Believe It Or Not, CABLE COMPANIES Are Now Making The Coolest iPad Video Apps

iPad video apps slide

A new crop of cool iPad video apps have recently hit Apple’s App Store, and they’re coming from an unexpected source: America’s largest cable companies.

The cable giants like Cablevision, Time Warner, and Comcast are finally taking advantage of their assets — huge lists of channels and super-fast pipes into customers’ homes — with free, useful apps.

The latest include Cablevision’s Optimum app, which lets you stream all of your cable channels and on-demand video, and Time Warner Cable’s, which lets you stream a smaller subset of channels.

And Comcast, which does not offer live streaming yet, just announced that its Xfinity TV app now has 4,500 hours of on-demand video content, up 50% from 2 months ago.

Cable networks are also getting into the game. ESPN just rolled out a new iPhone app called WatchESPN, with four full channels of live-streaming, for subscribers to participating cable services.

Why is this surprising?

We’ve badgered the cable companies in this space for years for their terrible user interfaces and generally slow approach to supporting new consumer technology. We’ve seen companies like Netflix, Major League Baseball, and Hulu beat them to the punch, embracing the iPad and iPhone with apps long before the cable cos.

But now, finally, the cable guys are at the table, and they’re doing cool stuff. We hope it’s a sign of more to come.

Cablevision Optimum

Cablevision basically ripped out the guts of its cable boxes and jammed them into your iPad, including live streaming of all channels in your home, access to on-demand, and programming your DVR.

iTunes link

Time Warner Cable

Time Warner Cable offers a smaller subset of live streaming channels in your home, and no on-demand or DVR content.

iTunes link

Comcast Xfinity TV

Comcast does not currently offer live streaming or DVR, but offers 4,500 hours of on-demand video, including TV shows and movies. If you subscribe to premium channels like HBO, you can watch those videos on the app, too. Does not require you to be at home to watch.

iTunes link


ESPN's new iPhone app includes 4 channels of full, live streaming, for subscribers to select cable TV systems. An iPad-tailored version is in the works for May.

iTunes link

MLB At Bat

Major League Baseball offers live streaming of out-of-market baseball games, including free streaming this April via a sponsorship.

iTunes link

Hulu Plus

Hulu Plus recently added the Criterion Collection of excellent movies to its service.

iTunes link


Vevo is music video on your iPad. Supports the new AirPlay technology to watch iPad video on your Apple TV.

iTunes link


Netflix was an early iPad adopter, but a recent update to its iPad app is not impressive.

iTunes link


ABC's app has been around since the beginning.

iTunes link


PBS is one of the few broadcast networks with an iPad app, including full episodes.

iTunes link

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