updated 11:05 am EST, Mon December 5, 2011
Cox TV Connect relies on local link for live TV
Cox on Monday tried its formal hand at a live TV streaming app with the formal rollout of Cox TV Connect for the iPad (free, App Store). As with those from most other cable providers, it lets those with the Apple tablet watch live TV as long as they're on Wi-Fi paired up with a Cox Internet connection and the right level of TV service. The app has a full programming guide and lets viewers watch through an inset while they check the full guide, or else launches a pop-over to show other currently running shows while minimizing the effect on the full-screen view.
The access isn't a full range of channels but includes 35 more frequently watched channels, such as AMC, Bravo, History, and Spike.
Anyone who uses the app can get away with watching through at least a Cox TV Essential bundle, but they also need a Preferred, Premier, or Ultimate Internet connection. The app itself requires any iPad that can run at least iOS 4.3. No mention has been made of Android or iPhone ports.
As with most such services, the in-home requirement is likely to appease TV producers that see tablet TV as a second use, even if it's the same feed. Viacom has tried suing providers like Cablevision, even for service within the home.