Charging right in where Time Warner Cable has been forced to scramble a bit, Cablevision introduced its iPad app over the weekend.
Everything on linear TV (about 300 channels) and through on-demand available to Cablevision subscribers on their TVs in their homes will be available on their iPads in their homes.
Cablevision’s Optimum App for iPad includes an enhanced guide that makes programming fully searchable, including by genre. The application includes the ability to schedule DVR recordings and manage previously recorded content.
Time Warner Cable introduced a similar iPad app some weeks ago, with a few dozen channels. TWC’s move drew objections from some programmers, who felt they deserved a cut of the proceeds. TWC was compelled to drop those channels from its iPad app and fill its iPad lineup with others.
Although it looks like Cablevision might be double-daring programmers to object by putting its entire channel lineup on the iPad, the company was careful to note that its technological approach is different from other MSOs’. Rather than deliver the content through its broadband channel, Cablevision asserts it is delivering content to the iPad through its video channel. Customers don’t even have to have Cablevision’s Optimum Online broadband service for the iPad app to work, the company noted.
“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,” the company said.
Tom Rutledge, Cablevision’s chief operating officer, said: “It gives our customers the additional flexibility and convenience of watching television throughout the home, in places where set-top boxes might not be ideal or even practical, like the kitchen, bathroom or work room. 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.”
Cablevision said it plans to “deploy additional applications that deliver the same experience to other tablets and display devices, functioning as televisions. The company plans to integrate remote control functionality into the Optimum App for iPad this summer.”