Aereo

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Aereo
FoundedFebruary 2012 (2012-02)
HeadquartersNew York, New York, USA
Area servedNew York City
Key peopleChet Kanojia (CEO and Founder)
ProductsOver-the-air television on Internet-connected devices
WebsiteOfficial website
 
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Aereo
FoundedFebruary 2012 (2012-02)
HeadquartersNew York, New York, USA
Area servedNew York City
Key peopleChet Kanojia (CEO and Founder)
ProductsOver-the-air television on Internet-connected devices
WebsiteOfficial website

Aereo is a technology company based in New York City that allows subscribers to view live as well as time-shifted streams of over-the-air television on Internet-connected devices.[1] The service launched in February 2012[2] and is backed by Barry Diller's IAC.[3] Immediately following Aereo's launch in New York City the company was sued by a consortium of major broadcasters, including CBS, Comcast's NBC, Disney's ABC and 21st Century Fox's Fox for copyright infringement. On April 1, 2013, a federal appeals court upheld a lower court's ruling, finding that Aereo’s streams to subscribers were not "public performances", and thus did not constitute copyright infringement. The issue may ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Service[edit]

Aereo's technology allows subscribers to view live broadcast content and/or record live broadcasts for viewing later.[4] As of October 2012, Aereo can be used on Windows, Mac, and Linux PCs [5][6] with a compatible browser or iOS devices including the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Apple TV (2nd & 3rd Gen) via AirPlay.[1] Aereo can also be watched using a Roku box via a stand-alone app and, as of January 21, 2013, the updated app allows onscreen navigation with the standard Roku clicker instead of using an iOS device as a remote.[7]

As of June 2012, the service offers 28 channels, including all major broadcast channels. In August 2012, the company announced new monthly and yearly pricing options, $1 a day and 'Aereo Try for Free.' Monthly plans start at $8 for 20 hours of DVR storage, there are also yearly subscriptions.[8]

Aereo provides this service by leasing to each user an individual remote antenna. [4][9][10] This distinguishes Aereo from purely internet-based streaming services.[11]

Expansion plans[edit]

The service was originally available to customers in New York City, followed by the Boston area. During times when customers venture out of the normal broadcasting range for network television, they will not be able to access the service.[4]

On January 8, 2013, Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia announced Spring 2013 plans to expand to the following US cities:[12] Markets in bold have service as of January 2014.[13]

Aereo had planned to launch in Chicago on September 13,[14] but as of September 20, Aereo was still telling potential Chicago users the service was in Beta with no definite date of launch.[15]

Legal controversy[edit]

On March 1, 2012, Aereo was sued by a consortium of network broadcasters who argued that Aereo infringed their copyrighted material because Aereo's streams constituted public performances. They sought a preliminary injunction against the company.[16][17] On July 11, Federal Judge Alison Nathan denied this injunction, citing as precedent the 2008 Cablevision case, which established the legality of cloud-based streaming and DVR services.[18] In response to the decision, Aereo Founder and CEO Chet Kanojia said “Today’s decision shows that when you are on the right side of the law, you can stand up, fight the Goliath and win.”[19] In a subsequent interview with CNET, Kanojia asserted, “With one step, we changed the entire TV industry. The television industry and its evolution are now starting towards the Internet and that was stopped until Aereo came along...And I think as consumers start migrating to the Internet, new programming and new content are going to come in.” [20] The plaintiffs appealed the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Several other players in the industry, such as cable provider Cablevision, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the Consumer Electronics Association filed amicus briefs.[21]

Cable companies are required by the 1992 Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act to negotiate for retransmission consent, usually paying broadcasters for the right to carry their signals. Broadcasters argued that Aereo was a threat both to their business model, by undermining the cable re-transmission fees and the size of their audience.[22] Because the fees cable companies pay for broadcast content can comprise up to 10% of a broadcaster's revenue,[23] broadcasters object to Aereo's re-distribution of this content without paying any fees. Broadcasters have also identified Aereo as part of the cord-cutting trend among TV audiences that poses a threat to broadcasters' advertising revenue.[24]

On April 1, 2013, the federal appeals court upheld the lower court's ruling, finding that Aereo’s streams to subscribers were not "public performances", and thus did not constitute copyright infringement. The appeals court also affirmed the earlier district court decision that denied the broadcasters a preliminary injunction against Aereo.[25] In response, News Corp's Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey stated that the company is contemplating taking Fox off the air and converting it to a cable-only channel: "We need to be able to be fairly compensated for our content ... we can't sit idly by and let an entity steal our signal. We will move to a subscription model if that's our only recourse."[26] Univision and CBS also stated that they may also follow and convert to cable-only.[27][28]

Complicating the issue is the fact that the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California granted an injunction against Aereo's rival FilmOn, a similar service. However, the district court's injunction is only legally binding in its jurisdiction (including the West Coast of the continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii) and is currently being appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Other competitors have been blocked from providing service in Los Angeles and Seattle by similar injunctions.[29]

In October 2013, the broadcasters filed a petition to the Supreme Court to take up the issue.[30] Then on November 17, 2013, the National Football League and Major League Baseball filed a joint Amicus brief to the Supreme Court, warning that sports programming would likely migrate from free TV to cable; and that Aereo may put the U.S. in violation of several international treaties that prohibit the retransmission of broadcast signals over the Internet without their copyright holder's consent.[31]

On January 10, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States agreed to hear the case. [32] As of February 11th, 2014, the Supreme Court date is set for April 22, 2014 [33]

Reception[edit]

