Comcast Prepping AnyPlay Service for Live TV Streaming to Tablets
Streaming live TV to a tablet is nothing new. Cable companies, individual networks, and 3rd-party hardware developers such as the Slingbox have all brought apps to the major tablets that allow for streaming live TV on mobile devices. Evidently Comcast has decided that they should get in on the act too. Comcast's Xfinity TV started life as Comcast's online VOD project, but eventually became an umbrella brand for all of the company's increasingly integrated services. The Xfinity app currently provides On Demand access and DVR programming, but not live TV streaming.
Comcast is reportedly getting ready to announce their new AnyPlay service that will allow Comcast subscribers to stream live TV to their tablets. Of course, being Comcast, the service sounds like it will be unusually restrictive.
The service will require proprietary hardware from the cable provider and as such, will only work on your home network, as first reported by Mac Rumors. The site acquired a leaked photo detailing the device which will be called AirPlay. The unit will connect to your home wireless network and allow you to stream live TV to one tablet at a time, although you can register up to 10 tablets with the service.
There is no word yet on pricing, but if I were a betting man I would expect a service sign-up fee, a monthly service fee, and perhaps even a monthly rental fee for the AnyPlay device, which basically sounds like a locked down network tuner. Given the restrictions built into the service, its hard to imagine Anyplay generating a whole lot of excitement, but it might avoid some of the legal tussles that have caused Time Warner to restrict some channels from their streaming app. Is there a better balance to be struck?