Cable firms eye the iPad

Comcast, TW Cable, Verizon, others have apps in the works

Cable TV companies have given hints that they are working on getting cable subscribers their fix of TV shows on tablet computers like Apple's iPad as they try to provide more value for increasing cable bills.

At least seven of the 10 largest subscription TV providers in the U.S. are currently building applications that offer select TV shows and movies to their existing subscribers -- for little or no additional fee, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday in article that uncovered latest tidbits from the tablet front.

The largest U.S. cable firm, Comcast Corp., has said it has been testing a free iPad application to be released by the end of the year. The company told the Journal that it already has unnamed content providers lined up for the service, which will allow existing subscribers to search for and watch some TV shows on the go.

Time Warner Cable and Cablevision Systems are also among those working on various types of tablet apps.

The Journal also found out that telco giant Verizon Communications plans to release an app for renting movies on devices than run Google 's Android operating system in the fall. "The app will be targeted at its 3.2 million Fios TV subscribers, but it will eventually be available to non-subscribers," it said.

All this means that consumers will finally get more content in the digital form that they crave. But media, entertainment and tech players are also going up against each other. For example, the cable TV operators face off with offers from Netflix Inc. and Hulu.
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