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)
Deals

Amazon knocks $50 off the Sonos Beam soundbar and smart speaker

If you're looking to add some oomph to your home audio setup, then through February 3, the Alexa-enabled Sonos Beam is on sale for $50 off, bringing this excellent sound bar down to just $349 on Amazon.
Computing

What is fixed wireless 5G? Here’s everything you need to know

Here's fixed wireless 5G explained! Learn what you need to know about this effective new wireless technology, when it's available, how much it costs, and more. If you're thinking about 5G, this guide can help!
Home Theater

Looking to cut cable? Here’s everything you need to know about Pluto TV

Pluto TV offers plenty of entertainment in a fashion similar to live internet TV services, only at no cost — you don’t even need to register. Too good to be true? Here’s everything you need to know.
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.
Home Theater

New TV? Here's where to go to watch the best 4K content available

Searching for content for your new 4K UHD TV? Look no further. We have every major source of the best 4K content, along with the cost, hardware requirements, and features that make each service worth a look.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Movies & TV

Stay inside this winter with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Killing Eve'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Spider-Man,’ ‘John Wick,’ Ghostbusters,’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's the first trailers for Spider-Man: Far From Home and John Wick: Chapter 3.
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: ‘American Crime Story’ and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, Terry Gilliam's Brazil, and more.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (January 2019)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

The show cost how much?! The priciest original series on Netflix

Netflix has spent big bucks on original series, which might be part of the reason why its subscription pricing is going up. Here's a look at some of the priciest series from the streaming service.
Home Theater

Ikea’s Symfonisk Sonos speaker coming in August, priced to “reach many people”

If details in a newly released video are true, we could be looking at Ikea's new Symfonisk speaker collaboration with Sonos to be in stores as soon as August. And the price? Within reach of "many people."