Time Warner Cable's streaming cable services are no longer exclusive to the iPad and iPhone. PC and Mac users can now watch live TV from the cable provider through their Web browsers.
The TWC TV Web app, available now in beta, works in Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari. Users will also need to install Microsoft's Silverlight plug-in, version 4 or higher.
As with Time Warner's iPad and iPhone app, restrictions apply: Subscribers can only watch live video at home, where their cable TV is set up. And although up to 200 channels are available depending on the user's subscription package, Viacom content such as Comedy Central and MTV are absent. (Viacom forced Time Warner to stop streaming its content last year, and the companies have yet to reach an agreement to make the content available.)
In addition to live TV streaming, Time Warner's Web app includes a guide with up to seven days of data and filter options for favorites, HD programming, and streaming channels. Users can also set their DVRs with the app, or change channels on a television set-top box. Search, parental controls, and closed captioning options are also available through the app. The DVR and channel guide features will work from anywhere, not just in the home.
Unfortunately, there's still no word on when Time Warner will bring streaming TV to its Android phone and tablet apps. The company said last November that it was waiting for Android Ice Cream Sandwich--probably because of its built-in digital rights management framework--so hopefully the 1 percent of Android users with an ICS device won't have to wait much longer.