Some time ago I wrote how Aereo might be the next Napster. I compared Aereo to Napster because I didn’t think Aereo wold survive legal challenges. Installing a mini-antenna for each subscriber seemed like legal trickery that would lose in court. But so far Aereo has won in court including the recent decision that Aereo subscribers are not violating copyright.
Now comes along FOX who says they’re not going to stand around and watch Aereo “steal” the signal. No, FOX is threatening to turn off the over the air broadcast, in the NYC area at least.
Would FOX actually do that? The downside is wiping out reception for viewers that legitimately receive the signal with a roof-top antenna. And if CBS NBC etc follow suit it would mean the end of an era for broadcast TV.
On a technical sidebar, I wonder if the broadcast engineers over at FOX couldn’t be more clever, i.e. surgical. If there exists a mini-antenna matrix on a single building there may be a way to create a “hole” in the RF signal strength at that point. Maybe.
In any case if Aereo’s success leads to the elimination of over the air broadcasts, Aereo turns out not to be a cord cutters friend so much as a “cable operator lite”. For $12/month or $80/year you get about 31 channels right now in NYC, basically everything you can pull off the air.
Have any of you tried Aereo? What do you think of the business model and it’s impact on cord cutting? Let me know in the comments below.