Light Reading
Cablevision's app may send programmer lawyers flying into action as MSO starts off with almost 300 TV channels and 2,000-plus VoD titles

Cablevision Launches iPad App With 280+ Channels

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
4/2/2011
50%
50%

In a move that's sure to raise the hackles of several major programmers, Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) unleashed its iPad app on Saturday, kicking off with support for almost 300 linear TV channels, access to 2,000-plus video-on-demand (VoD) titles, and a DVR control feature to boot. (See Cablevision Launches iPad TV App.)

The free app, which also features a new searchable guide and is accessible only within reach of a customer's home Wi-Fi connection, "allows the iPad to function as a television," said the MSO, which views the tablets as another outlet in the home.

Mad About the iPad

That kind of distinction will become increasingly important amid a brewing battle between cable operators and programmers over IP-based apps that can deliver linear programming to tablets such as the iPad. Several programmers, including Scripps Networks , Discovery Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) and Fox Broadcasting Co. , have already made clear their position that an iPad app launched by Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC) in mid-March isn't covered by existing distribution agreements.

Tapping the SDV platform
Cablevision, like TW Cable, believes its technical approach and configuration for the iPad fall well within the guidelines of its existing distribution agreements with programmers. In the case of the iPad, Cablevision is leveraging its five-year-old switched digital video (SDV) infrastructure to deliver video to the tablets. Its "Advanced Digital Cable" platform relies on SDV techniques, but also is now capable of piping content in multiple formats, including MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and IP. (See SDV: Cable's Stepping Stone to IP Video? )

As the delivery goes, programming is piped over Cablevision's secure network from the headend to the home's MSO-supplied cable modem. From there, it's handed off to the customer's wireless router. However, those routers must be secured under the MSO's Optimum App terms of service.

Among ToS conditions, customers must agree to use the Live TV App "on an iPad only within the boundaries of his/her residence" and to keep their home networks secure by password-protecting their wireless routers.

Internet access not required
In an interesting twist, Cablevision does not require customers to have Internet access (from Cablevision or any other ISP) to use the new app. In those rare cases, Cablevision will provide a free Web-disabled modem that's still capable of connecting to the MSO's proprietary network and relaying programming solely for the iPad app.

"This is the future of Advanced Digital Cable televisions served with virtual set-top boxes, and just one of many digital displays we are going to be serving through a variety of applications," Cablevision COO Tom Rutledge said, in a statement.

Cablevision said it expects to encode its full VoD library for the iPad by "early summer." It plans to add remote control functionality to the app also by the summer. At the start, customers can register up to three iPads to one account, and use up to two iPads in the home at one time.

And the iPad is apparently only the beginning, as Cablevision notes it plans to deploy apps that "deliver the same experience to other tablets and display devices, functioning as televisions."

Why this matters
The delivery of live, linear programming to iPads and other mobile devices has quickly boiled into a heated battle between cable operators and programmers. While MSOs such as TW Cable and Cablevision hold that their existing contracts cover devices such as the iPads, several programmers have balked at the idea, claiming that cable operators must negotiate for those rights -- and possibly pay a premium for that extended access.

Although TW Cable thinks it's on legal solid footing, it did drop a dozen channels from its iPad lineup last week amid a cease-and-desist letter and the threat of programmer-led lawsuits. Since then, it has added 23 more, extending its total of 42.

Both TW Cable and Cablevision are limiting access to live programming on the iPad to within the confines of customer homes, but the outcome of this battle will certainly play a big factor as operators put together grander TV Everywhere strategies that will allow customers to watch live TV on the go.

For more
For a glance at the twists and turns of this scrum so far, please check out:



— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Carl Davies
50%
50%
Carl Davies,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:08:48 PM
re: Cablevision Launches iPad App With 280+ Channels


Whilst there maybe debates over programming rights, this is exactly the diversification and forward thinking that Cable MSO's need to adopt, in order to survive and compete head to head with other communications/media providers in this new world of convergence.  The TV Anywhere strategy will enable Cable MSO's to maintain the edge, video will remain the Cable MSO's key strength and battleground.  However to maintain the video edge, Cable MSO's need to continually evolve their pricing and packaging with personalized, convergent and real-time services which are relevant to the subscribers lifestyle choice. 


www.convergys.com/cable


 


 


 

Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Is your network built on 'The Old IP,' or are you part of 'The New IP' revolution?
LRTV Documentaries
A Cultural Shift for an OTT World

9|26|14   |   01:41   |   (3) comments


Telcos need to embrace a new approach to partnerships if they are to generate extra revenues quickly and give customers what they want.
LRTV Documentaries
New Skills Needed as Telecom, IT Collide

9|26|14   |   4:07   |   (1) comment


As telecom and IT collide, new technologies are emerging, new skills are needed and new opportunities for women are arising.
UBB Forum News
Do IP Networks Need An Overhaul?

9|25|14   |   02:01   |   (0) comments


As traffic levels ramp, do IP networks need new technologies and topologies?
LRTV Documentaries
Sprint Wields Its Influence in the Valley

9|25|14   |   3:09   |   (10) comments


Anne-Louise Kardas, Sprint's connection to startups in the Valley, explains how telcos can be innovative and find new opportunities with partners.
LRTV Documentaries
SDN, NFV & The Future of XO's Network

9|25|14   |   3:47   |   (0) comments


XO Communications COO Don MacNeil explains how cloud, SDN and NFV are altering its network requirements as well as changing data centers of the future.
UBB Forum News
The OTT Conundrum

9|24|14   |   01:39   |   (0) comments


What is holding back prosperous partnerships between telcos and the OTT players?
LRTV Documentaries
Putting Broadband to Work

9|24|14   |   01:26   |   (0) comments


High-speed broadband network rollout is key to telco strategies, but it's what happens after the network is built that counts.
Light Reedy
Light Reading's Women in Telecom Recap

9|24|14   |   0:55   |   (4) comments


Our first Women in Telecom breakfast was a huge success, and we hope you'll join us in London for the next event on November 6.
UBB Forum News
Monetizing Ultra-Broadband

9|24|14   |   01:43   |   (2) comments


Ultra-broadband networks need to be built, with fiber-to-the-premises the ultimate goal, but they need to be monetized, too.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sales Director of INIT on Plug & Play Switch Devices

9|19|14   |   3:21   |   (0) comments


INIT Italy uses both the Huawei S5700 and S7700 series switches for the campus LAN environment. Sales Director Andrea Curti says their company chose these Huawei devices over others because of their performance, flexible scalability and plug-and-play features.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Saudi Arabia Upgrades Vocational Training System

9|19|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


The Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) has 100,000 students, 150 government-owned institutions and oversees 1000 private institutes. The CIO of TVTC explains that Huawei devices have allowed them to manage multiple datacenters using just one software program, scientifically tracking the progress of students and teachers, saving them millions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Media Solutions Are Here to Stay

9|19|14   |   4:35   |   (0) comments


The current media revolution requires rapid upgrades in technology. New formats (HD, 3D, 4K etc.) and the subsequent explosion of file sizes demand sophisticated network and storage architecture. Social media and the multiple distribution channels require a robust asset management system. Gartner analyst Venecia Liu speaks about the current technological trends in ...
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Half of the world's population will be connected to the Internet by 2017, but not just by smartphones and desktops.
Hot Topics
Facebook Pokes Around LTE Direct
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/25/2014
Sprint Wields Its Influence in the Valley
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/25/2014
US Ignite Cultivates Gigabit Apps
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 9/25/2014
Is Redbox Instant Shutting Down?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 9/30/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed