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
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
IHS Analyst Discusses eLTE at CCW 2014

9|10|14   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Thomas Lynch, associate director of critical communications at IHS Technology, talks about broadband in critical communications.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
TCAA on Huawei eLTE: A Broadband Solution for Mission-Critical Communications

9|10|14   |   2:29   |   (0) comments


At CCW2014 in Singapore, the TCCA's Phil Kidner talks about the importance of broadband data for critical communications.
LRTV Custom TV
Spotlight on Cisco: SDN for Optical Networks

9|8|14   |   9:27   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Greg Nehib talks OpenFlow and more on the 'Software-Defined Networking for Optical Networks' panel at the Big Telecom Event in June 2014.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Evolved Programmable Network (EPN)

9|8|14   |   4:05   |   (0) comments


A look at the various demos Cisco showed at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event highlighting Cisco's EPN innovation and how SDN and NFV technologies are enabling a variety of new services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Future of Ultra-Broadband, With Kevin Kelly (UBBF2014)

9|5|14   |   1:13   |   (0) comments


If you think the technological changes we've seen up to now are astounding, just wait until you see what the future has in store. Discuss upcoming breakthroughs with Kevin Kelly, Founding Executive Editor of Wired Magazine, at the Huawei Ultra-Broadband Forum on September 24.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Inaugural Optical Innovation Forum in Nice

9|2|14   |     |   (0) comments


More than 170 attendees from network operators, service providers, analyst firms, and component companies from around the world convened in Nice in June for the inaugural Optical Innovation Forum, co-produced by Huawei and Light Reading.
Wagner’s Ring
Data Centers Drive Telcos Into the Future

8|28|14   |   2:20   |   (2) comments


Data centers are at the heart of key trends driving telecom -- network virtualization, the drive for increased agility, and the need to compete with OTT providers.
LRTV Custom TV
Why SPs Should Consider Cisco's EPN

8|27|14   |   5:40   |   (0) comments


Sultan Dawood from Cisco discusses Cisco's EPN, which enables SPs to build agile and programmable networks delivering new network virtualized services using Cisco's Evolved Services Platform (ESP).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Showcase @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   2.56   |   (0) comments


SoftCOM is Huawei's framework for telecom business and network transformation. Haofei Liu, Solution Marketing Manager, Carrier Business Group, Huawei, showcases Huawei's SoftCOM architecture in this video.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of Integrated Solutions on SoftCOM & NFV Monetization

8|26|14   |   4.43   |   (0) comments


Libin Dai, Director of Integrated Solutions, Carrier Business Group, discusses Huawei's SoftCOM and NFV monetization. Huawei believes that NFV monetization should be service-driven rather than network-driven, and that operators should have network transformation, service transformation and a compatible and collaborative ecosystem in place in order to deploy NFV.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei @ BTE 2014: Director of US NFV Lab on CloudEdge & the Future of NFV

8|26|14   |   4.06   |   (0) comments


Sean Chen, Director of US NFV Lab at Huawei, discusses Huawei's new approach to NFV in open collaboration. Huawei believes that through Proof of Concept tests, it could help operators learn and communicate with the industry more effectively. Sean believes that successful implementation of NFV should have its values reaching to end users and discusses how Huawei's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Highlights @ Big Telecom Event 2014

8|26|14   |   3.34   |   (0) comments


At the Big Telecom Event in Chicago Huawei showcases its high-level strategy, the SoftCOM architecture, which helps operators reduce the cost of ownership of their network infrastructure and generate additional revenue in the ICT service environment. Huawei showcases over 30 pilot programs from across the globe, focusing on the industry-leading commercial ...
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
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
A survey conducted by Vasona Networks suggests that 72% of mobile users expect good performance all the time, and they'll blame the network operator when it's not up to par.
Today's Cartoon
Vacation Special Caption Competition Click Here
Latest Comment
Hot Topics
Introducing 'The New IP'
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 9/11/2014
Glimpsing the Self-Driving Car
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/12/2014
AT&T to Launch WiFi Calling in 2015
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/12/2014
AT&T: We'll Bundle Fixed Wireless & DirecTV
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 9/15/2014
Analyzing Apple & VoLTE
Gabriel Brown, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading, 9/12/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed