Time Warner Cable today introduced its iPad app. TWC’s app is a little late to the party but brings something different than other iPad apps. It allows streaming of some live TV.
According to a posting on TWC’s corporate blog, customers who download the free iPad app will be able to watch live streaming television from about 30 basic channels on their iPads anywhere within their homes.
Jeff Simmermon, director of digital communications and author of TWC’s blog posting, wrote, "Right now, the app mimics the cable offerings you might have seen in the ’80s. It’s a miniature guide and streaming linear TV. Now our customers can make any room the TV room in their home."
He added, "It’s so much easier and faster for us to develop in an app environment than for set-top boxes, so you can expect to see more improvements faster and more frequently. For example, we’re going to add more channels and functionality as soon as we can. We’re already working on developing set-top box remote control functionality and DVR management."?
Comcast also has an iPad app, but it doesn’t yet allow the tablet to act as a second TV screen for live TV. Comcast’s XFinity TV app was originally launched to act as a remote control. In February, the MSO announced it had added streaming of content from some of its premium cable networks and other channels. But the content appears sometime after initial airing. (For more, click here). The on-demand content can be viewed on iPads outside of the subscriber’s home.
Cablevision has said it is working on an iPad app that will act as a remote control and will display all of its cable TV services. However, Cablevision plans to restrict these services within the subscriber’s residence.
In fact, digital rights management is a concern when it comes to streaming live TV outside of a subscriber’s home. The only operator allowing that, to date, is EchoStar, which uses Sling technology to place-shift live TV to mobile devices, whether inside or outside the home.
Time Warner Cable’s app is available for free download in the iTunes app store starting today. In addition to a cable TV subscription, customers must also have high-speed data (HSD) service from either TWC or Earthlink Cable.
According to the TWC blog posting, "The video streams do not go out over the public Internet at all, but stay exclusively within our network. Both analog and digital video customers with HSD can use the app, but you’ll only receive the channels you receive as part of your video package."