Aereo is a service that provides its users with the ability to watch live TV online. It offers all the major broadcast networks in addition to twenty other channels, with everything broadcast in HD quality. Aereo also features a remote DVR, robust search functionality, and social network integration for recommendations.
All that is required to use Aereo is a Windows PC, Mac, or an iOS mobile device with a broadband internet connection, along with a compatible web browser application. If you own an iOS device, you can also leverage your Roku or Apple TV box, if it is available. Another important requirement is that Aereo needs to be available in your city; right now, the cities are limited to New York and Boston, with expansion plans to 22 other cities slated throughout 2013. With services like Aereo, high-speed Internet access is becomming even more important. See what speeds you are getting on your desktop, laptop, tablet or moble devices with the BandwidthPlace speed test.
Aereo Service Details and Features
Aereo essentially leases a tiny remote antenna to each subscriber. That antenna is connected to the Internet, providing the user’s account with streaming TV content from over the air channels in that area, including the major broadcast networks, and local Spanish and Asian language networks. Remote DVR functionality is hosted on Aereo’s Cloud-based servers.
The monthly subscriber cost is either $8 or $12 depending on the amount of DVR storage, and yearly subscription plans are available with a nominal savings from the monthly rate. The picture quality appears to be great and Aereo looks to be a valid option if you want to watch live TV online in addition to using a Hulu, Netflix, or other video streaming account. Aereo will not work while traveling as you must access your Aereo account from an IP address in your local area.
Aereo Controversy Lurks
Of course, with any innovative product there is bound to be controversy, and Aereo is no different. Soon after announcing their service, Aereo was sued for copyright infringement by a consortium of broadcast providers stating Aereo’s streaming service constituted a public performance. Both an initial hearing with a Federal judge and a follow-up appeals hearing ruled that Aereo’s service offerings were not public performances, so the fledgling company appears to be on solid legal ground moving forward.
If you are interested in Aereo, you must preregister for the service assuming you live in a city slated for expansion. If you live outside one of those areas, you should still register to let the company know of your interest.