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Cox's iPad app lifts off

Mon, 12/05/2011 - 2:11pm
Mike Robuck

Cox Communications' iPad app, which features live linear streaming, is ready for primetime with today's launch.

At last month's SCTE Cable-Tec Expo, Cox President Pat Esser said his company would deliver on its iPad app during the holiday season. The free app, which Cox calls Cox TV Connect, is available for downloading from the Apple App Store.

The linear, live programming features a 35-channel lineup, while Time Warner Cable's TWCable TV 2.0 iPad app delivers 100 live channels. Comcast has said it will offer live streaming to its iPad app, but so far it hasn't delivered.

Networks offered by Cox on Cox TV Connect include AMC, History Channel, Bravo, Spike, Speed, TV Land and Speed. The iPad app took nine months to develop, and Cox expects to add more networks going forward.

In the initial launch, Cox customers with Preferred, Premier or Ultimate Cox high-speed Internet service; with Cox TV Essential service or higher; and with a DOCSIS modem can download and use the free application on their iPads.

"Cox offers convenience through convergence, and TV Connect is a new way we are making viewing more convenient and flexible for our customers," said Steve Necessary, vice president of video product development and management at Cox. "Our TV Connect offering will continue to evolve and expand, adding even more value to our services."

Necessary made the rounds at Expo in Atlanta to demonstrate the iPad app, which also serves a starting point for the cable's operator's migration to IP-based services. Necessary said then that Cox chose to go with an iPad app first for live streaming because of the large number of iPads in customers' hands and the "fragmented" nature of Android devices, which meant multiple integrations.

Cox worked with NDS Group to develop the user interface and digital rights management on the iPad app. Cox previously worked extensively with NDS on its Trio guide.

Time Warner Cable recently rolled out its Android app. A spokesman for Cox said the cable operator was working on delivering streaming to additional devices in the future.

While Cox initially trailed Comcast and Time Warner Cable on the TV Everywhere front, it has gotten its stable in order this year. In May, Cox launched its online Web portal, TV Online, and followed up with its Mobile Connect offering, which is an iPad, iPhone and Android app that gives Cox video and Cox phone customers the ability to control and manage their DVR and telephone services.

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