Apple iPad owners who subscribe to Time Warner cable now have an app that will let them watch live TV directly on their tablets.
An online channel guide lets viewers scroll to see which shows are currently on and which ones are coming up next. Tapping on a particular show then streams it to the iPad. Subscribers will find shows broadcast in high-definition from a variety of cable networks, including A&E, Bravo, Discovery, MSNBC, SyFy, and USA.
"We are tremendously excited about this app, which is the first of many that will allow our customers to harness the power of their tablet-type devices," Time Warner Cable President Rob Marcus said in a statement. "Helping our customers see the content they're paying for on multiple devices makes their Time Warner Cable subscription even more valuable, and they can expect much more from us in this space very soon."
There are a couple of initial limitations. The service works only through Wi-Fi, so users can't watch TV outside the house via the iPad's 3G connection. Customers must also subscribe to Time Warner cable TV and Internet to use the app.
And for now, only around 30 channels are available for live streaming, though Time Warner Cable is promising to add more channels and beef up the app's capabilities. Future enhancements will let subscribers stream shows outside the home via Wi-Fi, set up a DVR to record shows, and use the iPad as a remote to control both live and on-demand shows.
The app is compatible only with the iPad and requires iOS 4.2 or higher.
Looking at other cable carriers, Dish Network subscribers can also download a free app for the iPad and other mobile devices to let them watch live TV and recorded shows. Comcast recently announced plans to launch its own TV-viewing app for the iPad and Android tablets later this year.