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DirecTV updates iPad app with limited live TV streaming

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DirecTV iPad
DirecTV iPad

DirecTV subscribers can now stream live TV to their iPad, giving its customers another way to watch TV around the house. If you're a DirecTV subscriber, you can stream 38 channels live to your iPad through the updated DirecTV app as long as you're on your home Wi-Fi; channels include networks like USA, TNT, TBS, and FX, the major cable news players, and sport-specific networks like the NFL Network and NBA.TV. This helps to bring DirecTV's iPad app match functionality offered by competitors like TIme Warner and Cablevision, though both of those competitors offer significantly more channels than DirecTV does at the moment.

Unfortunately, streaming live TV to the iPad comes with some downsides, no matter which network you subscribe to. First, none of the national broadcast networks like NBC or CBS are available for live streaming; these networks avoid it and prefer to either send users either to network-specific apps, or have users pay to watch through services like Hulu Plus or iTunes. And all of the apps restrict streaming to your home Wi-Fi; only Dish Network gets around that by integrating Sling placeshifting functionality directly into its boxes. Even still, it's nice to see DirecTV step up - we're just waiting for someone to step forward.