RANT: The networks are being jerks about the iPad

Time Warner cable may not be available in your neighborhood so you may not have a dog in this hunt. To catch you up, TWC offers a free iPad app that allows you to stream live TV feed to your device. You would think that the networks would have no problem with this. Let’s list the reasons:

  • You must be a Time Warner customer to use the service.
  • You must be a customer to use the service ( is the brand name for TWC’s cable modem service).
  • You can only use this service at the specific IP address of your RoadRunner account.  You cannot be at the Starbuck’s down the street. You cannot be at your neighbors that also has TWC and RoadRunner but a different IP address.  You cannot be traveling to a hotel in a far off city.
  • TWC’s terms of conditions on their service already allows me to plug as many TVs into my cable feed as I would like. I can have a TV in every room and closet in my house.

Evidently, some networks don’t get it. They won’t let me have a TV called “iPad” in my house.  I can plug a TV made by Mitsibushi or Sony into my living room but I cannot stream that same content to my iPad.

Therefore, if my wife wants to watch an evening soap opera such as “Desperate Housewives” I cannot go into my living room and watch the Discovery Channel. To make matters just as bad (so that ABC doesn’t get a break here), we cannot do the reverse and have her watch Desperate Housewives on her iPad while I hog the TV in the family room for Discovery.  Instead we have to record one of the shows on our and watch it later.

Let’s build on that last point. Instead of watching live TV that forces me to sit through commercials, the content providers are forcing me to record the show on DVR where I am certain to fast forward through the commercials.  So by enforcing this rule that costs them no , they make less .

RANT: TO ALL OF THE CONTENT PROVIDERS ON TIME WARNER CABLE, WHY DON’T YOU THINK JUST A LITTLE BIT BEFORE YOU MAKE A STUPID RULE THAT HURTS YOUR ADVERTISERS AND YOUR CONSUMERS AND COSTS YOU ZERO MONEY!

Below is the email from Time Warner Cable explaining the situation.

TWCable TV App For iPad View Web Version Time Warner Cable
IMPORTANT UPDATE TO YOUR                    TWCABLE TV APP FOR IPAD(TM)
As you know, since launching our TWCable TV App for iPad on March 15th, you and hundreds of thousands of other Time Warner Cable customers have enjoyed the flexibility and freedom of being able to turn any room in your house into a TV room by using your iPad.

And, while most TV network owners agree with us that this is a great convenience for our customers and their viewers, a few networks disagree. As a result, for the time being, we have decided to focus our iPad efforts on other enlightened programmers who understand the benefit and importance of allowing our subscribers – and their viewers – to watch their programming on any screen in their homes.

Unfortunately, that means that channels from network groups Discovery Communications, Fox Cable, and Viacom will be removed from your iPad lineup, effective immediately.

•  Discovery channels: Animal Planet, Discovery, TLC
•  Fox channels: FX, National Geographic
•  Viacom channels: BET, CMT, Comedy, MTV, Nickelodeon, Spike, VH1
This means that you will temporarily have a new lineup on your iPad consisting of the following channels:

A&E E! HLN
ABC Family Food Network Lifetime Movie Network
AMC Fox News MSNBC
Bravo Galavision SyFy
CNBC Hallmark Channel Travel Channel
CNN HGTV USA
Disney Channel History
We will be providing replacement channels as quickly as we can, perhaps as early as tomorrow. You won’t need to change anything or update your App in any way to receive these or the additional channels.

In the meantime, we will pursue all of our legal rights against the programmers who don’t share our vision. Your enthusiasm, and the enthusiasm of the programming partners who have embraced the App – rather than those who are solely focused on finding additional ways to reach into wallets of their own viewers – has convinced us more than ever that we are on the right path. We will continue to fight to ensure that you have access to the content you pay for, no matter which screen in your home you choose to view it on.

For up-to-the-minute information on what’s happening, please visit:
www.IWantMyTWCableTVApp.com
.

Why are these channels going away from the TWCable TV App for iPad?
Unfortunately, the owners of those channels don’t yet share our vision for making it easy for consumers to view the content they’ve already paid for on different screens within the home. We would rather use our technical resources to distribute the channels of programmers who agree that their content should be seen on any screen inside your home, while we pursue legal solutions that would let us continue deploying this Application.

Will other channels be put up in their place?
We’re working to add new channels to the lineup as quickly as possible.

Will more channels be dropped?
At this time, we don’t expect any additional TV network owners to to demand that we remove their channels from the iPad App.

Why didn’t Time Warner Cable anticipate this before launching the iPad App?
We firmly believe that this App is no different than delivering our signals to another TV in the home, and are surprised and disappointed that some TV networks see it differently.

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