Comcast Brings Live TV Streaming to Tablets but Requires New AnyPlay Device

Comcast is starting to roll out AnyPlay, a device that makes it possible to watch live television on Internet-connected devices like the iPad and eventually, the Motorola Xoom.

For now, AnyPlay is only available to Xfinity HD Triple Play customers in Denver and Nashville but will eventually be available in other markets. In order to live stream all of the channels you subscribe to, with the exception of On Demand programming, you must download the existing Xfinity TV app.

"Here's 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," Comcast SVP of Video Product Development Mark Hess writes in a press release. "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."

LAUNCH has contacted Comcast and will update this story if we receive a response. 

Satellite television provider DIRECTV launched an update to its iPad app in October to offer live television streaming to your iPad anywhere in your house. While Comcast requires the installation of the AirPlay device in order to watch live TV on the iPad, DIRECTV does not require any additional devices other than what came with the original installation package.

Back in March, Time Warner launched a free iPad app to give subscribers the ability to stream live TV from 30+ channels. Shortly after releasing the app, the company received a lot of criticism from networks like Viacom and Fox regarding distribution rights, which prompted them to remove 17 channels from the app, including ones like MTV and National Geographic.

While the dispute with Viacom is still going on, Cablevision was reportedly able to reach a settlement with Viacom over the right to stream content to subscribers' mobile devices, according to an Ars Technica report