The next battle in the pay TV wars is being waged away from the TV. Rumors are flying that Verizon FiOS subscribers will be able to watch TV on a forthcoming tablet from Motorola, and now Dish Network is bringing live TV streaming to mobile devices for its customers.
Dish's streaming will be coming to iPads, iPhones, iPod Touches, and BlackBerry phones next month, with Android device supporting following in October. The company will be making use of Sling Media's technology in order for subscribers to tap into their home set-top boxes. Customers can either purchase a SlingBox, or move up to Dish's HD DVRs that feature SlingBox tech.
While Dish already has mobile apps that let you control your home set-top box remotely, these will be updated to allow for live TV. Aside from any hardware updates customers need to make, the live TV service will be available for no extra cost. One limitation with the setup is that if your DVR only has a single tuner, you're forced to watch whatever someone is watching on your home TV. DVRs with a second tuner would allow the mobile viewer to watch something different than what someone at home is watching via the same box.
It appears likely that every pay TV service will have to offer a mobile streaming service to customers in order to stay competitive. That means watching your favorite shows on the go will graduate from a niche offering at additional cost (Flo TV anyone?) to a free add-on -- as long as you're already a subscriber.
[Via Associated Press]