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What is TV Everywhere?

Being that you had to rush home on a specific night at a specific time to watch your favorite show or wait for the replay. Now you can literally watch your favorite shows virtually anywhere and you don’t even need a TV.

It’s your favorite TV show of the week, but instead of feeling happy, you’re faced with a dilemma. How can you watch your favorite shows and at the same time pack a quick lunch and hang out by the backyard pool?

Just when you’re wondering why the TVs aren’t installed in the pantry or overlooking the outside patio, the perfect solution presents itself.

You head to the kitchen, grab your smartphone, log into an app, and start streaming your favorite shows. After lunch, he switches to his tablet, then keeps watching as he heads to the pool. It’s television, everywhere.

“TV Everywhere” is the newest weapon cable networks are employing to fight back against viewers cutting the cord.

As more viewers cancel pay-TV subscriptions and migrate to on-demand online services like Hulu, Netflix, YouTube and Amazon, the hope is that TV Everywhere will bring them back to cable providers for more. And it may be starting to work.

A December 2013 survey of 4,205 pay-TV subscribers found that 21 percent used a TV Everywhere service at least once a month, and 90 percent of those who used it were satisfied with the service [source: Baumgartner].

How does it work? As an additional service for subscribers, cable networks provide customers with access to content through live or on-demand Internet-based services. This allows subscribers to watch programs on devices other than a television.

Subscribers log into their customer accounts or use a dedicated app to authenticate their identities, then watch their favorite shows anywhere their devices receive a wireless signal, from their own backyards to remote locations like airport waiting areas or hotel rooms.

TV Everywhere, also known as authenticated streaming or authenticated video on demand, is designed so that subscribers can access content on multiple platforms. This includes not only mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, but also video game consoles, laptops, and smart TVs.

Although there is generally no limit to the number of devices you can register to watch TV everywhere, cable providers often limit the number of devices that can be used at one time.

It’s also important to note that in most cases, TV Everywhere is not a stand-alone service. It can only be used in conjunction with existing subscriptions [source: Madsen].

Even with TV Everywhere, you may not be able to watch every episode of every show. Each network will determine which shows will air, a decision that may be based on the rights a network owns to a particular show or program.

For example, a network may own the rights to stream a movie on its customers’ TVs, but not on its customers’ wireless devices [source: KPU].

While TV Everywhere is one of the latest adaptations to bring programming to consumers the way they prefer to watch it, it may just be the first step in making programming more portable.

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