You know those poor quality Skype interviews CNN loves? They could be a thing of the past after Microsoft acquired a long-time partner Cat and Mouse. Built on top of existing Cat and Mouse tech, Skype TX is to be the answer media outlets have clamored for. High quality audio and video with correspondents or interviewees around the world.

Unveiled via a blog post, Microsoft is hoping that media companies will use the new tool for fresh live and other digital content. One bonus of the tool is that it will be free of all notifications and ads. We will miss those moments when an interview is interrupted by someone’s relative calling in.

As for costs, there’s no word yet but being targeted at media outlets, it isn’t likely to be a barrier. Most are going to jump at the chance to get high quality video calls. Those running the shows will appreciate the new feature set. Auto fallback to still, call quality monitoring and operator preview. Microsoft evidently ran through a producer’s wish list.

Additional features include full frame video on the HD-SDI format. Audio can be either embedded or balanced. HD-SDI video can be sent back to the caller. Aspect ratio mismatches are taken care of within the software, and the operator has full control over the aspect rations.

Microsoft will eventually put the TX product into the Skype in Media suite that is on its way. Now if they will do the same for the consumer product, that would be nice. Maybe not quite the feature set, but some of these features could lure consumers back. Maybe an answer to Google Hangouts via Skype?


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