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For Cablevision,A PC Is Now a TV

Cable TV is finding
its way into every
device with a screen.

After delivering live
TV apps for iPads and
iPhones, Cablevision
Systems last week officially launched a redesigned
version of its software for PCs and Macs that lets
New York-area subscribers access their entire channel
lineups at home over an MSO-authorized cable modem.

The MSO in January kicked off a limited trial of the software,
which uses Microsoft’s Silverlight media-delivery
platform, for Long Island, N.Y., 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.

Still, the iPad and other tablets have overtaken computers
as the most popular second screens for viewing
TV content, at least among tablet owners, according to
a Viacom study (see “Rise of the ‘Little TVs,’” Platforms). According to Cablevision, its Optimum App
for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch devices have been
downloaded more than 1 million times.

It’s unknown whether Cablevision is paying programmers
additional fees for the in-home multiscreen
rights. Viacom threatened legal action against
the MSO after the iPad app debuted last spring. Cablevision
reached an agreement with Viacom for undisclosed
terms (but the media company still has yet
to come to terms with Time Warner Cable).

The Optimum App for Laptop features an overhauled
user interface and searchable guide. Cablevision
lets customers register up to eight devices but only
watch live TV on two at the same time.

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