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iPad unboxed; ABC, CBS plan to offer streaming shows at launch

U.S. broadcast TV networks ABC and CBS plan to have iPad-compatible content prepared in time for the device's launch on Saturday, and one advance reviewer has offered a detailed unboxing of the new hardware. Also, the iPad was featured in an episode of ABC's "Modern Family" that aired Wednesday night.

CBS, ABC plan iPad compatibility at launch

Both CBS and Walt Disney's ABC have planned for episodes of their TV shows to be viewable on Apple's forthcoming iPad in time for its Saturday launch, according to a new report Thursday from The Wall Street Journal. Streaming episodes of TV shows will be available from CBS via its Web site, while ABC will offer a downloadable iPad application from the App Store.

While the initial offerings are expected to be limited at first, both networks plan to have identical content available both for the iPad and on their Web sites.

"Putting streaming video on the iPad would sidestep Apple's iTunes content store, where Apple has been trying to juice anemic sales of TV episodes in advance of the iPad launch," the report said. "So far, several media companies have rejected Apple's push to lower the price for downloading shows from iTunes to 99 cents each, according to people familiar with the talks."

Last week, it was revealed that Apple was testing HTML5 streaming video on an iPad-specific version of its Web site. Apple's lack of support for Adobe Flash on its iPhone OS devices has forced networks like CBS and ABC to seek alternatives for their streaming solutions.

Apple is also looking to offer TV episodes for 99 cents from major networks, though the Journal reported Thursday that it is unknown whether any network will agree to that pricing by the Saturday launch. Episodes of TV shows typically cost $1.99 or $2.99.

Andy Ihnatko unboxes the iPad

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Andy Inhatko this week posted a video to take users through the unboxing process of Apple's iPad. Inhatko received an iPad last week from Apple for review and, like many others, came away thoroughly impressed. He called the iPad "pure innovation" and "one of the best computers ever."

iPad appears in ABC's "Modern Family"

The iPad made a special appearance in Wednesday night's episode of "Modern Family." The character Phil Dunphy wanted Apple's new device for his birthday, and thanks to his son he got one. Dunphy then blew out virtual candles on the touchscreen device.

Engadget captured the iPad scenes, which are embedded below: