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iPad quickly becoming TV's second screen

When the iPad made its debut, most of the press focused on how it could change with world of print. While that may be true, the iPad appears to be well on its way to changing the world of television. You can already watch video from Hulu and Netflix, “check into” TV shows, and there are early efforts to sync on-air programming with an iPad.

So that explains why the legacy cable and satellite TV providers are suddenly pedal-to-the-metal with iPad projects of their own. Today DISH released a free iPad app (above) that let’s subscribers watch live and recorded TV, in addition to program the DISH DVR. There’s a catch — to make it work, you’ll need the Sling Adapter, a $99 addition.

A couple weeks ago, Comcast debuted a free iPad app that acts as a giant remote, letting you control your Xfinity DVR. And Comcast promises to add TV viewing, as well, in the coming weeks — presumably without the need for a Sling Media device. Comcast also said this is “the first in a series of scheduled app releases.”

TiVo (remember them?) announced a few days ago that it will soon launch an iPad app of its own that will allow subscribers to “view guides, schedule and manage recordings, get recommendations, or investigate a particular actor’s entire resume” as well as post comments about a specific show or movie on Twitter or Facebook.

Time Warner, too, is working on a similar iPad app. After all, discovering television content with an iPad as an interface is much more natural than clicking around on a remote control (or even an Xbox controller), and it goes without saying that the iPad is made for video consumption.

As “second screen” apps become more sophisticated, the opportunities to integrate social media into the viewing experience are limitless — shows your friends are watching, shows your friends recommend, shared social experiences of live news events, and the list goes on and on. Stay tuned…

See also: ABC News part of iPad trial with Flipboard

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