Update: the Optimum app for Android does not allow live TV viewing but allows you to manage your DVR and check TV listings. The company says this functionality “is coming.” Moreover – the app will only work on laptops – not PCs with external monitors. Is it too late to ask for a do over on this post?
Having been on Android and iOS for quite some time (see my review from last April), Cablevision’s Optimum TV viewers can now also watch TV on their PCs, Macs and laptops. This could be important to power users who have tricked out monitors of 24″ or perhaps even greater. In fact the need for a standalone TV may be getting questioned more and more as a result of the ability to directly (and more easily I might add) watch TV on PCs.
In order to take advantage of the service be sure to have Windows XP SP2 or greater as well as a processor which runs at 1.6 GHz or better. Mac users will need an Intel Core Duo 1.83 GHz processor or better. Both platforms need at least a gig of RAM as 25MB of free hard disk space.
Similar to the way the iOS and Android versions work – you will be able to watch TV, browse listings and manage your DVR but not watch video stored on it.
I have been impressed with the Optimum app for TV viewing using an iPad although occasionally there is a connection error which is typically solved by leaving and re-entering the application.
It is amazing to me that tablets like the iPad have been on the market for only a few years and already have become the first place developers took when coming out with new apps. It is well known that apps generally drive hardware purchases and point to the direction of the hardware platform market share. I remember having serious discussions with the people at Quark about their popular QuarkXPress desktop publishing solution back in 1990 or so at the New York based Folio show – at the time they said they would never port to the PC. A few years later they changed their mind and interestingly, Apple really started to decline around the same time.
What will be really interesting however is when the stats come out from the cable companies regarding which platforms consumers are using to consume video. In other words – yes, PCs and laptops have larger screens than tablets but your PC isn’t easy to lug into the bathroom, onto the kitchen table, etc. Of course I am not advocating TV watching in the john but if you do, please spray some Lysol on that tablet before subsequently bringing it to the kitchen table.
I’m looking forward to trying the app out this weekend – maybe sooner if time allows. I will report anything out of the ordinary that happens.