Time Warner Cable has developed a prototype of an iPad application that serves as a portal to navigate TV content, and the MSO imagines the project will evolve into a way for subscribers to access "TV Everywhere" content and share it on social networks, as well as let third-party partners access cable programming.
In the future, "I think you're going to see a greater variety of user interfaces, some of which our company may design, some others will be designed by third parties because we need to open this up to the most creativity we can get," Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt said in an interview about the project that the MSO posted on YouTube.
TWC director of digital communications Jeff Simmermon posted info on the project and links to the videos in a blog posting Tuesday. The operator has not disclosed when the iPad app will become available.
Time Warner Cable is trying to tackle two problems with the iPad: publishing and consuming content, and remote control of TV services, said Jason Gaedtke, group vice president of Web development. "So essentially the iPad has become a much more convenient and versatile way of navigating the content that we find on the video service today," he said, as well as a new means of accessing and sharing content via Web services.
The operator joins several other pay-TV providers in rushing to open up access to content and navigation functions to mobile devices.
For example, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts demonstrated the "Xfinity Remote" running on an iPad at the 2010 Cable Show in May. Xfinity Remote, which is supposed to become available to later in 2010, allows subscribers to search their channel lineup and uses EBIF to send commands to their cable set-top box to change the channel or launch a VOD session.
Last week, Cablevision Systems said it is developing a service designed to deliver the full complement of the MSO's video services to IP-based devices inside a subscriber's home. Also last week Dish Network disclosed plans to let subscribers stream live TV and DVR recordings to iPhones, iPads, BlackBerrys and Android-based smartphones this fall through either a ViP 622 "SlingLoaded" DVR or a Slingbox connected to the satellite receiver.