PlayOn on Wednesday announced the availability of a new API that makes building channels for the company’s streaming video service easier than ever. PlayOn’s new “dead simple” PlayDirect API allows partners to create new channels by simply specifying a URL for the video feed and then selecting the video’s viewable area. Since making the new API available just two days ago, PlayOn has already added 25 new channels including Food Network, Disney Channel Live, Lifetime and TV Land, which are now available to stream to computers and mobile devices. “By opening up the PlayOn technology platform to third party developers, we are able to expand the content available to PlayOn users,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “Just like Apple’s app store brought new features and functionality to the iPhone, we plan on seeing a host of new channels in PlayOn.” More →
We knew that Cablevision was involved in creating an iPad app that enables the viewing of TV content, but we didn’t know that the app would offer iPad owners a better experience than FIOS’ and Time Warner Cable’s offerings. Cablevision’s Optimum app lets you, from behind your own network at home, view your entire channel lineup directly from up to two iPads simultaneously, complete with program guide information, access to the company’s more than 2,000 VOD offerings with the rest coming this summer, while also letting you record and control your DVR directly from the app. After entering my Optimum account username and password, I was immediately able to access every Optimum channel that I subscribe to from my iPad, and after some quick buffering, video looked absolutely great. It doesn’t look like you’re able to currently watch any recorded video from your DVR, but that’s not such a big deal in my book. Cablevision told me that their app doesn’t use the internet to deliver video to your iPad, nor is the content streamed, rather it’s sent over the company’s network just as it works with your set-top box. If you are an Optimum customer that doesn’t have a cable modem, Optimum will provide an internet-blocked cable modem for free that will enable you to use the iPad app with a user-provider secure wireless router. Cablevision also said that they plan to deploy the same experience to other devices, so we anticipate an iPhone and Android app in the future. Check out some screenshots of the app in our gallery, and if you’re an Optimum cable customer, the app is available for free in the App Store. Press release after the break.
We’ve just been tipped that Time Warner Cable has begun emailing users of its iPad application, informing them of a looming channel-lineup change. The app in question — TWCable TV App for iPad — was released on March 15th, and allows TWC subscribers to stream live television right to their tablet device. A very neat feature… for customers. It seems as though several major networks are not all that fond of this customer-centric feature. “While most TV network owners agree with us that this is a great convenience for our customers and their viewers, a few networks disagree,” reads the email. “Unfortunately, that means that channels from network groups Discovery Communications, Fox Cable, and Viacom will be removed from your iPad lineup, effective immediately.” Time Warner notes that Animal Planet, Discovery, TLC, FX, National Geographic, BET, CMT, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Spike, and VH1 will no longer be available. In response, TWC has added 17 national and 3 local “replacement channels.” More →