Turn your iPad into a TV with Time Warner’s TWCable TV app

Mar 17, 2011
TV

It’s been a long time coming, but Time Warner Cable has came through with a killer app that finally lets people watch live TV channels on their iPad. While not perfect, it’s an excellent start, and I’m hopeful that we’ll see significant improvements in the coming weeks. So what does the free TWCable TV app […]

It’s been a long time coming, but Time Warner Cable has came through with a killer app that finally lets people watch live TV channels on their iPad. While not perfect, it’s an excellent start, and I’m hopeful that we’ll see significant improvements in the coming weeks.

So what does the free TWCable TV app get right? It’s free, comes pre-loaded with a fairly healthy channel lineup, and if you’ve got a solid (read: wireless N) Wi-Fi network in your home being served through the Road Runner service from Time Warner, you’ll be up and running in a few minutes time.

Once downloaded, you’ll need to register at Time Warner’s website in order to verify that you subscribe to their TV service at the appropriate level (Expanded Basic or better), get Road Runner Internet connectivity, and finally, link your iPad to your offical TV account number. Once all of that is set, the app will display a black screen with a very spare menu system. Tap the left side of the screen to force the channel list to appear. Scroll up and down to see what’s playing right now. The initial list of available channels include A&E, Bravo!, CNBC, CNN, Discovery, E!, Food Network, Fox News Channel, HGTV, CNN Headline News, History Channel, MSNBC, Syfy, TLC, and USA Network.

Just tap your choice to change the channel. A small pause will give the app time to cache a few seconds of video, and then you’ll be off and running. The image is clear, crisp, and fills the top two-thirds of you screen.

As you surf between channels, you’ll be able to click the only available control – Channel History – to switch between recent streams.

In terms of what the app is lacking, there’s currently no support for on-the-road (read: outside of your home) access to your channels.

While a great start, the channel lineup is currently very limited compared to a standard digital cable TV lineup. There’s also no volume control on-screen, and the app completely lacks any DVR-style controls (fast forward, rewind, pause, etc.) For concerned parents, there are no content controls either.

Still, all Time Warner subscribers with TV and Internet service will want to install this app sooner rather than later. Adding another TV viewing device to your family’s home collection is more than enough justification to bring yet another must-have capability to your Apple tablet.

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Tim McLain

Tim McLain is a freelance writer and an online marketing manager, helping serious researchers and students find and make use of the best online content found on the deep Web. His passion for all things computers/tech started when he was a teenager, working with his twin brother to set up a C64 BBS in their bedroom.

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