updated 12:00 pm EDT, Wed September 19, 2012
Could pave way for support by Apple TV, other hardware
Time Warner Cable is "hard at work at a cloud-based [TV] guide experience,' but willing to allow third parties to create interfaces for it, says president and COO Rob Marcus. The executive revealed the information at an investor conference in New York earlier today. The catch, Marcus elaborates, is that Time Warner isn't willing to forsake the "customer relationship," meaning that it wants people to know TV is being delivered through TWC instead of a device maker or any other company.
The announcement would appear to pave the way for apps, set-tops, and portable devices to integrate Time Warner TV, at least where licensing agreements are in place. In particular it may confirm that TWC is willing to budge in negotiations with Apple over the matter of live streaming. Rumors have suggested that TWC is the most flexible party Apple has talked to, and could be used as a wedge to get other cable providers to bend.
Apple is believed to be working on a set-top which would take a step beyond the current Apple TV add-on and integrate live TV. Both networks and cable companies have reportedly put up resistance however, since Apple's demands could threaten existing revenue schemes. Even Time Warner is thought to want users of the set-top to pay a regular cable bill.