4 things you need to know about Skype ending support for smart TVs

9 Mar 2016

Skype is ending support for smart TVs because people prefer to talk over tablets and mobile phones

Skype has revealed that it is ending support for its smart TV software, which it claims reflects the public’s preference for using mobile devices to make calls from the couch.

It is a curious decision given the obvious advantages of Skyping via a bigger screen, which allows more people to be part of the conversation, but there it is.

It could also surprise a lot of people who may have invested in a smart TV imagining Skype functionality could come in useful.

If you are one of those people, here’s what you need to know:

1. Skype support ends in June 2016

Yep, that’s it for the great Skype smart TV experiment. There will be no updates to the application and this will also affect new account creation and password resets, which will only be available through Skype.com.

2. You can still use the Skype app … at your peril

The end of support doesn’t necessarily mean the Skype app will stop working on your smart TV, it means there will be no updates, which means bugs that emerge won’t get fixed and the app will be less secure.

That said, this will depend on the TV model. Some TV manufacturers may remove the Skype for TV application from some or all of their models.

3. The decision reflects how users interact with Skype – they prefer the small screen, it seems

Skype has been available as an app on smart TVs since 2010 and has been a partner with several TV manufacturers. However, according to Skype, the majority of users prefer to access Skype using their tablet or smartphone, even if there is a big feck-off TV in the living room.

4. You can still access Skype on your TV via your games console

Skype still exists as an app that can be downloaded to the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4, so, if you prefer the big screen experience, it’s still there for you.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years