Skype’s an amazing way of keeping in touch with friends and family, but if there’s more than one of you at either end of the conversation, using a laptop or tablet kinda sucks. Here’s how to make it a more communal experience using your bog-standard TV.
Previously, there have been two main options. Your first: Samsung, Sony and Panasonic all make Skype-ready TVs. You can just plug a web cam in, plonk it down atop the TV and chat away. That does means getting a new TV, though.
The second, and probably easiest, option: plug a small computer in to your TV, rig up the web cam in a suitable position, and you’re good to go. This of course relies on you having a spare computer, but hey, I’m betting you do. You read Giz, you must.
There is, however, now a third option, which is tidy and doesn’t involve buying a new TV: TelyHD.
The device officially launched a little before CES, but it’s now on sale. It looks like a Kinect, but it’s actually an Android-powered web cam that plugs into any existing TV with an HDMI port. Plug the device in to the TV, and it boots into Andorid and, specifically, a Skype application. It picks up your WiFi, too, so no need to run more cables to it.
The only problem is that it currently costs $US249 — which is expensive for what you get. Still, it’s a neat idea, and with any luck it, or a competitor, will drop in price real soon. Personally, I’d stick with the computer option for now, though. [Tely Labs and Skype]