March 15, 2011

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Make Any Room the TV Room: The Time Warner Cable iPad App Is Now Available for Download

We’re thrilled to announce that our long-awaited iPad™ app is finally here. It’s available for free download in the iTunes app store SM starting today, March 15th. Time Warner Cable customers who download the free iPad app will be able to watch live streaming television for selected channels on their iPads anywhere within their homes.

You read this correctly: our iPad app will allow our customers to watch live linear feeds of 32 of some of our most popular national channels available in HD on their iPads anywhere within their home.

Click here for our channel lineup.

Right now, the app mimics the cable offerings you might have seen in the ’80s. It’s a miniature guide and streaming linear TV, and that’s about it. But just like cable in the ’80s, this app is exciting by itself and a pretty thrilling indicator of things to come. No other cable company has something like this, and we’re pretty proud to be the first. This could eventually change the way our customers — and ultimately the people of Earth — view television.

Now our customers can make any room the TV room in their home.

It’s just phase one of a much bigger vision that we plan to execute on this year and into the future. It’s so much easier and faster for us to develop in an app environment than for set-top boxes, so you can expect to see more improvements faster and more frequently. For example, we’re going to add more channels and functionality as soon as we can. We’re already working on developing set-top box remote control functionality and DVR management as you may have seen in the video of last year’s prototype.

Now, for some housekeeping:

To use our iPad app, you must subscribe to video service from us. Also: this is a video product that for technical reasons requires that you have HSD (high-speed data) service from either us or Earthlink Cable. The video streams do not go out over the public internet at all, but stay exclusively within our network. Both analog and digital video customers with HSD can use the app, but you’ll only receive the channels you receive as part of your video package. Our Wideband, Extreme, Turbo and Standard HSD customers will have an optimal experience with our streaming video. Basic HSD customers may be able to stream, but the experience will be inconsistent.

While the functionality of the iPad app is important, we’re trying to send a bigger message, too. This is an introduction to a more mobile future where any screen can be a video screen.

So yeah, we’re really excited about this thing. Go ahead and download it (free in the iTunes App store) and let us know what you think. If you’ve got ideas for future iterations, let us know in the comments … and don’t hesitate to review this thing on your own blogs.

All I ask is that you please spare us the jokes about taking the thing into the bathroom to watch TV on the can. That’s just nasty, and we’ve already heard it all from our own corporate comedians.

+- 20 Comments

  1. Dakota's reply

    Couldn’t one /technically/ route their iPad through a VPN back to the home Internet connection? Or would it be too slow to attempt watching TV over the VPN link?

  2. Dean's reply

    I’m not at home now so I can’t use it until later. I live in a studio so I’m always in the tv room in my home. I think the app would be really something special if it could stream outside the home. I realize distribution rights limit that, but the app should at least be able to set the home DVR when out of the house. Logging in to the time warner site every time I want to set a recording is annoying and it gets errors more times than it actually works.

    That said, I’m still happy to see TW “moving technology forward” like they keep saying they are doing.

  3. George Creedle's reply

    I have TWC internet and would like to buy this service naked, ie without a set top box and standard cable service. I’d pay the same as if I did, just don’t want to have a TWC guy come and hook up a cable box I’ll never use (used to have cable, too, but TWC couldn’t keep the box authorized despite trying different hardware).

    I’m in the LA market

  4. hockeybias.com's reply

    …That’s some sizeable ‘housekeeping’!

  5. Joe Siegler's reply

    I’ve got it, and I’m wondering.. Is the channel lineup different depending on where you are in the country? This news story showing that the app is available:

    http://www.macrumors.com/2011/03/14/time-warner-cable-to-launch-live-tv-streaming-ipad-app/

    Has a screen capture showing BBC America HD being played on there. My TWC (Dallas) doesn’t have BBC America – not in HD anyway. Is that why I don’t have that one?

    I really want BBCA in HD on my regular TV, tell you the truth.

  6. JD's reply

    Love it, but locals should have been part of the launch. Good job!! :-)

  7. CurtK's reply

    How about over Time Warner Cable Business? I have TWC at home, and TWC Business at work? I tried this earlier this morning, and it streamed to my iPad at work nicely, then this afternoon it stopped and said I can only do it from home. Seems like this would be a nice to have for business customers.

