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TabletTV Lets Viewers Mix, Match

After entering the market a year ago with a platform focused on bringing digital over-the-air TV to mobile devices, TabletTV is adding support for increasingly popular over-the-top services.

TabletTV, a joint venture of Granite Broadcasting and U.K.-based Motive Television, has launched a new app, called TabletTV Plus, that stitches OTA and OTT together. It hopes this blend will appeal to a growing set of cord-cutters and on-the-go viewers.

“What people want is everything in one place,” Luc Tomasino, TabletTV’s launch director, said.

TabletTV’s offering centers on the TPod, an $89.95 device that performs the function of an antenna tuner, able to capture free, over-the-air TV signals for display on tablets with the company’s app. The TPod also has WiFi connectivity and an integrated DVR.

The newest version of the free TabletTV app also integrates Web connectivity and a guide that can integrate access to a Web browser and over-the-top apps and services. In that scenario, a viewer could watch TV in the app while simultaneously surfing the Web, checking email or accessing Twitter or Facebook.

TabletTV has launched a “Plus” version of the app for iOS-powered iPads, and expects to introduce an Android version next year. The current offering also lets users stream video to TVs via support for Google Chromecast and Apple TV (via AirPlay). The iOS app, made available on Apple’s App Store Nov. 15, integrates a guide with the local area’s over-the-air TV stations and the ability to load in “channels” that provide direct access to OTT and Web applications.

Early on, TabletTV’s over-the-top feature preloads access to offerings such as Google and YouTube, though customers can add “Internet channels” such as CBS All Access, HBO Now, Hulu, Netflix and Showtime.

TabletTV is also interested in striking up partnerships with other OTT services that would be interested in premium placement on the app’s program guide.

The company already has some experience with this OTA-OTT mix. Motive Television’s TabletTV operation in the U.K. (a separate unit that is not partnered with Granite Broadcasting) recently introduced an OTT-capable version of the TPod that supports a handful of apps, including YouTube, BBC iPlayer, BT Sport and Netflix.

TabletTV won’t say how many consumers have purchased TPods. The company launched its first beta market test with Granite’s KOFYTV in San Francisco in December 2014.

The company also said it’s too early to get a fix on the primary market for TabletTV and what the profile of the typical customer looks like.