updated 04:25 pm EDT, Sat April 2, 2011
Cablevision Optimum for iPad brings live TV
Cablevision lived up to its promises of a near-term launch of live iPad TV streaming by launching Optimum for iPad (free, App Store). Its approach is much more aggressive than Time Warner Cable's and gives access to as many as 300 live stations depending on the owner's cable package. Viewers also have access to 2,000 free and subscription on-demand videos.
The app can similarly handle DVR scheduling and has its own searchable program guide with filters, such as limiting results to HD-only content. Parental controls are also on tap.
Its much wider content comes from the cable service's infrastructure, according to Cablevision: since it uses a switched digital cable system that can tie directly into the local network, the broadcasting rights are the same as for the regular TV service. Viewers don't even need a working Internet connection, it said. Time Warner Cable's solution still needs users to be on one of its cable modem connections over Wi-Fi to work, but its requirement that users stream online has led to selective channel rights and pushback from companies who insist the didn't give permission for online streaming.
Other tablets and "display devices" should get Optimum in the future, though Cablevision didn't say which platforms or when. iPad owners have a more definite plan as they will get direct remote control functions sometime in the summer.