TWCable TV is a new iPad app from Time Warner Cable – that provides live streaming of TV shows from a selected range of TWC channels. You need to be a Time Warner Cable video subscriber to use the app, and have a username and password registered with them as well. I had never done this before but was able to do it from within the app when trying it out today.
I haven’t used many live streaming TV apps, but I gave this one a try as we use Time Warner Cable at home and we’re pretty happy with their basic cable package.
Right now I see 32 channels in the app (possibly based on my level of Time Warner cable subscription or the area I live in) – including notable ones like: A&E, AMC, ABC Family, Animal Planet, Bravo, CNN, CNBC, Discovery Channel, Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, FX, Fox News, Food Network, History Channel, Lifetime Movie Network, MSNBC, and National Geographic Channel.
All the channels are HD.
One big missing channel right now is ESPN. On our TV we get ESPN and ESPN2, I don’t see either of them in this app yet. Hopefully these and a few more channels will be added soon.
The app is quite nice to use. It’s got minimal controls and lets you get right down to enjoying live streaming shows. On the left-hand side of the screen it has a popover bar listing the available channels and what is currently playing on each one. You just tap on any of them to immediately start viewing that channel.
There’s a Channel History button at the top right, which shows the last five channels you’ve visited and lets you switch to any of them with a single tap.
That’s about it for controls right now. Simple and easy to work with – though also missing some features like the ability to record shows or view anything other than live programming.
Quality is very good on the live streaming – I ran through quite a lot of channels, from movies to news and various others, and saw no freezing up or jerky rendering at all. Everything was smooth. Changing between channels is also pretty quick.
TWCable TV requires a WiFi connection to work, switching to 3G will throw up an error message and you won’t be able to use the app.
It seems to show the live streams at just a little bit behind real-time – so if you look at them on the iPad and on your TV they’re not quite in sync.
The app does not currently have parental controls – so it gives you a popup warning on first launch, reminding you to sign out when finished viewing.
Here’s the listing of requirements for using it:
· iPad with iOS 4
· Time Warner Cable video package at the Standard (Expanded Basic) level or higher
· WiFi connection to Time Warner Cable Internet Service (Road Runner Standard or higher recommended for best experience; Earthlink High Speed or Earthlink Cable Max is supported)
· Time Warner Cable username and password
As I said, I haven’t used many TV live streaming apps, but I like this one a lot so far. It’s got most of the channels that I tend to watch the most when watching TV, it’s easy to use, and it performs very well.
Here’s an App Store link for TWCable TV; it’s a free app.