Engadget has an anonymous source who is claiming that Time Warner Cable (TWC) is preparing a version of their live streaming app for Roku. My response…”Really?” Don’t get me wrong, I’d absolutely LOVE it if this rumor is true but I find it very hard to believe. I’ve used the TWC streaming app on both the iPad and on more recently on my Android phone and it works really well. The actual number of channels available will vary by region but the majority of the major channels were available last I checked.
A Roku box, for those of you who don’t know, is one of many devices available to stream television and movies over the internet. You connect the device to your television using and HDMI cable and connect to your internet with either ethernet or your wifi network. There are a number of apps available for these devices such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Instant Movies, Pandora, etc…
So why don’t I believe that TWC is releasing a streaming app? Because TWC, like many other big cable companies likes money. And they want to do everything possible to keep as many cable TV subscribers as possible, because that is where they make most of their money. If they were to really release this app it would be all the reason that many people (myself included) would need to cancel my cable TV service and just keep broadband only.
I’ve recently begun watching Netflix and Hulu plus and I find myself watching more and more of this online TV than regular broadcast. I suppose I could cancel my service now and just use a good antenna for OTA local channels. The reason I don’t do that is because my wife loves Bravo TV…and if I were to cancel my cable TV service she would lose all of her “housewives” shows. BUT, if TWC were to really release this app for the Roku receiver I would have no reason to keep my cable service.
After yesterdays news about Hulu possibly requiring a paid TV subscription I realized that this news about TWC releasing an app may be more likely than I expressed above. It would make perfect sense that in order for you to be able to use this you would be required to keep your paid cable TV service. As it is now they will only allow you to use this app on your Android or iOS device if you are connected to your HOME wifi network. Why not take it one step further and require you to have both internet and TV service before allowing you to use this app?