This week has already seen a rumor about a Motorola tablet that will let Verizon FiOS customers watch TV anywhere, and the Dish Network announcing an upgrade to their mobile apps to let subscribers access their set-top boxes remotely. Now Cablevision has acknowledged that subscribers will soon be able to watch programming on their iPads, with one big catch: It will only work at home.
This curious solution was mentioned by Cablevision COO Tom Rutledge during a quarterly earnings call: "When you look at an iPad, and you are in a Cablevision household, you’ll be able to get every service we provide -- VoD, broadcast television, all of our expanded basic services." While that's a nice add-on, it flat out comes up limping compared to rivals devising, as Comcast puts it, "TV Everywhere," where you'll be able to access their services anywhere you can get an Internet connection. It's unclear why Cablevision is baking in this home-only limitation to its "mobile" solutions, but I'm not sure I'd be a happy subscriber a year from now when my friends can watch TV on their portable device thanks to their providers, but I can't.
In other Cablevision news, the company is working on creating remote-control apps that will let you control your set-top box through an iPhone or Android phone, and it's also testing a service that will beam Internet video to your TV, a.k.a. "PC to TV Media Relay." It also hopes to release a Remote Storage-DVR by year's end that replaces a physical DVR and is a whole home solution.
Those developments pale a bit compared to the crippled mobile TV strategy. Hopefully for subscribers, Cablevision will reconsider its plan and develop a true TV-on-the-go platform.