Next Month, Dallas Will Be Able to Stream Live Broadcast TV Online

Categories: Technology

Aereo, Inc.
Forget rabbit ears. Aereo's antennae are as small as a dime.
Aereo, an online television streaming service backed by Fox television network creator Barry Diller, launched in New York City on Valentine's Day 2012. Two weeks later, the major networks -- ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, CW, Univision, and, yes, PBS -- banded together and asked a federal judge to shut down the the nascent service.

Their claim was that Aereo, which differs from sites like Hulu in that it gives subscribers the ability to watch and record live TV on their computers and mobile devices, was illegally reproducing copyrighted works without permission in violation of federal law. A U.S. District Judge didn't buy that, nor did the 2nd Court of Appeals, which affirmed the lower court's decision on April 1.

And that has opened the door for Aereo's expansion. First on the list for whatever reason is Salt Lake City, which will get the service on August 19, followed by Miami on September 2, Chicago on September 13, Houston on September 16 and, finally, on September 23, it comes to Dallas.

Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia kicked off his announcement of the Dallas area by thoroughly buttering us up.

"The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex region is the fastest growing metropolitan area in the country and its residents are tech-savvy and wired for the 21st Century," he said in a press release, going on to tout the flexibility his company will bring to TV watching in the "great state of Texas."

It's hard to see TV watchers flocking to Aereo, at least at first. The basic membership costs $8 per month, which is exactly $8 more than it costs to capture the same signals with a standard antenna and converter box. The advantages -- 20 hours of DVR storage and mobile access to live TV -- don't seem like much of a draw.

But the mere fact that a Aereo is allowed to exist could foreshadow a seismic shift in broadcast television. Fox has threatened to stop its over-the-air broadcasts in favor of not-so-easily poached cable signals if the company continues to operate. That hasn't happened, but CNN Money suggests that such a decision would have a domino effect, prompting all the networks to shift to cable which, as AdWeek notes, would "cripple the network-local station broadcast model."

For now, though, it's just another way to watch TV.

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Competition and innovation are good for the consumer! 

P1Gunter 1 Like

Anything that brings us closer to "a la carte" television is a great thing. Please just let me pay for the channels I want instead of 30 f-ing Spanish channels.


$8 might seem like too much for you, but imagine the guy that can't afford NFL mobile and wants to watch a cowboys game on his mobile phone. Other than there really is no other viable way to do that. I can see there being an audience for this.


Aereo is temporarily allowed to exist. The court ruling was over a preliminary injunction, not over the legality of the product. The key work here is 'preliminary'.


@dingo ... and the score in the courts is Aereo 3, networks 0. It's probably getting to the point that the Supreme Court may not even hear the case. And with the McCain sponsored bill on airwave bandwidth, Congress won't be very cooperative in changing the law to benefit the networks.


@dave832 @dingo Its a preliminary injunction ruling that occurs at the 'preliminary' stage of the case. The case has not been decided yet. The preliminary Injunction ruling was upheld on appeal, the main case has not yet been decided. A denied preliminary injunction does not indicate that the main case is without merit. A seeker of a preliminary junction must overcome a higher burden because you are in essence asking the court to limit another party's action without first providing due process.

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