Monday, December 5, 2011

Cox TV Connect app lets viewers use their iPads as an additional television screen

Cable providers are adding all sorts of features to their iPad apps – from using the app as a remote, to being able to program their DVRs. Cox Communications is allowing those who download their iPad app to stream content to their tablets to serve as an extra television screen.

Cox TV Connect for iPad is a free download that works for subscribers of the company's Cox TV Essential and Cox Preferred, Premier or Ultimate Internet service. In other words, you need to have both the Cox cable as well as the Cox Internet service in order to use it. Further, the app description says that "not all channels are available at this time."

"Cox offers convenience through convergence and TV Connect is a new way we are making viewing more convenient and flexible for our customers," Steve Necessary, vice president of video product development and management said in the launch announcement. "Our TV Connect offering will continue to evolve and expand, adding even more value to our services."

Launched just last week, Cox customers are giving the new app a big thumbs up in the App Store with no one-star reviews so far and mostly five-star ones.

None of the cable television offerings have gone the extra step of offering live television outside the home. The reasons are varied but generally boil down to broadband volume and contracts. One solution would be to offer the service only where WiFi is available.

One wonders if the clock is ticking, though, on hard wired television. Further, the networks are moving quickly to offering much of their programming in the form of an app, with broadcasters such as PBS and HBO and others already on the second and third iterations of their mobile and tablet apps.