  8. Noel's reply

    What about porting this to iOS running on AppleTV? Seems like a natural fit.

    Right now, I’m using a Windows Media Center CableCard setup with Media Center Extenders. If you made this for Apple TV, I could see myself dropping Windows Media Center.

    Of course, you would need to add the ability to stream DVR recordings to the Apple TV and show almost all channels.

    I really don’t want your cable box, TWC. Just let me use my own equipment please. I know you can’t make money off this type of setup, but you would certainly keep me as a subscriber.

    Heck, I’m not even a TWC Internet customer. I use Verizon DSL and I find it to be more reliable than your product. I’m only using your TV services because I love CableCard and Windows Media Center. With this recent announcement, I think I’m going to switch back to you guys for Internet service.

  9. Dante's reply

    Why do I only have 15 channels in my list?

  10. Jim McCoy's reply

    Worthy first attempt for this type of app.

    Some suggestions to make it better:

    1) Need to be able to use it outside the home. I can understand the requirement that one be TWC cable / internet customer. That being said, suggest capturing the iPad MAC address and generating a hash that can authenticate that iPad whenever it tries to access the app’s feed.

    2) Allow customers to pick their 32 channels, sort of like a favorites list from the digital
    line up. I’m not saying the channels that are there are not good; but it would be more personable if a customer can pick their own.

    3) Parental Controls: Who thought this was a good idea to send an app like this into the wild without parental controls?!

    All that being said, this is a decent version 1 app; its very clear and smooth to watch (though I’m not quite understanding why you want the customer to use headphones, when it has a perfectly good speaker.

    Lets make the next version better, go TWC!!

  11. Al's reply

    Noel knows how it should work. This “App” should be your cable service on any device. I am perfectly happy to pay you for your channels, just let me decide which device i want to watch it through. Your Navigator DVR UI was outdated 5 years ago, it is positively ancient history at this point, a dinosaur. You shold be in the content delivery business, not hardware.

    There are a hundred devices that are smaller, better, faster, more useful. You have shown that you can put your service on a 3rd party device, so “technical limitations” should no longer be an excuse.

    a TWC app for iPad is proven. now develop one for Roku, for Boxee, for AppleTV, for Android. have one ready for Windows Media Embedded, for upcoming GoogleTV Markets, one for Samsung, Visio, and Sony app stores. When i buy a new connected device, i will buy the app, put in my credentials that say i am a paying customer, download, and have easy access to all my channels and content.

    Let’s get out of the stone age, TWC, and show us you are willing to join the future before “over-the-top” services like Netflix, iTunes Store, etc leave you in the dust.

  12. Eric's reply

    What are the 15 channels? They had 32, but took some down

  13. Keith's reply

    I would rather have channels like MTV HD, Comedy Central HD, VH1 HD, Spike HD and Nick HD on my giant 55″ HDTV than on my 9 1/2″ iPad screen.

  14. Dizzmo's reply

    I think it’s a great app concept but it would be a useful app if I can use this app away from home. I would actually prefer watching my 55″ HD TV over the iPad screen…but if it were available elsewhere ohhhhhhhhhhh

  15. Blaine's reply

    Sounds great.I have TW digital cable,internet,and telephone service. but i don’t have an Ipad. Would be great to receive this over my windows lap top-is there a way?

  16. Mike's reply

    I have TWC & a iphone4 when can i get this app.

  17. Steve's reply

    Great app, fantastic picture! It worked great for about two weeks. However, today the stream started freezing…and every 5-10 seconds a “loading’ message appear…very annoying. Resetting both the ipad and router did not solved the problem.

  18. Watch Weeds Online's reply

    I had a similar problem with the freezing after a couple of weeks use! Any ideas on how to solve?

  19. BullDogRR's reply

    Why don’t the guide option work always says can’t communicate with cable box or not responding

  20. Chris's reply

    This app is a good start. It would be nice, though, to be able to listen to a selected channel in the background so that one can do other things while on the ipad while still listening to the tv program in progress.

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