Satellite and cable providers have been losing customers, so-called cord cutters who rely on streaming services such as Netflix for entertainment needs. More than 5 million households no longer have television service, according to a Nielsen study, citing an article from Forbes, compared to 2007, when only 2 million households went without TV services. One thing television providers had over streaming providers was broadcast television and live TV.
A service called Aereo is looking to change that, streaming television to Internet browsers, iOS devices and the Roku-streaming media player.
How It Works
Aereo is currently available in New York City and Boston, according to PC Magazine. It’s also currently expanding into Atlanta. The service brings local broadcast channels such as Fox, ABC and NBC to an Internet browser, iOS, or television. You cannot, however, access niche channels, such as the Syfy network or ESPN. With Aereo, you receive two tuners, along with up to 20 hours of DVR storage on the base plan for $8 monthly. If you need more, you can pay $4 for 60 hours of DVR storage additionally. Aereo also works with Roku 3 and the Apple TV. Even if, you get the upgraded service, $12 is a far cry from a basic cable package priced at more than double that.
Aereo had a rough start as several broadcast networks sued the fledgling service on the grounds of copyright infringement. U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan denied the broadcast networks the ability to file for an injunction, according to Businessweek. Had the broadcast networks gotten this injunction, they would have driven Aereo out of business. Broadcast networks continue to appeal this decision, but so far, they have not been able to overturn it.
Technical Hurdles to Overcome
Aereo still has room for improvement. While Aereo moves consumers closer to getting the same content they get on cable or satellite television, it’s not able to provide access to every channel you’ll find on air. It’s great if you want local broadcasts, but not so great if you’re looking for a true cable killer. It does continue to prove there is a strong market out there for television alternatives, and cable and satellite companies need to adapt to the changing marketplace.
Broadcast Network Adaptation
So many people go the cord-cutting route because they pay for a lot of channels but don’t watch many of them. When you’re paying hefty amounts even when you aren’t fully using your service, and you have no way just to buy the channels you want, it’s a frustrating experience. Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Hulu cover many shows and popular movies that combined a majority of entertainment needs. The broadcast networks have needed to find some way to recapture subscribers, and they’re starting to understand the appeal of streaming, view-anywhere content.
One broadcast network expanding into online streaming is ABC, according to Reuters. The stream is live through the website, as well as iOS, Kindle Fire and Samsung Galaxy. However, ABC does require anyone using the streaming service to have cable or satellite subscriptions in order to access the content, missing the point of what makes streaming content so attractive to the fed-up consumer who doesn’t want to deal with virtual television monopolies.
Do you think Aereo is a worthwhile addition to your entertainment options? Join the discussion below and share your thoughts.
Photo Credit kevin
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