Skype has been an essential tool in the production of podcasts and newscasts for years, and today Microsoft has announced a professional-grade version of the app designed specifically for the media industry. It's called Skype TX and is intended to be used in studio environments; you won't be using this to record a podcast in your bedroom. Skype TX is described as an "easy-to-use hardware and software combination that allows Skype video calls from anywhere in the world to be seamlessly integrated into any production." It plays nice with industry standards by outputting calls in full-frame HD-SDI formats.

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Crucially, Skype TX also offers an experience that's free of the notifications, alerts, and other pop-ups that can cause interruptions on regular old Skype. Microsoft plans to have experts on hand for advice or assistance should you need it, another sign that Skype TX won't come cheap. Unfortunately we don't yet know how much it will be, as Microsoft hasn't revealed pricing or availability. But the company has posted a new website that teases how Skype TX can help producers take their broadcast to the next level.