But some channel owners say that companies like Time Warner Cable should be consulting with them more closely before introducing new products. “Portability is a different business proposition,” said an executive at one of the major channel owners, suggesting that there should be a premium paid for the ability to take a TV show into bed or into the bathtub. One commercial for Time Warner Cable’s app actually shows a person watching TV on a tablet while taking a bath.Portability is a different proposition—if true portability is involved. (By which I mean: I can take my iPad to the cafe down the street and watch CNN on it.) But that's not the Time Warner app. As the Times notes: "The iPad app only works inside the home, and only for customers who receive both television and Internet from the operator."
From a consumer standpoint, then, I don't think there's a significant difference here that should require me to, you know, pay more for cable service. Water comes into my apartment in several places, for different functions: A kitchen sink for washing dishes and providing water for cooking and drinking; the bathroom sink for hand-washing and tooth-brushing; the bathtub for body-cleaning. We also have water flowing into our washing machine.
Yet we don't get charged for the different types of ways the water gets used in our apartment: the water is delivered to us, we pay for it, and we use it as needed. Cable television isn't water, of course, but I don't know why it can't be the same way: Get the entertainment to my house and let me choose how to view it. Don't charge me extra just because I'm watching Comedy Central on my iPad instead of a television.