinity Service Would Come With HD Camera
by Karl Bode 11:06AM Friday Jun 03 2011 Tipped by FFH5 See Profile
A user writes in to note that Comcast is currently testing a new video conferencing service in conjunction with Skype, that will ultimately be offered to all Comcast Xfinity subscribers. The notice states the company's "Skype on your tv set" will provide face-to-face video conferencing on televisions and other devices, includes smartphones, PCs and tablets. According to the notice, the service will also provide users with a high-definition camera, though Comcast has yet to officially name the service. We've reached out to Comcast for comment and additional detail, but have not heard back. The full notice being sent to subscribers:
quote:
We are evaluating a name for a new service available to XFINITY subscribers: XFINITY and Skype are partnering to offer customers – in essence, "Skype on your TV set", providing live face-to-face video conferencing with friends and family on your television and through multiple other devices including your smartphone, PC, and tablet.

Customers will now be able to talk face-to-face from the comfort of their living rooms or on-the-go to share important news (“we’re engaged!”), participate in special events (“I just watched my niece take her first steps”), watch the same TV program with all your friends, or simply say hi (“Hi, I missed you!”).

The service includes a high-definition camera for an optimal life-like viewing experience on a big TV screen and a downloadable smartphone/tablet app to connect while on-the-go. It’s a whole new way to stay in touch with family and friends, only from XFINITY.

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topics flat nest 
en103

join:2011-05-02

Skype camera on my TV

As much as I may like the possibility of Skype 2 Skype video calls on my TV (use PC currently), I would not want to leave a camera controlled by Skype/Comcast on my TV. Big brother watching ?
Joe12345678

join:2003-07-22
Des Plaines, IL

will this eat up your download cap or VOD slots?

will this eat up your download cap or VOD slots?

Will you get times of overload where it will not work (like when there are to many people useing VOD on your NODE) or be very compressed?

Will Comcast make you rent the Camera? Will be a good Camera or a cheap webcam one?

TriForce

join:2008-05-27
Chico, CA

Re: will this eat up your download cap or VOD slots?

That would be nice to be a P2P VOD. Congestion shouldn't be a huge problem with compression. I guess it would be included into their phone service.

Although, this opens the door to Comcast collecting data on viewers.

ptrowski
Got Helix?
Premium
join:2005-03-14
Putnam, CT
kudos:4

No thanks...

Didn't Comcast a few years ago want to put cameras in the cable boxes to see how many people were in the room etc? This seems like their "legit" way to accomplish it.
FactChecker
Premium
join:2008-06-03

1 recommendation

Re: No thanks...

Apple put a camera in my Mac and Microsoft put a camera on my game console... This is the future if you want conferencing features, gesture controls and other new visual features.

Take it, leave it or wear your tin foil hat.
--
"Too often we... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy

ptrowski
Got Helix?
Premium
join:2005-03-14
Putnam, CT
kudos:4

Re: No thanks...

I understand that and I use Kinect etc. But they previously wanted a camera specifically to see the target audience in the room which is different than videoconferencing, gestures.
en103

join:2011-05-02

Re: No thanks...

Correct - and unless you're actively playing games on a console - you should have it turned off (why waste power).

ptrowski
Got Helix?
Premium
join:2005-03-14
Putnam, CT
kudos:4
»gigaom.com/video/comcast-cameras···ing-you/

HappyAnarchy

@iauq.com

Skepticisim may be warranted

Skepticisim may be warranted ...

However, all I can think about is the look on my mom's face the few times she gets to see my kids. Being able to video call her would be just about the most amazing thing ever, and if they can pull this off in a way that is easy for non-technically inclined people they would deserve some serious praise.

As it stands, regardless of the result, this is the kind of innovation we should encourage and support - rather than "innovative" price models or cost savings.

Otdoors9876

@comcast.net

1 recommendation

Are We That Lazy of a Nation.

I hardly watch TV, I spend a few hours a week on the PC, Mostly I'm outside, are we that lazy, turn everything off, get outside and enjoy life!

FFH5
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

Re: Are We That Lazy of a Nation.

said by Otdoors9876 :

I hardly watch TV, I spend a few hours a week on the PC, Mostly I'm outside, are we that lazy, turn everything off, get outside and enjoy life!

What does switching from a voice phone call to a video phone call have to do with watching too much TV or going outside?
--
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LeftOfSanity
People Suck.

join:2005-11-06
Dover, DE
said by Otdoors9876 :

I hardly watch TV, I spend a few hours a week on the PC, Mostly I'm outside, are we that lazy, turn everything off, get outside and enjoy life!

