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Time Warner iPad app to offer on-demand shows

Expected to be released in the coming months, the app promises delivery of on-demand programing for Time Warner Cable customers--and more.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read

Time Warner Cable is developing an iPad app that will let customers watch current programming, among other offerings.

The app, which has yet to be named or given a release date, was demoed in a YouTube video by Time Warner Cable Vice President of Web Services, Jason Gaedtke. When it's opened, the app delivers current programming for users to view in their area. They can see all the shows on now, or flip through the TV listings to see when other shows are on later.

According to Gaedtke, Time Warner Cable wants to achieve two basic goals with the app: allow users to publish and consume content on the iPad, as well as control "the video experience in the living room." To achieve that, users can find the show on that they want to watch and click the "watch now" option. Upon doing so, the display on the user's Time Warner Cable box is changed to that channel.

Another option available to users allows them to find content from networks and other TV providers and stream that content to the device. The company didn't elaborate on what content providers would be offered or how much content would be available.

Time Warner Cable has some lofty goals for the future. According to Gaedtke, his company would like to eventually give users the ability to start watching a show from the iPad, and once they get home, pick up where they left off on their televisions. The company also hopes to make APIs available to third-party publishers to bring their content to the company's app. Right now, the app is a prototype, so features could be added or removed before it's released.

Time Warner Cable's decision to work an iPad app into the mix might be a response to the iPad app Comcast unveiled earlier this year. That program allows users to see what's on, change channels on the cable box, or even record content from the app. It also includes a social element, allowing users to "share" a show they're watching with friends. Upon accepting the sharing invitation, friends' TVs will automatically tune to the same channel, so they too can watch the show.

The battle for the iPad's control over your television is heating up. But whether or not consumers will want to do everything with their iPad, rather than control programming like they do now, remains to be seen. I certainly think the idea is compelling, but implementation is everything.