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RF Shorts - March 15, 2012

Aereo/Broadcasters Continue Court Battle
The battle over Aereo's miniature antennas continues. Last week a group of broadcasters asked a Federal Judge to halt the launch Aereo's service. This week Deborah McAdams reported the Aereo Beta Launches Despite Legal Challenges.

As I reported last week, writer Rip Empson thinks Aereo Actually Has A Shot At Beating the Broadcast Networks. McAdams said R. David Hosp of Goodwin Proctor in Boston is defending Aereo's position based on the three principles, including the licensing of public airwaves to broadcasters in the public interest, the Sony Betamax decision, and the Cablevision decision allowing remote digital video storage. (See McAdam's article for Barry Diller's comments on the case.)

PC Magazine's Sascha Segan lists 5 Reasons Aereo Isn't a Cord Cutter's Dream. His reason number 2: "You may be able to get better quality for free. The thing about over-the-air TV is, it's free! Pure OTA signals are in glorious high-def, too. I have a $60 Winegard SS-6000 antenna pointed out my window and I get great reception." He lists some DVR options, including the Channel Master CM7400 and the Brite-View BV0980, but he doesn't like the $20 monthly fee for TiVo's Premiere DVR box. Reason 5 is "It is probably about to be sued out of existence."

Brendan Sasso summarizes the two sides of the argument in his posting Internet TV service countersues broadcasters on Aereo contends in its filing: "Consumers use the Aereo Technology to do no more than what they are entitled to do: access local television broadcasts on the public airwaves using an individual antenna; create unique copies of that broadcast content for their own personal use; and play back their unique recordings to their television or other viewing devices for their personal use."

The broadcast stations' original suit states, "It simply does not matter whether Aereo uses one big antenna to receive Plaintiffs' broadcasts and retransmit them to subscribers, or 'tons' of 'tiny' antennas, as Aereo claims it does. Simply put, Aereo is an unauthorized Internet delivery service that is receiving, converting and retransmitting broadcast signals to its subscribers for a fee."

Mohu Leaf Antenna Gets Another 'Thumbs-Up'
The Mohu Leaf gets another positive review, this time from Alan Henry on He writes, The Mohu Leaf is a Paper Thin HD Antenna That's Perfect for Cable Cutters. In the "stuff we like" section, Henry said, "When I set it up I was surprised at the number of channels I was able to get and how clear they came in, even though I live in an urban area. Just putting the Leaf on the wall directly behind my TV yielded a surprising number of local and public channels and great video quality."

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