Cisco, Skype Bring Video Conferencing to Your TV at CES

By Jennifer Lawinski  |  Print this article Print

Skype and Cisco announced videoconferencing products for TVs at this year's CES.

The television. It isn’t just for watching anymore.

Skype and Cisco both launched new products at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show that allow users to turn their televisions into videoconferencing hubs.

Skype announced that Skype-enabled TVs were in the works at last year’s CES, and this year it’s partnered with Sony and Vizio on Skype-enabled Sony Bravia and Vizio Via television sets, the company announced on its blog. Skype-enabled TVs are already available from Panasonic and Samsung.

Skype-enabled Blu-ray players with Web cams are also expected to be available soon.

Cisco announced the release of Cisco Videoscape at CES. The comprehensive TV platform for service providers combines digital TV and online content with social media and communications apps, the company said.

The platform leverages the cloud, network and client devices to give consumers the ability to use video over the Internet on their televisions. The solution integrates a media gateway, an IP set-top box and Videoscape software clients that can connect home and mobile devices like TVs, tablets or smartphones.

The Videoscape Media Suite lest service providers manage and publish content across multiple screens and the Cisco Conductor for Videoscape coordinates services and subscriber-management functions across the platform.

The Cisco umi Telepresence video conferencing technology lets users communicate with others through their TVs.

"We see tremendous opportunity with IP video services that offer consumers interactive, internet-like experiences using both the TV and the PC. We worked with Cisco to deploy a Content Delivery Network that quickly proved to be a key differentiator for Telstra, and means we can provide products and services with a more consistent and reliable video experience to multiple devices," said David Thodey, CEO of service provider Telstra, in a statement.

"Our CDN supports the breadth and depth of content that gives our customers choice and reliability to download and access their favorite movies and programs to the TV using our T-Box media player, through direct download to the TV, or via the PC."