(11/4/11) Update: I just downloaded the app for a test drive. It was a small pain to track down my account number, set up an account online and register – but it was pretty quick. But I must say, the picture quality is great! Smooth scrolling channels are much
better than the rigid delay you get on the TV from the cable box. The only downfall was waiting for some channels to load and there was a brief delay during some shows. But all in all, a cool app. Good job, Bright House.
I recently walked by a television at work and overheard an ad for the Brighthouse Networks iPad app. It essentially allows you to watch your cable stations on your iPad. Immediately I thought that this could be a Slingbox killer. If enough cable providers offered their own apps, then access to content would be nationwide and you could watch what you want from anywhere, thus replacing the Slingbox.
But hang on. After a little research, I found that there are plenty of limitations. First off, and most importantly, you have to have a Wi-Fi connection to access the content. They claim you must watch it in your home. That would be even more limiting. Slingbox obviously wins right there because of their ability to stream your TV contents from an iPhone, iPad and other devices from Wi-Fi and even 3G speeds from anywhere in the world.
Secondly, subscribers are limited to 97 channels of content. The lineup includes A&E, Discovery, Lifetime, SyFy, Fox News, CNN, Disney Channel, HGTV, History, Travel Channel and USA Network. Here is the full list as of today. So you’re not getting all the stations yet. As a result of a court battle, there are no Viacom networks available on the app.
Best of all, the app is free. But you”ll have to have Bright House digital-basic service (or higher); a Wi-Fi connection; and a Bright House username and password in order for the app to function.
Reviews have been mixed at the iTunes store. Here’s a few:
Great first release
Very good v1 app! Great picture quality and variety of channels. Looking forward to HBOGo an CNN app support next!
Does not work
The app does not work, reporting “…only available when you are accessing this video service in your home, using a cable modem authorized by Bright House Networks.” I am in my home, on my Bright House cable modem. We waited months for a rebrand of the Time Warner Cable app, and it doesn’t even work. Bright House is a lousy service provider, half working STBs, half working Cable Cards, and non working apps.
DirecTV released an upgrade to its free iPad app last week that lets subscribers with HD DVRs watch 38 channels live on their tablets over a home Wi-Fi connection.
So technology is obviously expanding at a rapid rate, but fans of the Slingbox can still be reassured, they have a pretty could piece of hardware to get their programming in their pocket – anywhere, anytime.