Why Aereo is Such a Big Deal - Dadstractions

Why Aereo is Such a Big Deal

aereo_logoAs I’ve mentioned before, I cut the the cord in December of 2011.  It was one of the best decisions I ever made financially.  I kept my high speed internet connection, picked up a Hulu subscription (I already had Amazon Prime for shipping purposes, and I’ve been using Netflix since their inception) and I was on my way.  I use my XBox for my streaming device  and I bought a digital antenna to bring Over The Air (OTA) broadcasts into my home.  I also hooked that antenna into my Tivo DVR to record OTA shows if I wanted to.

Yes, I found most people didn’t know that you can, in fact, still pick up TV shows over antenna and, better yet, they are in HD!  Granted, it’s the basic channel line-up (CBS, NBC, CBS, FOX, etc…) but at a one-time price of an antenna, you can’t beat it.

Here’s where Aereo comes in. Don’t want to buy an antenna?  Don’t want to bother with TiVo? Aereo is a service that allows you to stream OTA shows via the internet.  How is this possible?  They’ve set up data centers with thousands of antennas, they pull in OTA broadcasts, and they can either stream it to you live, or you can have them DVR it on their end and stream it at your leisure.  They have reasonable monthly fee to offset the recording/storage demands.

On April 9, 2013, a top executive at FOX broadcast network threatened to change FOX network to a Pay-TV model if Aereo didn’t stop “stealing” their OTA signal and selling it to consumers.  This was in response to a preliminary ruling stating that Aereo isn’t subject to retransmission fees because it relies on thousands of antennas to pick up the OTA signal and they aren’t receiving a “feed” directly from FOX themselves (as most local broadcast affiliates do).

What Aereo is doing is renting each individual a teeny-tiny antenna and a DVR.  That’s it.  This is no different than what I am doing today.  I have an antenna.  I watch OTA broadcasts.  I can record them if I wish.  Period.  Sure, they are streaming the content to you so you can watch it on you PC, TV, Tablet or Smartphone but, honestly, that is something I could do right now with my setup (if I jumped through all the hoops to get it up and running).  Aereo just simplifies the whole deal and the user doesn’t have to worry about all the extra work.

Aereo might be what actually gets more innovation INTO the broadcast television arena.  Broadcast television is a dying medium in the form it is today.  Broadcasters need to truly start innovating or they will continue to see more users cut the cord.  Al a carte choices, better streaming options, better content, etc…  They should be embracing these changes and figuring out better business models instead of trying to sue everyone into oblivion or having the “I’m taking my ball and going home” mentality that FOX is trying.

Look at Netflix.  Netflix has begun to create its own content for paid subscribers.  I didn’t watch Lilyhammer, but I did watch House of Cards and it was fantastic.  And their next foray, the long awaited fourth season of the former FOX cult classic “Arrested Development”, will hopefully show broadcasters the true power of what these disruptive technologies and innovators can do.  I believe Arrested Development will actually bring users to Netflix, as it will be the only way the can see the show (I personally cannot wait for the new season!).

Do you still have cable?  Have you considered cutting the cord? Would you use Aereo if it was available in your area?  Will you be watching the fourth season of Arrested Development on Netflix?