Real Bonding With Family Around the TV Via Skype

As you read these words, millions of people are conducting video chats using the popular Skype service, now owned by Microsoft. Most of these calls are low-resolution encounters between two individuals, conducted over personal computers.

This week, I tested a new device that aims to transform Skype video chats into room-size experiences, involving whole families or groups of friends on each end—seeing each other, chatting and sharing photos in high definition using TVs. It’s called telyHD, and comes from a small Silicon Valley start-up called Tely Labs. In my tests, it worked well.