New Service Streams Over-the-Air TV via Internet
A start-up called Aereo has quietly rolled out a service that will allow for over-the-air TV via the cloud. Although only available in New York right now, Aereo, for $12 per month, streams live TV (including ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, FOX and CW) via the Internet and even allows you to call up programming on-demand and record TV for later (like a cloud-based DVR).
Using only an iPad or iPhone App or via streaming from web browser, Aereo actually streams 27 local channels (in NYC for now) and is going to roll out nationwide later this year. The company received a $25 million investment from InterActiveCorp (who also owns Ask.com and Match.com).
Aereo is freaking out the NY-based cable TV companies who are crying foul and claiming exclusive rights to non-antennae based broadcast TV.
Well, cable TV companies actually pay for the right to re-broadcast local TV and national station content (even though it can be picked up over-the-air for free). But Aereo is actually using a postage-stamp sized antennae (literally small enough to fit on your fingernail) that can be used individually by a viewer or even shared via neighborhoods or apartment buildings. These digital antennas pick up signals through larger "antenna-farms" -- much like server-farms -- that are placed strategically around the city to pick up over-the-air TV signals. Since Aereo is picking up the signal technically over-the-air, they don't have to pay for it.
So, no cables, no cords -- just a digital antenna that you place anywhere in your home that allows for re-transmission of HD signals to any device that they stream to.
Well, if history is perspective, instead of building a better mouse-trap (meaning instead of the cable TV companies trying to be creative and allow for cheaper, easier access to their own content), the cable TV companies will likely fight this in court - just like they did when DirecTV starting kicking their butt back in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Time Warner and the like decided, back then, the best way to compete with satellite TV was to defend their exclusive deals in court. So, no signal improvement or lower cost, just lawyers.
I applaud Aereo for this creative approach to getting TV to people where and when they want it. CableTV, you suck and you are in trouble -- even more.
If you want to know more about Aereo, go here: https://aereo.com/