If laptops and Mobile were not enough, Skype has now launched a whole new concept of Skype on TV. Now your living room just got better; with Skype on TV, you will never miss a Skype phone call. All the features that Skype offers on your normal laptop or Mobile are also offered on TV, although with one added benefit, you can now video chat while lounging on your couch.
How do we get Skype on TV?
The obvious question is how do we get Skype on TV. Well, its not as easy as downloading and installing skype for free. While the calls are free to make just like using skype on any other device, getting Skype on TV requires some amount of investment and of course a good broadband connection. Currently, Skype has provided three ways by which you can use this feature:
- Using TV-Cams: This is probably the simplest and probably the cheapest way of getting Skype on TV. All you need to do is buy a TV-Cam that is pre-installed with Skype and attach it your TV. Note: You need HDMI-TV for this feature to work. The cost of these TV cams are on the Skype website are anywhere between $199- $229. These TV cams are pre-installed with Skype, so all you need is a broadband Internet and a Skype account to make the free calls.
- Using a Blu-ray Player: This is a slightly more expensive way of getting Skype on TV. For this feature to work on your current HDMI TV, you need to buy a Skype-ready Blu-ray player and a TV webcam. The cost of the player alone is anywhere between $149 to $348 on the Skype website. Well, we did see a cheaper version of the player on Amazon for $109 and you can check out the product here. This is not it, don’t forget that you need to buy a TV webcam. This time though, you don’t have to buy a Skype-enabled TV cam. You can buy a regular TV webcam, the price of which ranges between $51 to $149. Apart from this, you will need a broadband internet and a Skype account.
- Using Skype-enable TV: This might be the most expensive of all the ways. For this, you need a Skype-enabled TV, TV webcam, Broadband Internet and the your Skype account. Now, we did try to search for the cost of these TVs. Unfortunately, there was not enough information. We did find out that LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Vizio, and Sony are offering Skype-Ready TVs. Also, one of the prices that we saw for this TV was about $800. Add this to the cost of the TV webcam and you might as well invest in a new Mac Book.
What are the features offered by Skype-On TV?
Skype on your TV supports all the features that your regular Skype offers like:
- Skype to Skype calls
- Skype to landline and Skype to Mobiles (Skype credit required)
- Conference calls
- Call forwarding
- Manage your online status, mood message and profile info
Added Benefits of Skype on TV
One benefit that Skype-on-TV offers is that it will give you a notification of a call when your TV is switched on and then you can choose to answer the call or decline it. When your TV is switched off, there is an option to set it to automatically keep Skype running when it is in standby and incoming calls will be sent to voicemail or you can forward it to any phone. But for that you will have to enable that feature. The same feature is available for the Blu-Ray players.
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Well, you must have all figured out the pros and cons of this service by now. The good thing about Skype-on TV is that it allows you to call anyone. As long as as person has a Skype account, you can call them. But this is a very long way to get a free calling service. There are many calling services that offer great rates and even free calling. Besides, there is Google Hangouts that allow multiple video conferencing and Skype itself which is free to download on your laptops or desktops (no TV yet though – are you listening Google?).
While this feature is Snazzy and pretty attractive, it is better suited for business than for personal usage. In this age and generation where mobility is extremely important, Skype-On-TV kind of reduces this mobility. Nonetheless, for people who wouldn’t mind spending some extra bucks, this feature is definitely a good add-on.
So, all the people with a craze for Skype, go on and get Skype-ing, but now on TV.