Good news for sport lovers – WatchESPN app is now optimized for large screen, more specifically for iPad. the application is free and available right now in the app store. I downloaded in order to review it and fortunately it works with my cable provider, Times Warner.
The user interface is nice enough and polished, like most of the apps for iPad (it is good to know that good UI design practices are applied) and provides live viewing to all ESPN channels. The transition from portrait / landscape is also smooth and the layout works well.
Access:As you might know, you need to be a subscriber for TV service in order to access ESPN live and not all the cable / satellite providers qualify. The only ones on the list so far are Time Warner, Bright House and Verizon FIOS TV. If you have Verizon DSL, some content will still be watchable, particularly ESPN 3.
The UI unfortunately is not all and when it comes to actually streaming video, the quality is disappointing. Not for all the streams, some are actually quite good but most are low bitrate.You would expect a quality jump from the WatchESPN version designed for smartphones and the version designed for larger screens. Unfortunately this is not the case and the video quality sucks big time even on very fast networks, where Netflix easily play in HD. Disappointing.
There are also clips / live streams that while available in the UI fail to play with an error message blaming the cable provider: Unable to Play Video, Message: QE12DCSN01. It is both annoying and disappointing that WatchESPN cannot filter them out of the UI,especially since you are already signed in with your account.