Like many of the media fans, I am always excited about new ways to watch TV programming without having to buy cable. I have full queues on Hulu and Netflix -- filled with my favorite series -- but I am always frustrated when I have to go on a scavenger hunt for content from channels that have made licensing agreements with this company or that.
One company is looking to bring all the cable programing you would find via AT&T or Comcast onto your iPad.
SkyGrid announced iPad Touchtv, Friday, that allows users to create a grid of channels they like to watch and can switch from channel to channel at the touch of their finger.
The free app includes partnerships with Fox, CBS, ABC, NBC, ESPN, OWN, E! and some broadcasters are offering specific content and programming.
Unlike Netflix or Hulu, Touchtv is more of the TV viewing experience where you watch programed content in allotted times rather than viewing a queue you set up.
From the home screen, viewers can watch their channels and personalize their TV and use the easy to view grid of pre-selected channels.
LG has also selected the Touchtv experience to be embedded in 40 million of their TVs which will be in market in the next year and a half -- as more people explore the idea of cutting the cable.
I am interested to see if this option seems like a positive move for broadcasters, since they still have control over the advertising shown and when programs are viewed in a line-up. This is still a major concern for cable providers since, if companies like Skygrid attract more channels, it would replace the TV viewing experience as we know it.
Founder and CEO of SKygrid, Kevin Pomplun stated in a blog post this morning that he is excited about the content that is already partnered with his company and will continue to garner attention and partnership with new content.
"One of the other things I really like has become using Touchtv to see what’s on," said Pomplun in his blog. "I don’t have to keep clicking and clicking through each channel. I just turn on Touchtv and have a single seamless sheet of glass, that shows everything I want."
This is an all-new design, compared to the previous SkyGrid design that was more focused on mobile phone viewing.
A study released this past fall showed that as people test online video consumption and its different methods and service, most won't cut the cable until they find an adequate replacement in quality and content.
“At this point there has been no clear drive for people to cut the cord,” Carol Wilson, TelcoTV’s Conference Chairwoman told me, adding that the study focused on finding out how consumers are getting their OTT content and if it is pulling them from or supplementing their standard cable TV time. Video consumption online and streaming on mobile devices is referred to as Over The Top (OTT).
“While the economy is tough and some people are concerned with the price of cable, there is more of a drive to find ways to reduce the price than end their service," she said.
Americans were growing their online video consumption – reaching 180.37 million people watching content in August, according to comScore Media Metrix report. And the number of times Americans hit that play button online grew by a third from 5.7 billion in August of 2010 to 6.9 billion for the same month in 2011.
With nearly 90 percent of the US Internet audience viewing online video content, cable providers can't ignore this segment and are better served supplementing their content over the airwaves with OTT content.
Now, if only more services could get Bravo on board so that I can watch all my guilty pleasures on the go.