Monday, April 4, 2011

Cablevision launches first iPad app that takes a different approach to delivering live television programming

While Time Warner Cable continues to battle negotiate with their programming partners on the issue of channel streaming for their iPad apps, Cablevision has released its first iPad that takes a slightly different approach. As a result, the Optimum for iPad app will allow users to view all their channels plus on-demand programming.

The free uses a "Advanced Digital Cable" television network to deliver programming to the iPad, rather than streaming. In essence, the application simply turns your iPad into another television set. The advantage, in theory, is that Cablevision believes this way of delivering live television is consistent with existing distributions agreements.
"Cablevision has the right to distribute programming over its cable system to iPads configured in this way under its existing distribution agreements with programming providers," Cablevision's press release explains.

“This application allows the iPad to function as a television, delivering the full richness and diversity of our cable television service to a display device in the home,” said Tom Rutledge,
Cablevision’s chief operating officer.

The disadvantage of taking this approach is that the iPad is anchored to the home environment through your WiFi network, though those will a bit of technical knowledge could construct a workaround. Nonetheless, what many consumers are asking for is the ability to view live programming on their mobile devices outside the home -- without adding another large cost.

“This is the future of Advanced Digital Cable televisions served with virtual set-top boxes, and just one of many digital displays we are going to be serving through a variety of applications,” Rutledge said in the company's statement.