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October 13, 2015

Review: Cablevision's Optimum for iPad App

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 6th 2011 2:15PM
Optimum for iPadNow Time Warner customers aren't the only ones with the ability to watch live television and On Demand on their iPads -- Cablevision is the latest cable provider to create an app to supplement its normal cable service.

Called 'Optimum for iPad,' the app allows iPad owners to stream live television and On Demand from wherever their home's WiFi can reach -- but hopefully they won't have the same problems with content providers as TWC. As a recent iPad owner, Cablevision customer and all-around couch potato, I felt almost obligated to check it out.

First, the good. This is a terrific app and a tremendous supplement to cable television. It is truly a merger of television and the Internet. You have access to live television and On Demand offerings. You can bookmark your favorite channels and activate parental controls and closed captioning.

Optimum for iPadThere is an interactive television guide that jumps to whatever is currently on that channel, much like the digital cable menu on your TV. However, this system even lets you know how far the program is from completed using a progress bar. As a Cablevision subscriber, you have access to any channel you normally subscribe to. You do have to log into the system using your Optimum ID.

You can browse what's available or search the listings for particular programs, much like a Tivo. Both regular and HD content is available. I wasn't able to test the DVR functionality because I don't have that as part of my cable package (yes, I said "cable package" -- get your mind out of the gutter).

The interface is very intuitive. Kudos to the Cablevision techs who designed it. There was no transmission delay or lag in the streaming. It was like having another super-portable television in the house.

But with the good comes the bad, although in some cases the bad is just a limitation of the system. You can only fully use the app in your own home. While the app will launch in any location with WiFi or 3G and can give you a channel listing as well as let you set your Cablevision DVR, you cannot watch live TV or On Demand unless it's from the cable modem address that was assigned to you. Also, when testing the Free On Demand offers, certain programs were restricted from being played on the iPad app presumably due to licensing issues.

Optimum for iPadThe app can be used on up to three iPads, and only two of those can be used simultaneously at any given time. You can't rotate the app. It's stuck in landscape mode. It's not a deal-breaker but it's still somewhat limiting. Also, the channel guide only goes forward and only for a few hours, so if you want to look at what was on TV last night, you'll need the some other app. And forget about using AirPlay -- the only way you'll be able to stream this app to an unauthorized television is with a physical cable.

Testing was done on both an iPad and an iPad2, and with the original iPad I found issues with the sound. That is, there wasn't any. The iPad 2 worked with no problems.

Overall, this sort of app is a must-have for the television junkie who needs a fix before bedtime. If you don't want to disturb the rest of your household, you can even plug in headphones. The app comes with a decent help section (which can be accessed by clicking the "About" icon at the bottom) for those who can't deduce how to use it.

You can download the free app from the App Store, although it's kind of pointless to get unless you're already subscribing to Optimum television and Internet through Cablevision. By the way, there are rumors that Cablevision will be releasing a similar app for the iPhone and iPod touch in the future just in case you want an even smaller portable television screen.

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Yes cablevision no good no tv ev

November 08 2011 at 9:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I personally think that DISH Network has the best solution for TV everywhere. With my employee Sling adapter, I can stream live and recorded TV to my Android and Apple devices everywhere I have 3G coverage or WiFi. So unlike Cablevision, I can watch live TV outside of my house even if I don't have an iPad. If you would like to compare different providers to find the best one for you, go to this website www.besttvforme.com.

August 19 2011 at 6:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This app sucks. First of all it will only work in landscape mode so if you have your ipad docked on your desk in the keyboard dock it won't work. Also, Optimum obviously doesn't trust that you're using their programming properly (or just doesn't want to waste bandwidth) so every so often if will ask if you are watching and if you don't respond soon enough it will stop the stream. Annoying and pretty much useless!

July 15 2011 at 11:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have DISH Network and I have there version of TV everywhere and from reading this article it seems to me that the mobile app that I have with DISH Network is a lot better. I can take my iPad out of my home and DISH Network offers the TV everywhere to more than just iPad I have on option of Smartphone’s, Tablets, and Laptops. My co-workers at DISH helped me set up the TV everywhere and it was very easy. Another disadvantage of Cablevisions TV every is you can only connect with one Wi-Fi connection and you cannot change this later on down the line.

April 08 2011 at 8:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Nate's comment

I definitely agree with everything that Nate says because I too have DISH Network through my employee account and I know for a fact that I’m getting the best value. Recently though, I’ve made a decision to move out of the state and since I’ll be on my own for the very first time, I just wanted to ensure that I’m saving the most money and getting maximal value. I went to Google and started looking around at the different companies and I came across this site http://besttvforme.com/ which outlines the major TV companies and compares and contrasts each. After doing my research, I’ve come to the conclusion that DISH Network is the best overall company and it’s worth staying with them.

June 28 2011 at 11:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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