Aereo, as you may have heard by now, is a service that delivers over the air broadcast material to your PC or mobile device. For $12 per month you get all the networks and all the local channels.
Back in March we wrote how Aereo is the new Napster , and although it looks very promising as a competitor to Cable, we were nervous about it surviving multiple legal challenges.
Well surprisingly this upstart has won their first round in court. The plaintiffs, consisting of multiple broadcasters and distribution (i.e. Cable) companies, failed to convince judge Alison J. Nathan that a preliminary injunction should be issued against Aereo.
Considering the imbalance of money and power here, this decision gives one faith in a legal system that judged the case fairly on its technical merits.
Basically Aereo argued that their system consists of an antenna (each user gets their own) and a DVR, and that legal precedent was on their side for the distribution methods being utilized.
Now cord cutters know that Aereo’s line-up is really the equivalent of putting up a very good antenna to get free OTA content. And 12 bucks a month is too much some would argue for what we get free. Well maybe. But what makes Aereo compelling, and worth the subscription fee is the DVR in the cloud feature. With it you can record two shows at a time without installing any equipment. That in itself solves one of the big cord cutter needs: a good OTA DVR.
Unfortunately to date Aereo is still a NYC only service. Though I’ve seen stories Aereo has expansion plans , I don’t see anything on the official website that shows a time table. If and when they come to San Diego I’ll be giving it a try.