& cplSiteName &

Cablevision Launches iPad App With 280+ Channels

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

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        ADD A COMMENT
Carl Davies
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. 





Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
Wednesday, October 26, 1:00PM EDT
Security: Tackling DDoS
Gary Sockrider, Principal Security Technologist, Arbor Networks
Friday, October 28, 1:00PM EDT
Security: The Plusses and Minuses of Open Source Software
Nick Feamster, Acting Director, Center for Information Technology Policy, Princeton University
Wednesday, November 16, 1:00PM EST
SDN 101
John Isch, Practice Director, Network & Voice, Orange Business Services
Friday, November 18, 1:00PM EST
SDN & Open Source
Christopher W. Rice, Senior Vice President of AT&T Labs, Domain 2.0 Architecture and Design
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation Technology Beyond DOCSIS 3.1

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Liu Jianhua speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Hybrid Video Solutions to Change TV, Change Future

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Ian Locke speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei Future-Oriented Giga Coax Network

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

At SCTE 2016, Huawei's Allen Wang speaks with Alan Breznick for an exclusive interview.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei at SCTE 2016

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

Join Alan Breznick of Light Reading and take a sneak peek at the Huawei booth at SCTE 2016.
LRTV Custom TV
Assuring Network Quality in a Rapidly Changing Environment

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

As the rate of change and complexity increases in agile networks, the importance of introducing DevOps methodologies for integrating active test and assurance solutions throughout the full service lifecycle becomes critical to ensure that customers are experiencing the service quality they demand. The industry landscape is changing, and software-based test and ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
A10 Networks on Service Providers' Industry Needs

10|20|16   |     |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders hears how A10 enables service providers to accelerate, secure and optimize their application delivery to drive down costs, enhance service availability, and better respond to customer requirements, so they can improve customer satisfaction, monetize their network, and grow revenues.
LRTV Custom TV
New NFV Use Cases for Cable TV

10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

A large number of NFV use cases are focused on the enterprise domain, looking at virtualization of customer-premises equipment (CPE). To date, there has been little focus on the use cases and business case for virtualization of the video content delivery networks required to deliver unicast and streaming video to consumers. Amdocs commissioned Analysys Mason to ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Meet the Future Workforce: New Faces, Expectations & Motivations

10|19|16   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

Millennials and their younger peers, Gen Z, expect more out of their network and more out of their work. Intel's Lynn Comp shares how the industry can prepare for this new generation of workers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE Global Services User Congress 2016 Highlights

10|19|16   |     |   (0) comments

ZTE held its 2nd Global Service User Conference in Dusseldorf on October 13-14. Representatives from network operators, leading industry analysts and ZTE senior expertsattended the event, exploring the best practice in managed services and the vision to transform network operations into the operations center of the future (OpCF) in the software-defined networking ...
LRTV Custom TV
Cliff Grossner on Cloud & Network Synergy From Carrier Service

10|18|16   |     |   (0) comments

Local carriers offer the collaborated cloud and network service that benefits from their understanding of the regulations operating in different vertical markets.
In this interview, Cliff Grossner from IHS Technology talks about how this advanced service can support business agility and flexibility.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX: Live from SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2016

10|17|16   |     |   (0) comments

Cyrille Morelle, VeEX's President and CEO, talks with Light Reading's Alan Breznick live from the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2016. They discuss DOCSIS 3.1 technology, deployments and early lessons learned. New products on display include the CX350s-D3.1, CX380s-D3.1, CX310, AT2500-3G, FX150 OTDR and MTT WiFI Air Expert.
LRTV Custom TV
Smith Micro's Carrier-Grade WiFi Component

10|17|16   |     |   (0) comments

Join Carol Wilson of Light Reading as she interviews the CTO of Smith Micro, Dave Sperling.
Upcoming Live Events
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 1, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York, NY
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Attacks Have Major Internet Sites on the Ropes
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 10/21/2016
Verizon Wants More Data on Yahoo Breach
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 10/20/2016
WiCipedia: Grace Hopper Promotes Diversity, Girl Scouts Code & How to Thrive
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 10/21/2016
Layer3 TV Comes to Town, Hints at Future
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 10/21/2016
Telecom Italia Plots Digital 'Overlay,' Not Transformation
Iain Morris, News Editor, 10/17/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

A vital part of increasing the number of women in comms is transforming the ways companies can support and empower women. While progressive company policies that support both men and women in achieving work-life balance are a step in the right direction, creating a company culture that supports those policies can at times be more challenging.

During this show, we'll talk to Lynn Comp, Senior Director of Industry and Sales Enabling (ISE) in the Network Platforms Group at Intel, about why those challenges exist and how companies can overcome them. She'll provide insight into how Intel has worked to create a culture that supports work-life balance, and provide steps and guidance for other companies wishing to do the same. We will also leave plenty of time to get your questions answered live on the air.