Reviews of Aereo have been positive,[34][35][36][37] including one by The Wall Street Journal’s Katherine Boehret, who commented on Aereo’s “clean user interface that works well on iPad...and its video quality is startlingly good,” [1]

PC Magazine complained of the limited channel options and limited availability.[38] It praised the interoperability of the service offered.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Boehret, Katherine. "Aereo Shines With Live TV on the Go". Wall Street Journal. 
  2. ^ "Aereo Announces $20.5M Series A Financing Led by IAC; New Technology Platform Allows Consumers Access to Live TV Over the Internet". 
  3. ^ Stelter, Brian. "New Service Will Stream Local TV Stations in New York". New York Times. 
  4. ^ a b c "Aereo is leaving the courts dazed and confused - Fortune Tech". Tech.fortune.cnn.com. 2012-05-21. Retrieved 2013-05-07. 
  5. ^ Aereo Browser Viewing
  6. ^ Will Aereo work on Linux
  7. ^ Falcone, John P. (January 24, 2013). "Updated Aereo app adds improved live TV streaming to Roku | Internet & Media - CNET News". News.cnet.com. Retrieved October 10, 2013. 
  8. ^ Warren, Christina. "Aereo Makes Cutting the Cord Even Easier, And Cheaper". Mashable. Retrieved 2 August 2012. 
  9. ^ Moskovciak, Matthew. "Aereo brings over-the-air TV to the cloud". CNET. Retrieved 14 February 2012. 
  10. ^ Stewart, Christopher. "High Noon for Diller's Aereo". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 24 May 2012. 
  11. ^ Fung, Amanda. "Tech startup wheels into ex-tire plant". Crains New York. Retrieved 10 April 2012. 
  12. ^ Tuesday, January 8th, 2013 (2013-01-08). "Aereo Raises $38 Million Series B, Plans To Bring Its Streaming TV Service To 22 New Markets". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2013-05-07. 
  13. ^ Horiuchi, Vince (2013-08-15). "Oh My Tech!: Review of new Aereo TV service". The Salt Lake Tribune (MediaNews Group). Retrieved 2013-08-19. 
  14. ^ "Aereo Will Expand Into Utah On August 19". 
  15. ^ Tweet from @AereoSupport - https://twitter.com/AereoSupport/statuses/381072110514225152
  16. ^ King, Cecilia. "Broadcasters sue to stop Diller’s Aereo streaming TV service". Washington Post. Retrieved 1 March 2012. 
  17. ^ Stewart, Christopher. "Networks Sue Aereo Streaming Start-Up". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 1 March 2012. 
  18. ^ Kramer, Staci. "Diller and Aereo win first round: injunction denied". PaidContent. Retrieved 11 July 2012. 
  19. ^ "AEREO PREVAILS IN PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION PROCEEDING". 
  20. ^ Sandoval, Greg. "Aereo's founder has broadcast TV in a headlock--now what? (Q&A)". CNET. 
  21. ^ Grotticelli, Michael. "Aereo gets support in legal case against broadcasters". BroadcastEngineering. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  22. ^ Kang, Cecelia. "As users flock to iTunes, Hulu and Netflix, TV stations struggle to survive". Washington Post. Retrieved 23 April 2012. 
  23. ^ "CBS Keeps Broadcast Profitable Atop Retransmission, Syndication Fees ... For Now". Seeking Alpha. 2012-10-03. Retrieved 2013-05-07. 
  24. ^ Sandoval, Greg (3 June 2012). "A bet that Diller-backed Aereo TV startup wins its day in court". CNET. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  25. ^ Stelter, Brian (April 1, 2013). "Aereo Wins Appeal; Trial Likely for Streaming TV". New York Times. Retrieved April 1, 2013. 
  26. ^ "News Corp to Take Fox Off Air If Courts Back Aereo". Bloomberg. April 8, 2013. Retrieved April 10, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Aereo could bring down broadcast TV". CNN Money. April 9, 2013. Retrieved April 10, 2013. 
  28. ^ "CBS Says It Could Move To Cable In A 'Few Days' If Aereo Wins; Receives Several Offers To Help Pack Its Bags". Techdirt.com. May 1, 2013. Retrieved May 6, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Aereo, amid challenges, looks ahead to possibilities". August 28, 2013. Retrieved September 27, 2013. 
  30. ^ "Broadcasters Petition Supreme Court to Review Aereo Case". Adweek. October 11, 2013. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  31. ^ "NFL, Major League Baseball Warn That Aereo Could Trigger End of Free TV Game Broadcasts". Variety. November 17, 2013. Retrieved November 18, 2013. 
  32. ^ http://variety.com/2014/biz/news/supreme-court-to-hear-aereo-case-1201037308/
  33. ^ http://venturebeat.com/2014/02/11/supreme-court-to-hear-aereo-vs-big-media-case-april-22/
  34. ^ Wice, Nathaniel. "A Cord Cutter's Dream Come True". Barrons. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  35. ^ Deleon, Nicholas. "MIXED SIGNALS Streaming TV startup Aereo, bane of broadcast networks, gets it mostly right". The Daily. Retrieved 17 July 2012. 
  36. ^ Aguilar, Mario. "Aereo Hands-On: Watch Broadcast TV Wherever and Whenever You Want". Gizmodo. Retrieved 14 March 2012. 
  37. ^ Warren, Christina. "Aereo Gives New Yorkers Online Access to Live TV [HANDS ON]". Mashable. Retrieved 28 February 2012. 
  38. ^ Greenwald, Will. "Aereo Review & Rating". PCMag.com. Retrieved 2013-05-07. 

External links[edit]