Time Warner Cable on Tuesday is set to debut an app for Apple's iPad that will let customers watch more than 30 live channels over their home Wi-Fi networks, at no extra charge for those who take both broadband and expanded basic or higher video service.
Channels available for viewing include USA, Nick, Food Network and Fox News Channel. The free TWCable TV app for the iPad will work only via a customer's home network.
The initial version of the Time Warner Cable iPad includes a "mini-guide" to navigate the channels. Additional services, including remote control functionality, video-on-demand viewing capability and the ability to program DVRs will be added in future releases, according to TWC. The operator first discussed concepts for iPad apps last summer.
The app is available to download from Apple's iTunes Store with more information here.
TWC is making 33 channels available through the TWCable TV app: A&E, ABC Family, AMC, Animal Planet, BET, Bravo, Cartoon Network, CMT, CNBC, CNN, Comedy Central, Discovery, Disney Channel, E!, Food Network, Fox News, FX, Galavision, Hallmark Channel, HGTV, History, HLN, Lifetime Movie Network, MSNBC, MTV HD, National Geographic, Nick, Spike, Syfy, TLC, Travel Channel, USA and VH1.
A Time Warner Cable username and password is needed to sign in to the app. The MSO noted that TWCable TV does not currently offer parental controls so adults should "sign out when you are finished viewing TV."
Separately, TWC last fall struck a deal with ESPN
to offer simulcasts of ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU online to computers;
eventually ESPN expects to add access to tablets and other mobile
Other major pay-TV providers have moved to deliver video to iPads, as well, but some have adopted different approaches.
Dish Network released a free iPad app in December 2010 that provides access to all of a customer's TV channel lineup including local channels as well as DVR content over an Internet connection. However, the app requires a user to have the "SlingLoaded" ViP 922 DVR or proprietary set-top-connected Sling Adapter.
Comcast, for its part, expects to make live TV available on iPads and iPhones -- over any Internet connection -- by striking mobile licensing deals with programmers. It announced an expanded deal with Turner Broadcasting System to provide access to some Turner networks, subject to certain restrictions, on mobile devices.
Cablevision Systems has promised to provide an iPad app for in-home access to live TV, akin to TWC's approach. And Verizon expects to add live TV streaming to its iPad app, too.
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