For a while now, Comcast has been promising subscribers it would introduce an iPad application that would allow them to stream live TV feeds in the home. It looks like the company might finally be ready to introduce the capability through a new service called AnyPlay, according promotional materials posted on MacRumors.
According to the image, the AnyPlay service will allow viewers to watch live TV from any tablet, as long as the user is connected to his or her home network. To enable it, users need to launch the Xfinity TV app and make sure in the settings that the “AnyPlay Active” setting is on. Once that’s done, users should be able to stream the same programming that other members of the household can watch on TV. According to the material, households can register up to 10 tablets, but only one will be able to stream live TV at a time.
Comcast first announced it was working on bringing live streaming to the iPad back in January, but the feature has yet to be enabled. Meanwhile, other cable operators — most notably Time Warner Cable and Cablevision — have rolled out their own live streaming iPad apps. Like Comcast, those services only work when connected to the user’s Wi-Fi network.
While some programmers — like Viacom — initially opposed these apps, most seem to have come around to accepting that the iPad and other tablets are just another screen in the home. Viacom separately took Time Warner Cable and Cablevision to court over these live streaming apps, but has settledboth cases since then.
For Comcast, the addition of live TV adds to an extensive library of on-demand content available from TV Everywhere partners on its tablet app. That combination could make it one of the leading apps available from a cable provider. For more on these apps, check out my latest piece, “How to Win the TV iPad app battle” on GigaOM Pro. (subscription required)