Aereo brings live TV to the Web in New York…for now

Aereo Logo

The legal battle is almost certainly just beginning, but for now Barry Diller-backed Aereo is bringing New Yorkers broadcast television via the Web, claiming that the airwaves are public property and the public ought to be able to access them in any way it likes. So, how is Aereo planning to earn its money? By charging $12 a month for customers to lease a tiny antenna that pulls in over-the-air broadcasts, and the service that sends television content along via the Internet. For now, Aereo is available by invitation only; users will receive a 90-day free trial before the $12/month billing commences.

“People no longer want to be tethered to their TVs or cable boxes,” said Aereo founder and CEO Chet Kanojia, in a statement (PDF). “Consumers are demanding more flexibility and value; Aereo delivers just that. This truly groundbreaking technology will usher in a new era of choice in the broadcast marketplace, making the consumers the ultimate winners.”

The Aereo service includes access to a tiny remote antenna that can be used to access more than 20 broadcast channels in the New York area. The service also includes up to 40 hours of remote DVR storage that can be accessed by up to five devices — for now, that’s limited to Apple devices (iOS, AppleTV, and Mac OS X) with support for Android “coming soon.” The service features an integrated programming guide, and a search tool that enables users to find programming by actor, title, or topic; the platform also integrates into Facebook and Twitter, so users can recommend and discuss shows in real time.

Aereo antenna (dime)

Aereo sounds like a stunning simple idea, but there may be a hitch: broadcasters are working hard to shut it down, arguing that Aereo’s service violates copyright law by redistributing their broadcasts via an “unauthorized Internet delivery service.” So far two lawsuits have been filed against Aereo, one by ABC, CBS, NBCUniversal, Telemundo, and others, and another by Fox, Univision, and PBS. Broadcasters maintain Aereo is illegally using their content, and must pay licensing fees if they want to redistribute television broadcasts. Aereo, in turn, has countersued broadcasters, arguing that its service doesn’t enable users to do anything they aren’t entitled to do under the law: watch broadcast TV, along with recording and playing back those programs for personal use. Furthermore, the airwaves belong to the public, and the public should be able to watch those signals free of charge.

Aereo was announced on February 14, backed by $20.5 million in funding from media mogul Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp.

Aereo antenna (array)
Home Theater

Make better buds! 7 ways true wireless in-ear headphones need to improve

After years testing virtually every set of true wireless in-ears on the market, here are our most consistent gripes, and exactly what we hope to see from the next generation of wireless earbuds.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Movies & TV

Never miss a moment of the NBA season with our streaming guide

The NBA season is in full swing, and if you want to watch games online, you've got plenty of options. Here's our guide to the best ways to watch NBA games online, as well as some additional resources.
Smart Home

Amazon has an even dozen new smart devices. Here’s how to order

Amazon's hardware announcement meant a whole bunch of new Amazon Alexa gadgets. From a microwave to stereo equipment, here is the complete list of devices that were announced, as well as reviews for some.
Home Theater

Dish Network or DirecTV: Which is the better choice for you?

So, you’ve chosen to go with a satellite television provider. Check out our quick rundown of what both Dish Network and DirecTV offer in terms of content, hardware, and pricing, and why you might choose them over streaming services.
Home Theater

Spotify Premium cribs from Pandora with new Endless Artist Radio feature

As Pandora continues to catch up to Spotify in terms of the features it offers, Spotify is returning the favor, adding Endless Artist Radio for Premium subscribers as well as other features such as newly streamlined navigation.
Movies & TV

‘Orange is the New Black’ will end with season 7, Netflix says

Netflix has confirmed that its award-winning series Orange is the New Black will end its run with the upcoming season 7, bringing the show to an end with a final season premiering in 2019.
Home Theater

Don't need sports or local channels? Philo can save you some dough

Philo is a super-affordable live TV streaming service, with an impressive channel list and feature set. With more hardware support and greatly improved TV Everywhere features, the service is now even easier to recommend.
Home Theater

Keep those albums sounding great by converting your vinyl to a digital format

There are all sorts of reasons for ripping records and storing them digitally, but what's the best way to do it? We cover the different types of equipment and software available for ripping records at any price in this guide.
Home Theater

Our quick-and-easy guide to programming an RCA universal remote

If you're tired of using a million different remotes in your home theater, office, or living room, you'll likely be interested in a single RCA universal remote. Here's how to program it for your system.

Time for a new TV? Grab the 55-inch Samsung curved 4K smart TV for $598

Shopping for a new TV and want to upgrade to 4K? Consider going curved: Samsung makes some of the best UHD TVs on the market today, including its unique curved lineup. Now, you can score the 55-inch Samsung curved 4K smart TV for just $598…
Emerging Tech

Keep your holiday gift list high tech and under budget with these gadgets

Modern technology doesn't always come cheap, but there plenty of premium devices that don't carry a premium price. Whether you're looking for a streaming device or a means of capturing photos from above, our list of the best tech under $50…
Home Theater

They’re not just for gaming: Watch Blu-rays on the Xbox One S and Xbox One X

While the Xbox One S and Xbox One X boost the visuals of your games, they also can pull double-duty as Blu-ray players, but there's a bit of set up needed. Need help? Here's our guide on how to watch Blu-rays on the Xbox One S and X.
Movies & TV

You can ditch cable but still get your 'SportsCenter' fix with ESPN+

ESPN's streaming service, ESPN+, is finally here. Despite appearances, ESPN+ isn't a replacement for your ESPN cable channels, and it differs from other streaming apps in a few key ways.