Want to watch Time Warner Cable content on your iPhone? Yes, as of today, there's an app for that. (We know that phrase is becoming cliché, but couldn't help ourselves.)
The media conglomerate said on its blog Thursday that after it launched an app for Apple's iPad in March, viewers demanded it for the iPhone and Android devices. The latest app is called TWC TV for iPhone.
"It's only natural -- the universe of handheld devices is expanding fast, and we're working hard to keep up," wrote Time Warner Untangled blogger Jeff Simmermon. The Android app, which does not include live TV, came last month.
Mobile devices are increasingly an essential part of cable companies' strategies. Last month Verizon Wireless signed a $3.6 billion deal with Comcast, Time Warner and Bright House Networks to acquire spectrum licenses that also allows the cable companies to sell Verizon's products and vice versa.
The iOS app allows users to essentially add another viewing station to the home without an additional cable box, and could potentially allow a person to watch, say, a presidential debate on TV while keeping track of an NFL playoff game score on an iPhone.
"As long as you have an account, [cable companies] don't care if you watch on an iPad, a smartphone, a TV set or a computer," said analyst Gerry Purdy of MobileTrax. "They are getting their viewership. I definitely think mobility has to be a big part of their strategy."
At no additional cost to Time Warner subscribers who have broadband service, customers can use the free app to access an interactive program guide with up to a week's listings, view program descriptions and filter content by favorites or by high-definition-only with a personalized channel list. The content streams via Wi-Fi.
They can also search for programming by title or episode and filter results, and use their device as a remote control for compatible set-top boxes to change the channel or manage the DVR. The app requires version 4.3 or higher of Apple's iOS operating system for mobile devices.
The app is essentially the same as that of rival Cablevision, whose Optimum app allows TV viewing and other features for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. That app also allows playback of On Demand rentals.
An iPhone App for Verizon's FiOS fiber optic cable allows DVR management and another allows mobile remote, but does not allow viewing on the iPhone.
Individual cable channels, such as NBC Universal's USA network and CBS's Showtime allow viewers to join in conversations and enjoy other social features built around programming but do not yet stream content to mobile devices.
Some content creators have been slow to accept streaming of their property over devices, and Viacom, whose channels include MTV and Comedy Central, even went so far as to take Time Warner to court over the issue.
Because the case remains unresolved, Viacom content won't be accessible via the app.
Posted: 2012-01-22 @ 4:48pm PT
The app is called TWC TV for iPhone.
Posted: 2012-01-22 @ 4:37pm PT
And what, pray tell, would be the NAME of the app????