Cable TV

Cox launches cable TV app for iPad that learns what users like to watch

MUMBAI: Cable companies have been rolling out their own apps for years now.

But Cox Communications' new Contour experience, which incorporates a tablet app, aims to go beyond the usual offerings with a suggestion engine that learns what you like to watch, viewer profiles for up to eight people and the ability to watch different channels on the tablet and television.

Cox director product marketing Bruce Berkinshaw said the company didn't construct Contour to fit its own notions of how to surf cable channels. Instead, the app was designed around how customers want to use it.

Support for other tablets is expected by the end of the year.

Cox Communications unveiled Contour earlier this month nationwide, and the app was downloaded more than 10,000 times in the first week.

The app, which is designed to work on the same network as the DVR, works by overlaying a transparent menu over a live feed of a preview channel.


The main menu offers access to on-demand content, links to channel-based apps like CNN or ESPN and a selection of suggested channels based on the preferences and viewing habits of the person using the Contour app.

Users can search for shows using a traditional program grid, a keyword search or a scrolling list of channels near the current preview channel. Tapping on a program will instantly bring up more information about it as well as the options to record it on the DVR or add it to a watch list.

The currently playing channel on the app can even be changed like a traditional remote control by swiping up or down. When the user is ready, the app can change the TV's channel to match the channel on the tablet.

The new DVRs can record up to six shows at once and have two terabytes of storage, or 1,000 hours of programming. Berkinshaw said the DVRs can be networked, allowing customers with two networked DVRs to record up to 12 channels at once.

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