More heartburn for broadcasters as on-line competitor Aereo expands.
What many broadcasters see as an interloper, Aereo, is expanding beyond its original New York City operating area. In a February 25th press release, Aereo announced that it will expand its service to a total of 29 counties across New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. To promote the additional service areas, the company is launching a major billboard advertising campaign across NYC.
Aereo is locked in a death-knell battle with major networks, which have sued to shut it down. The networks argue that Aereo is infringing their copyrights by retransmitting their signals without permission. Aereo’s response is that because it uses one personal antenna per viewer, the transmissions are private and legal. Broadcast Engineering writer, Phil Kurz, covered the company’s response to the lawsuit in this October article. (An article on the technology along with photos of the NYC installation can be found at this Gigaom link.)
The service offers various subscription plans, starting at $1 for a day pass, with 10 days to watch up to three hours of recordings. An $8 subscription will get you a month of unlimited viewing along with 20 hours of storage. For $12 a month, or $80 a year, you get unlimited viewing and 40 hours of storage.
If all this isn't enough to cause broadcasters heartburn, Aereo is also expected to soon offer the service to non-iOS devices. Currently the service is only available on portable iOS devices and some browsers.
Aereo CEO and founder Chet Kanojia said, “Today, consumers are tethered to expensive and outdated technology that limits how, when and where they can enjoy their own television programming. Aereo’s technology now lets us provide simplicity, ease of use and rational pricing – three things that have all but disappeared for the consumer.”
Aereo said the service will be provide in these counties; New York’s Bronx, Kings, Queens, Richmond, Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Ulster, Sullivan, Orange, Dutchess; Connecticut’s Fairfield County; Pennsylvania’s Pike County; New Jersey’s Bergen, Warren, Union, Sussex, Somerset, Passaic, Ocean, Morris, Monmouth, Middlesex, Hunterdon, Hudson, and Essex. You can determine if your location will be covered in the newAereo service areas via this zip code link.