Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cable Operators Starting To Offer Mobile Live TV

While a number of cable operators are starting to work on pushing cable channels to mobile devices, Time Warner Cable is the first to release an App. "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." Of course their are a number of limitations. You can only watch on a mobile device within the home. Only 33 cable channels are available, no broadcast channels have been mentioned. And no ESPN, TNT or TBS yet. Still, it is a good first step for operators to satisfy the needs of today's mobile customer and create added value. Comcast and Cablevision seem to be close behind in announcing their app. It is still a baby step as the consumer is restricted to watch only at home, despite being untethered.

Of course, the competition has been offering complete remote access to all channels for a while. Dish Network has been using Slingbox to access remote viewing on both a computer and the smartphone.

Digital broadcast networks are looking at new technology to enable connections to the consumers across any device. Currently known as UltraViolet, consumers could buy once and play content anywhere. It is another step in enabling consumers to watch their TV content anywhere and everywhere. As cable offers a key aggregation approach, these stars could align to bring a robust line-up to the consumer, without the need for a wire.

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