Don't hurt your arm patting yourself on the back there Otdoors.

But what about people who are disabled, sick etc, who dont get to go outside?
--
"I'm against picketing, but I don't know how to show it" - Mitch Hedberg
eqshadimar
Premium
join:2004-10-20
Plano, TX

Microsoft

Humm now that Microsoft owns Skype I wonder if this service will remain available/free. Microsoft has already announced licensing changes for some of the Skype products.

Laters,
Jeff

baineschile
2600 ways to live
Premium
join:2008-05-10
Sterling Heights, MI

Re: Microsoft

More imporatly, if this function is introduced, do you think it could be the new "phone" service, since so many people are getting rid of their traditional phone line.
westdc

join:2009-01-25
Amissville, VA
kudos:1

Just paste

A playing card over the camera -when NOT in use
JJV
Premium
join:2001-04-25
Seattle, WA

1 recommendation

New TV',s already have Skype

Many newer TV sets run internet apps. Skype is one of the apps.

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast

So...what?

This "Advanced Service Offering" is one of many, but it's not that AMAZING or hard to do on your own (need a HDTV, laptop/tablet/smartphone the supports video out and has either a decent camera or an input from a standalone camera at each end)
While many here have the knowledge and equipment on hand/available to do this today, selling it as a monthly service/device/addon make a lot of sense.
Typical families with 2 or more (divorce/seperatation/open adoption) grandparent homes, plus sibblings (in any generation) close friends, busness contacts etc. rather then trying to maintain your own mish-mash of equipment at seperate locations, having a standard, supported, leased device would be worth at least $10 or so EXTRA per month (maybe more).
Holiday, birthday, weekly calls home can now be a group event.

The video conference call comes to the mainstream home (this could be a big selling point for CC and MS skype)
arctangent

join:2003-11-13
Jersey City, NJ

Great Idea.

I've been looking for something like that for my uncle. Now if the rest of the cable companies jumped on-board, that would definitely put the nail in the coffin for POTS.

GlobalMind
Domino Dude, POWER Systems Guy
Premium
join:2001-10-29
Hollywood, FL

Ahh heck...

Lots of folks are embedding Skype now. It's like Netflix. Panasonic has a camera for their BluRay players that do Skype.

All told though I like the idea, and it's the kind of thing that we're going to see more corporate technology like telepresence moved into the consumer space. Cisco's got some trick kit but it is big money for home use.

Now, Comcast should have a way to prioritize the traffic if both parties are Comcast subscribers.
--
TheGlobalMind.com / Speed costs money. How fast do you want to go? / Trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason. - Ralph Waldo Emerson / Free market capitalism is the best path to prosperity.

BHNtechXpert
BHN Staff
Premium,VIP
join:2006-02-16
Saint Petersburg, FL
kudos:151

1 recommendation

Stop being paranoid folks...this is a VERY good idea!

I've read several of the posts here and all I can say is wow... a few of you really need to get some help. Comcast could care less what you do in your own home. They serve millions of people and even the concept they might spy on you is laughable. You aren't that important...get over yourselves.

On the flip side this is a great extension to the service and finally gets us all to that 1960's predicted videophone home. Yea we have it sort of now with PC's but it's not the same. You need to be tied to computer somewhere whereas with this service any TV with a box is a videophone. This is a great solution for those who don't have computers or are not computer savy enough to use skype on their own.

As for the paranoid posters. People you are on a camera from the minute you leave your home to the minute you return...somewhere a camera has you in its sights. If this really bothers you that much put a cover over the device or just don't subscribe to the service.

And if that's still not good enough for you... I can point you to a site that specializes in foil hats and undergarments.
--
"I can’t give you a surefire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time."
~ Herbert Bayard Swope
Ricanlegend

join:2011-05-18
Bronx, NY

Re: Stop being paranoid folks...this is a VERY good idea!

I think its a great idea, as long as the price is free or the most $5 a month i would get it
MaynardKrebs
Heave Steve, for the good of the country
Premium
join:2009-06-17
kudos:4

Virtual group sex parties

Samsung already has Skype access embedded in some of their tv's, and a Skype certified camera accessory.

People with this sort of technology can have live virtual group sex parties via Skype on their 60" tv's from the comfort of their bedrooms.

Go Comcast Go!!!!

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5

Re: Virtual group sex parties

note to self: NEVER EVER call MaynardKrebs See Profile

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

Re: Virtual group sex parties

LOL