Cablevision: Our iPad App Does Blackouts

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I saw a brief demo yesterday of Cablevision’s new iPad app, which provides virtually the entire live TV lineup for a subscriber (see Cablevision iPad Video App Debuts With 280-Plus Channels, VOD).

The 300 channels available through the free app are exactly what you see on TV — and Cablevision preserves the blackout requirements of the sports programmers it carries, including YES Network, the cable operator says. Recall that ESPN cited Time Warner Cable’s inability to handle blackouts to explain why it wasn’t in the TWCable TV for iPad lineup (see Video Everywhere: ESPN Needs Blackouts On TWC iPad App).

So blackout restrictions evidently are not the source of YES’s problem with the Optimum for iPad app (see YES Says Cablevision’s iPad App Is Unauthorized). Perhaps YES just wants to collect the extra $59.99 per season through the Yankees on YES online video-streaming service if you want to watch Yankees (or Nets) games in your backyard?

Cablevision wasn’t providing many other technical details on the app, but reps did confirm the 300 channels are delivered using a switched digital video architecture; i.e., not all live channels are broadcast over IP all the time — they’re sent only when a subscriber tunes to the channel on the iPad. One thing that is not currently available in the TV channels on the app is local ad insertion.

Meanwhile, Cablevision is adding more content and more features to the app, targeting this summer to provide remote-control features that will let viewers change channels and access info on the set-top box.

As of Monday, Cablevision said there were now up to 2,200 VOD titles available on the app, versus 2,000 on Saturday. But any transactional VOD content must be purchased through the set-top box, for now.

Also note: There’s no ability to watch DVR recordings via the Cablevision iPad app, although the MSO’s RS-DVR network-based service could conceivably be configured to provide playback on iPads or other non-set-top devices.

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