VOD and pay-TV still locked and downloaded

TV Apps The quest to free pay-TV and VOD content from the set-top box is gathering force, but uncertainty over content rights is hampering efforts to translate that force into actual movement.

Verizon on Wednesday showed off its planned iPad app, called “What’s Hot,” which is meant to give Verizon FiOS subscribers access to their FiOS TV content on the Apple tablet. An Android version is said to be in the works, and a Chrome OS version for a yet unannounced Chrome-powered tablet is rumored to be in the works as well.

Verizon CIO Shaygan Kheradpir describes the app as “a software set-top box” but for now, at least, “software” doesn’t mean “mobile,” or “portable.” It means “in another room in your house.” The Verizon app will not be set to let you view your FiOS content outside the home, at least not initially.

“Those are different rights,” Verizon VP of consumer strategy Shawn Strickland explained to the Wall Street Journal.

In another deal announced yesterday, cloud content management services provider Clearleap is partnering with Related Content Database to get cable VOD content as far as the other room.  Cable operators will now be able to deliver VOD programs directly from their servers to connected Blu-ray players without the need of a second set-top box. But again, that’s as far as it goes. Anything outside the home would be a different set of rights.

The clash between content owners and service providers over how far, and at what price, pay-TV carriage deals extend has been inevitable since Time Warner chairman Jeff Bewkes first articulated his vision for TV Everywhere. With service providers preparing a feast of immovable streaming apps, the inevitable is now.

Further reading:

Great, an Immobile TV iPad App

Verizon Eyes Live TV App for iPad, Other Tablets

Analyst Chops Netflix Rating on Streaming Deal

Pay-TV Operators Add VOD Access Through Web-connected Blu-ray Players

Cord-Cutting? Hold the Phone ($$)

Why Cable Operators Need an Apps Strategy ($$)

The Ultimate Guide to TV Everywhere ($$)