Stop the Licensing Insanity, Cable Companies Need a Slingbox App

Would you move because you wanted a better cable company? The answer is probably not – especially if you live in an area of the country where you are served by a major provider. Cablevision is a relatively smaller cable company serving areas in the northeast like Connecticut and New York and even so they have WiFi-enabled much of their footprint allowing free wireless broadband to customers at many restaurants and shopping centers.

So cable companies aren’t necessarily competing against each other – they are competing against OTT providers, Hulu, Netflix, YouTube as well as phone companies.

So the competition is generally cord cutting and the cablecos have to do everything they can to make their services as sticky as they can be. This is why as TMC’s Peter Bernstein reports today, Tim Warner Cable has rolled out some great new services allowing customers to watch TV on PCs and Macs. This is even better than Cablevision’s Optimum service as it is restricted to iOS and Android. Still, like I said before – and Peter agrees, you aren’t going to move because of your cable provider.

One curious bit of information is the service requires Microsoft’s Silverlight 4, a platform which many thought was going away. Hopefully TWC will upgrade this to HTML5 soon.

Bernstein makes another interesting comment in his analytical piece and that is that what he really wants from his cable company is Slingbox-like functionality. Point being no matter how fancy and sophisticated the cable companies get with their apps and services, you are still restricted to viewing in your home. What is needed is for the industry to move beyond the licensing insanity so customers can watch their programming from wherever they are.

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