Xfinity in partnership with Comcast are launching a High Definition version of Skype in Houston, at an additional $9.95/month (plus standard monthly rates for Internet) . Similar to their existing VoIP service, Skype on TV will allow for unlimited video and audio calls, with an HDMI-capable TV as the platform instead of a Computer. Included in the package will be a Skype Adapter Box, an HD webcam, and a remote control featuring a full QWERTY keyboard.

In theory, this all sounds wonderful, but in execution…therein lies a few problems. Besides the hassle of setting up all the peripherals, it just doesn’t seem practical to pay for a service I currently use on my Mac (which has a camera and microphone built in – I am living the dream). Another foreseeable issue, is if I’m enjoying a face-to-face conversation with my good friend in Japan, when my girlfriend suddenly saunters in and demands I vacate the living room so she may ‘Keep Up With The Kardashians’, I must regrettably end my session. Any way you slice it, the TV is as much a platform for Skype as your computer is for playing DVDs when you already own a DVD player. Sure it’ll work, though you must ask yourself how often you’ll even use it.

For the time being, I’ll save $9.95 and deal with the intermittent lag and easy setup of Skyping on my PC. There simply aren’t enough reasons to get this service if you already utilize it from your computer. Houston does seem the place to market, since it is true [with regard to geography or steaks] that everything is bigger in Texas. There’s also the old adage that “bigger is better”, and whatever else you might be able to muster up that your grandmother once told you. With regard to this product, I’d like to say this is self-evident truth, but in this particular case, I cannot. Speaking of my grandmother, I highly doubt she would appreciate a couch full of relatives seeing her face in HD. Better yet, I’d rather not subject anyone to mine in such detail, but I digress, and better yet…save money.

Source: Houston Press