Hands on with Cablevision’s upcoming Optimum App for Laptops

Last summer, Cablevision was one of the first cable providers to release an app for watching live TV on mobile devices. The Optimum App for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch allows Optimum subscribers to watch live television when connected to their home networks. Cablevision is now testing the Optimum App for Laptops, which transforms a user’s laptop into an additional TV when connected to a home network. A beta version of the application is currently available to select customers for a limited time and we managed to put it through the paces on Thursday. Check out our hand-on photo gallery below and hit the break for some quick impressions.

After installing Microsoft Silverlight, we were able to jump right into the application. The program features a clean and simple UI, giving users the ability to quickly access the TV guide and jump between various channels. Available channels are dependent on a user’s plan, thus ensuring that users only have access to the channels included in their standard cable subscriptions. The program also allows users to enable closed captioning and various parental controls.

The app is still a beta, and unfortunately there are definitely some issues to be worked out. Changing channels was sluggish, buffering was very slow and on numerous occasions the application completely froze. By no means was it unwatchable, however the user experience clearly has plenty of room for improvement. Picture quality was decent though, and all in all, the app is a welcomed addition to Cablevision’s Optimum portfolio and we can’t wait to get our hands on the finished product.

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