Comcast readies AnyPlay live TV app for iPad, Moto Xoom

Michelle Clancy ©RapidTVNews | 23-11-2011

Comcast is finally ready to join cable brethren Time Warner Cable and Cablevision with a live TV app for the Apple iPad and the Motorola Xoom.
The No 1 US cable MSO plans to kick off trials in two (as yet undisclosed) markets for its aptly named AnyPlay service, which uses the Televation set-top from Motorola to stream signals via Wi-Fi within the home. The service will cover the entire Comcast channel line-up.
Comcast has been planning to offer live TV streaming for months but has been reportedly hung up in content licensing issues. The set-top box implementation requires a heavier load on the subscriber as well as on Comcast itself, being as it is an additional piece of hardware, but it also allows Comcast to avoid charges of double dipping from content providers.
Time Warner Cable and Cablevision both offer live TV streaming to the iPad inside the home zone, but ran into trouble at launch with the studios, especially Viacom, for essentially offering channels via an online connection, which would require a separate content licensing scheme than linear broadcast and likely additional fees. However, the MSOs and content folks appear to have laid that issue to rest for now.
Comcast is the largest TV provider in the United States, with 24 million subscribers, but it is certainly playing catch-up in the tablet streaming game. In addition to being beaten to market by TWC and Cablevision, DirecTV and AT&T U-verse also offer live TV streaming apps.
On-demand streaming to the Xfinity Web site and smartphones will follow the initial tablet rollout, Comcast told CNN.