The battle for the control of your eyeballs continues as cable television companies try to retain subscribers by funneling the content it normally provides to you on your TV to devices like the iPad. Meanwhile content providers are tugging in the opposite direction, wanting you to pay piecemeal for the TV you already watch. Cable company Cablevision has taken a strong stance on the issue claiming that the iPad is just another TV.
The subject has recently become a hot topic in tech news due to several channels forcing Time Warner to pull its programming from its recently released iPad app. Cablevision has now thrown its hat in the ring with the Optimum app for Apple’s tablet that allows you to view your Cablevision programming live on the device and it seems that its already preparing for the same backlash. In a press release announcing the app Cablevision stated in plain language that it considers the iPad to be just another TV in the home.
The application delivers the full cable television experience to the tablet device and allows the iPad to function as a television. Like all additional outlets it is free to existing Optimum cable television customers.
This stance is one that I’m sure Time Warner had in mind when it launched its app, but shortly thereafter it was forced to remove some channels from the initial lineup. It responded with a fairly inflammatory blog posting in which it takes a ‘pro-consumer’ position in railing against the programming providers inability to realize that multi-outlet viewing is the future of television viewing.
Some programmers are kicking the currents with feeble karate and some are getting in a boat and pulling oars along with us for the good of our customers — the people who already paid for all of this and want it really, really badly.
It will be interesting to see this battle between content providers and cable companies play out as the way we get to watch our TV is determined. I personally use the Xfinity app to play back content but it’s all delivered on-demand and there is no live content available to watch as of yet. Are any of you Cablevision or Time Warner customers that have used the iPad to watch your TV? If so, do you think that it should be considered just another TV?