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Cablevision Goes Wide With Live TV App For PCs, Macs

Cablevision Systems has launched a redesigned version of its software for PCs and Macs that lets New York-area subscribers access their entire live TV lineup at home over an MSO-authorized cable modem.

The MSO kicked off a limited trial of the software in January for Long Island customers. The Optimum App for Laptop software now is available to Cablevision's approximately 3 million subscribers in the New York metro area (excluding the former Bresnan Communications service areas) for no additional charge.

According to Cablevision, its Optimum App for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch devices have been downloaded more than 1 million times.

The Optimum App for Laptop features a new user interface and searchable guide. As with earlier versions of the app, parental controls, closed captioning and other key functions are also supported.

The MSO claims to be the only pay TV provider to have an app that delivers a customer's full TV lineup to a variety of devices, although Dish Network provides similar functionality through its Slingbox-enabled products.

"With the launch of Optimum App for Laptop, we're extending the live TV experience we have already delivered on the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch to both Mac and PC laptop computers," Cablevision vice president of video product management Bradley Feldman said in a statement. "We think this additional viewing option will make the Optimum App even more useful for our customers, with a completely redesigned and more comprehensive and functional user interface and guide, DVR controls and other unique features."

Cablevision lets customers register up to eight devices -- any combination of iPad, iPhone, iPod touch devices or laptops -- but only watch live TV on two devices at the same time.

The Optimum App for Laptop includes DVR management features and "most watched" info displaying the top shows other customers are watching in real-time.

Customers can visit for more info and to download the software.

To use the software, a customer must have a subscription to iO TV and a Cablevision-supplied modem. (If a customer is not an Optimum Online customer, Cablevision will provide a specialized modem that allows access to the streaming TV apps but not the Internet.)

The Optimum App for Laptop software is available for Windows 7, Vista or XP Service Pack 2, or Mac OS X 10.4.8 or higher. The application requires 25 Megabytes of free disk space and Microsoft Silverlight must be installed.