Will You Watch iPad TV?

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If Amazon.com's (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) Cloud Player and Netflix didn't already give Hollywood enough to worry about, Friday brought news that Cablevision (NYSE: CVC  ) is now offering TV software for the iPad.

At issue is what and where content can be streamed. Both Cablevision and Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC  ) allow customers to broadcast some live TV via the iPad but only within their homes, and within spitting distance of a set-top box.

In this sense, both services stand apart from DISH Network's (Nasdaq: DISH  ) Slingbox, which also has an iPad app, but for watching programming anywhere there's a connection to the Web.

Cablevision amusingly pitched its app as offering conveniences that set-top boxes can't match, including the flexibility of watching television in uncommon areas. The bathroom, for example.

Can you imagine the ad pitching this feature? "Honey, I'll be back in 20. Modern Family is coming on." So much for gathering everyone around the TV.

Whether these services improve to offer out-of-the-home viewing is unknown at this point. But it doesn't look likely. Hollywood wants distribution fees; cable companies want to offer services yet also preserve profits. Expect these competing interests to clash.

Is a legal battle worth the hassle? Should investors be paying attention to how this tussle unfolds? You tell us. Please vote in the poll below and then leave a comment to tell us how you're using tablets to consume entertainment.

You can also rate Cablevision in Motley Fool CAPS and keep tabs on the company by adding the stock to your watchlist for free, personalized stock tracking.

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Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Check out Tim's portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool is also on Twitter as @TheMotleyFool. Its disclosure policy has yet to figure out Glee. Ah, well.


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  • Report this Comment On April 05, 2011, at 10:50 AM, DivingDan wrote:

    My wife bought me an iPad for my birthday. I;m amazed someone would pay $800 for this thing when you can pay $400 and get a laptop that does more.The damn thing doesn't even have a USB port.

    So my answer is resounding NO.

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