It took years for the TV industry to come to peace with the fact that viewers are now expecting to watch television whenever and wherever they want, and to tolerate services such as Tivo and Sling. It took even more time for them to finally come together to launch services like Hulu. Simply put, the TV industry doesn’t like change.
So when one company – Time Warner Cable in this case – tries to innovate a bit too quickly, it gets slapped with lawsuits galore. According to Business Insider, Time Warner has been sent a cease and desist order over TWCable, an app that allows iPad users to stream live TV to their device over WiFi. Several unnamed TV networks consider in-home video streaming to be a different service than plain old cable TV, and are expecting Time Warner’s customer to pay a premium for it.
The move is surprising to say the least, as the app has been severely crippled to make sure the content streamed to the iPad cannot be distributed illegally: the app can only be used by Time Warner Cable customers, it only offers 32 channels, and it only works inside the customer’s home, to keep the content within Time Warner’s ‘walled garden’.
While TV networks are perfectly in their rights to refuse to push their content to mobile devices, they again show a clear lack of understanding about customer behavior, and push people toward alternate services such as Sling, or worse, file sharing sites.
At this stage, Time Warner Cable hasn’t communicated on the topic yet, and the app is still available on the app store. For a full review of the service, click here.