Showtime begins streaming video to iPad as Comcast rolls out ‘AnyPlay’ live TV service

In September, leaked documents emerged revealing Comcast was working on a live TV streaming service for iPad called “AnyPlay and now the company announced the service will roll out today. To start out, AnyPlay will only be available to Xfinity HD Triple Play subscribers located in Denver and Nashville, but the company plans to roll out to additional markets “in the coming months”.

The service will be accessible through the current Xfinity TV app. Comcast revealed exactly how it works:

the AnyPlay device works the same as any other set top box in the home, but instead of delivering the incoming channel lineup to a television, AnyPlay delivers the lineup to the Wi-Fi router on the home network. The router then distributes the secure video signal to the iPad or Xoom over your home’s wireless network. So as long as your tablet is within range of the home wireless router, you can turn it into another television screen.

In related iPad video streaming news, Showtime announced the Showtime Anytime iPad app today that brings Showtime Anytime subscribers over 400 hours of content. The app appears to only be available to AT&T U-Verse and Verizon FiOS customers, but the press release does mention Comcast support “will be launched soon” and others will be added in the future.

Some of the content accessible form the app includes TV shows “Dexter,” “The Big C,” “House of Lies,” and movies “The King’s Speech,” “The Hurt Locker,” and “Inglorious Basterds.”  The company plans to launch an iPhone app for Showtime Anytime sometime early this year.

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Emails from RoadRunner and Comcast not playing nice with Apple’s servers

The Apple discussion boards are starting to heat up with an issue related to users not receiving emails from particular domains sent to their me.com/ .mac accounts. The problem appears to specifically related to RoadRunner and Comcast domains, and is affecting users across the U.S.

The issue is related to me.com accounts being unable to receive emails from rr.com and comcast.com domains. One user reports being unable to receive emails from “hawaii.rr.com”, while others report the same for “tampabay.rr.com”, and “rochester.rr.com”. It appears Apple’s servers aren’t playing nice with the domain, although some users report receiving emails up to 24 hours late, which would indicate the domain isn’t being blocked entirely. Emails forwarded from one account, such as an rr.com account, to a .me account are apparently not affected.  There are a few mentions of the same issue for emails sent from Comcast.net as well.

Just today my boss’s emails stopped showing up in my inbox – online, in Mail, or on my phone.  I am able to send files to him.  He is sending and receiving emails.  The problem seems to be entirely between hawaii.rr.com (his email, time warner/roadrunner) and my .me/.mac mail account (neither work).  I am able to use my gmail account and my .me/.mac account just fine together.

At this point the problem seems to be inconsistent, but impacting a lot of users across the country nonetheless. Users in the Apple Support Communities report that Comcast claims it’s a “a .mac problem”, while one poster says rr.com has forwarded the issue to their engineering team. Most seem to believe it’s an issue on Apple’s end. We’ll keep you posted when Apple addresses the problem.
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Comcast working on Slingbox type of home service called AnyPlay

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MacRumors points to a new service by Comcast which appears to mirror the functionality of a Slingbox or EyeTV, allowing a cable box to ‘Sling’ the video to an iPod around the house.

Currently, Xfinity customers can use the Xfinity TV app to watch On Demand programming, search TV listings, and schedule DVR recordings.

There is no indication of release dates or availability, but AnyPlay will be available in limited markets at first, and spreading to all Comcast customers eventually.

This is in contrast to their current app which streams on-Demand video over the internet to iPads which are on Comcast IP addresses with adjacent cable service.  Other US cable companies like Time Warner and Optimum offer Apps which stream many channels.

Check the red area above right for why this isn’t going to be very fantastic.

If you want this kind of functionality right now, but not tied to a cable company and their stipulations (and the ability to stream to devices outside your home without an extra cost), look into Slingboxes or El Gato’s EyeTV.

Skype for iPad with video calling promotional video (update: it’s legit)

We’re not exactly sure what’s going on here, but Skype apparently posted a promotional video for an official iPad application this morning. The video has been deleted (if it ever existed) but it looks like the real thing, based on a purported  re-upload by RazorianFly. If legit, Skype for iPad looks amazing, has video calling, 3G and WiFi support, and an easy to navigate interface with animations and clean graphics. Real or fake?

Update: A Skype executive confirmed it’s legit to TUAW.

Try your luck below…

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Comcast brings Xfinity App to the iPad

Comcast is going to allow its members to sign into their accounts and do all kinds of DVR stuff from their iPads.  Great.  But here’s the interesting: eventually (December) customers can watch Comcast movies over the web on their iOS devices.  That’s not necessarily from their homes or on a Comcast network.

nWatch TV from the app – including premium cable channels such as HBO and Showtime. (This feature will be available in December.)

The Xfinity TV App is part of Comcast’s ongoing commitment to offer customers the ability and flexibility to watch TV on their terms. Last month, Comcast introduced XfinityTV.com so its 23 million customers can access their favorite shows – including premium content from HBO and Showtime – from a computer. Also, Comcast will launch several Android apps before the end of the year and soon follow with products for additional emerging platforms.

You can download the app here.

Here’s the interesting question: What if you just want to watch TV on your iPad and not pay for a cable line at home?  Is Comcast going to offer these types of customers (who might not even live in Comcast covered areas) a solution?  Update: a Comcast spokesperson says no.

That’s a shame because Comcast could prove to be a competitor to Hulu and give consumers more choice in watching videos online if this were the case. Read more