How to Use Skype On a Plain Old HDMI-Equipped TV

By Jamie Condliffe on at

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 mean 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 Wi-Fi, too, so no need to run more cables to it.

The only problem is that it currently costs £200 — 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]