Oct 18 2012

News - Aereo Adds TV Streaming Support for Web Browsers

Aereo LogoAereo, the Barry Diller-backed service offering cloud-based live TV streaming and DVR services in New York by deploying thousands of dime-sized antennas to pick up OTA broadcasts for delivery to subscribers, has announced that the service now supports streaming to HTML5-capable web browsers. Streaming to web browsers had always been a part of the company's plan, but previously, Aereo subscribers had to tune in via an iOS app or a Roku channel. While Aereo will probably remain confined to New York for the foreseeable future, at least New Yorkers won't be confined to their apartments or their iPads while watching TV.

New York City-based Aereo, a startup that streams network TV over the Internet, has today expanded its list of supported devices beyond Apple devices and Roku to all major web browsers.


Mar 05 2012

News - Broadcasters File Suit Against Aereo

Aereo, the fledgling service that looks to use tiny antennae to receive broadcast TV signals and then stream the video to subscribers over the Internet, hasn't even made its way out of the invite-only beta phase, and already it is the target of lawsuits. Two groups of broadcasters have filed separate federal lawsuits claiming that the service violates the Copyright Act. None of this comes as any surprise. Predictions of lawsuits were rife even as Aereo was being announced and Aereo's response to the lawsuits came quickly enough to suggest that Aereo's lawyers already had a pretty good idea of how they were going to respond to the inevitable. The courts have sent mixed signals about how to handle intermediaries in the video delivery process. Will the courts find that Aereo falls more on the side of Cablevision's remote DVR or on the side of Zedevia's streaming DVD players?

There have been questions about Aereo's legality from the start, and now it's getting a test. So far at least two groups of broadcasters have filed complaints against Aereo. The fundamental question at play? Can Aereo capture free TV from the air for you like a DVR and then post it to the internet so that you can watch it from your computer, your phone, or anywhere else, without violating copyright law.

Feb 16 2012

News - Aereo Looking to Bring Live TV into the Cloud


It would seem that everyone is looking for a way to bring live TV to the Internet. BitTorrent would like to subsume live TV into the Internet with its new P2P technology, while providers like Time Warner Cable are deploying live streams of their standard broadcasts to as many devices as possible as quickly as possible. Now media conglomerate IAC is helping to launch a start-up called Aereo. Aereo has a plan to turn live TV into a cloud app with its new service. Aereo's plan is to deploy refrigerator-sized units packed with hundreds of dime-sized antennas, one antenna per subscriber. The signal received by each antenna is streamed to its assigned subscriber for playback via an HTML5-based website, making the service compatible with just about any device or computer. The interface includes a program guide and the service not only streams live OTA broadcasts, but also serves as a dual tuner DVR with 40 hours of storage. At $12 a month it should be competitive with the bare-bones basic tier service offered by most cable companies, though obviously far more flexible. At the moment, most of the streaming apps that cable companies have deployed only work on a subscriber's home network, whereas the whole point of Aereo's service to remove such restrictions. It seems impossible for Aereo to avoid some sort of legal challenge from broadcasters and one has to wonder if there are enough people interested in a service that only provides access to OTA broadcasts to sustain a roll-out beyond the intial launch in New York City. That being said, IAC Chairman, Barry Diller, has put his full weight behind Aereos, and as the mastermind behind the Fox Broadcasting Company and USA Broadcasting, he does know a thing or two about disrupting the status quo of TV broadcasting.

Barry Diller always enjoys riling the media industry from which he sprang. A few minutes ago at a press conference at IAC headquarters in New York City, Diller introduced a new startup IAC is backing called Aereo that is building a DVR in the cloud that broadcasts live TV to your iPad, computer, or TV.  Diller has always believed that Internet TV would be a healthy counterweight to “media concentration” as media companies increasingly want “to protect that closed system.”


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