iPad TV and iPhone Tethering

Ok, so it’s been a slow week as far as technology to write about so I guess I’ll fall back to old reliable – the iPad.  This week I discovered a few new (at least for me) apps/features that are worth mentioning.

The first little app I found is from my cable provider, Time Warner Cable – yeah I know, the same bunch that’s been raping us for years.  The most amazing thing is its FREE – 1st time ever TWC did anything for me that they didn’t jack my bill up for – to say the least I was amazed.  The TWCable TV app for iPad allows you to watch your cable TV stations, live, streaming across your broadband connection to your iPad.  Now if you’ve got a family like me this is great news – now I can watch TV in peace just about anywhere.  No more being forced to watch Spongebob, Dora the Explorer, Dancing with the Stars other other goofy, sensitive or generally depressing crap.  Now I can go to the garage, my office or even lock myself in the bathroom and watch important, informative shows like Rambo, Myth Busters and other quality man shows.

Currently there are only a handful of stations available so don’t plan on getting everything you can get on your regular TV but the selection is not too bad.  The quality is very good also, I have yet to experience an jitter or pauses in any of the broadcasts.  So if you are currently pissing away your money to Time Warner Cable like me and also have an iPad – check out this little app.  You can read more about it here:

http://www.timewarnercable.com/nynj/learn/cable/TWCableTV/TWCableTV_iPad.html

The second little iPad/iPhone piece of knowledge I came across this week was from AT&T Wireless and hinges around tethering.  Now I know what you’re thinking – Time Warner Cable, AT&T – man this dude is a complete moron!  Yeah I know, but I’m working on it.  🙂  So before I go any further let me go ahead and answer a few statements I know I’ll get:

1-  “Tethering? Man you should just jailbreak your phone and get MiFi and all these cool other illegal apps!” – Yeah, OK, don’t have time for that and can’t run the risk of blowing up my phone.  It’s stable, it works and tethering what never a huge deal to me anyway.

2-   “Dude, you need to drop crappy AT&T and get Verizon – AT&T sucks!”   Ok, so maybe I can’t totally disagree here but at this point I’m off contract with AT&T and I don’t really want to trade one bunch of crooks for another bunch of crooks.  Not to mention AT&T service works perfect at my house and 2 or my offices – so I’m going to just leave good enough alone for now.

After reviewing my wireless bills for the past few months I realized I really wasn’t using as much data as I thought I was – less than 2GB every month with room to spare.  In addition to that I had a $15/month plan for my iPad 3G that I hardly used.  I had the unlimited plan on my phone so switching over to a 4GB data plan that included tethering for the same cost made sense to me.  I made the call and had my plan switched.

I have an iPhone 3GS which, come to find out, after my switch still can not be used as a “wireless” hotspot.  I was a little pissed but looked into it a little further.  You can ONLY do the wireless hotspot with then new iPhone 4 and I wasn’t about to give AT&T another $200 bucks to upgrade and then be handcuffed to them for another 2 yrs just to get the wifi thing.  This being the case I started playing around with both the Bluetooth tethering and USB thethering.  Both work like a champ.  I use the bluetooth to connect my iPad to my phone and the USB for the times I need to connect my laptop.  Now I’ve got basically the same total phone bill – no unlimited data anymore but 2GB is plenty for the phone and an extra 2GB for the iPad and laptop when I travel with which is 1.75GB more than I had with my iPad only plan.  So if you don’t feel like hacking, rooting, breaking your older iPhone but would still like tethering take a closer look at your bill – chances are you don’t need as much “data” as you think and the change may not cost you anything.

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