Roam your Connected Home watching Live Cable TV on iPad with Optimum for iPad
There is some interesting news for those of you who love both your iPad and your television and more evidence that streaming media is becoming the norm when it comes to Home System Integration. Cablevision iO Digital Cable network has come up with a new iPad app called Optimum for iPad, as an answer to the iPad app developed by Time Warner Cable, the TWCable TV.
With Optimum for iPad, all Cablevision subscribers who own an iPad or iPad 2 with iOS 4.2 or up, can enjoy live cable TV streaming on their iPads at absolutely no extra cost. According to Cablevision, their subscribers can register upto three iPads on one Cablevision subscriber account and enjoy live streaming of cable (live TV and videos on demand) on any two iPads simultaneously. Not just that, this app also allows you to browse TV listings, schedule iO DVR recordings, and store and delete recorded shows.
If you have an iPad and at least one Cablevision subscriber account, you can download the Optimum app on your iPad simply by clicking on the ‘get app’ link on the Apple iTunes store. Once this is done, you can login to your Optimum account using the Optimum Id and password. After that, while being connected to the internet through the modem authorized by Optimum, you can start using your iPad as a hand-held mobile TV at home with crystal clear video and audio features. You can access all the channels that you have subscribed for with your iO cable TV, except for the Pay-Per-View, digital music and interactive channels. Also, Live TV channels, On Demand channels and iO DVR restrictions that are applicable as per your package remain the same.
The Optimum app also allows quick access to current programs through the “What’s On Now” link and lets you tune in directly to the desired channel using the in-app keypad. Besides that, you can also browse TV listings in your area, categories like Movies on Demand, Free on Demand and Subscription on Demand; mark your favorite channels; and also filter the TV listings according to the date, time, favorites or genre. Another notable feature of this app is that you can schedule and record your favorite programs through your iO DVR recording, directly through your iPad. Although you cannot watch Live TV when you are outside your residence, you can definitely record and manage your iO DVR recordings, browse channel listings in the iO guide, and also search for DVR programming by title, genre, descriptions or keywords.
iPad apps like Optimum enable cable TV subscribers to watch their favorite television programs even while moving around the home, without having to invest in a new cable connection or in a portable TV. Although this app is a must have for your iPad, it does come with a few limitations. The first limitation is that it restricts your access of live TV to your home, although it allows you to browse channel listings and manage iO DVR recordings outside of it. Second is that you cannot watch your iO DVR recordings through this app, meaning that you’ll have to go back to your TV to watch all your recorded programs.
I find that second limitation kind of a bummer, but figure that the limitation has more to do with FCC regulations as opposed to hardware issues. It is time that the big cable and satellite companies realize that “the Connected Home” is here to stay and if they want to remain a viable solution in the home system integration industry, then need to enable features such as these.
Of those of you who have used this app, what are your opinions? Let us know in the comments section below!