Aereo TV is $8 a month for 30 broadcast stations (including ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC) plus a cloud-based DVR that provides 20 hours of programming; an additional $4 a month gets you 60 hours. The cloud DVR lets you pause, stop, and rewind programming. Plus, you can record two shows simultaneously (or watch one and record one at the same time).
Aereo is only available in a handful of markets — Atlanta, Boston, New York, and Utah — but it plans to spread the word. Aereo plays on any web browser, iPhone, iPad, Roku, or Apple TV streaming player and will play on Android soon. It’s important to know that streaming over the air television is not popular with networks, some of whom have sued, but Aereo has built its case around the fact that each subscriber gets his own micro-antenna (housed at an Aereo warehouse). Technically, this is antenna renting, and no harm is done.
Your alternative to Aereo is Dyle TV, which broadcasts live TV on mobile phones. Dyle is an actual “antenna” that sticks out of your phone. This is bare-bones live TV here: live channels with no option to save or record programming (the service is free with a standard phone plan). As the service is in its infancy, it still has some time to figure out its place in the mobile market.
Another alternative is Skitter, which streams TV stations like NBC, ABC, and CBS to a Roku device. Skitter launched in Portland, Oregon, and plans to expand soon; eventually, Skitter will be able to offer live TV on the Roku for a flat fee. The platform is similar to Aereo (or regular cable TV), and the video quality is more SD than HD, but things should improve in time.
What makes Skitter unique is that it has partnered with second- and third-tier phone company operators that are interested in offering TV services… without reselling satellite TV subscriptions. This business model helps keep legal pressure off Skitter (unlike the case with Aereo).
The Final Word on Streaming Over the Air Television
Over the air is not for everyone (especially if you have a steady diet of cable TV) but combine a good streaming service like Netflix with a good over the air television service, and you’re going to pay a lot less than you would for normal cable television. Happy streaming!