Bye, Bye Cable? Aereo to Expand Mobile TV Service Beyond NYC

Score one for the cord cutters! Actually, make that score two: a mere day after a federal judge denied a temporary injunction television broadcasters were seeking against Aereo, the company’s billionaire backer, Barry Diller, said that the company has plans to expand to several U.S. cities in the coming months.

What’s all the hub-bub about? Aereo keeps a multitude of dime-sized HD antennas — one for each customer — in its New York data center, which capture the free television signals being transmitted over the air by local broadcast stations. Aereo then streams a feed of the live stations over the Internet to its subscribers, who pay $12 per month to receive the local TV programming via web browser or Aereo’s mobile apps and supported devices. DVR-style recording and playback is also supported.

Aereo says it’s the way TV will be watched in the future; CBS, Fox, Univision, PBS and others say it’s copyright infringement and are suing to sideline the company. Aereo claims it doesn’t need to pay fees to retransmit the stations’ signals due to its unique antenna array.

The judge’s ruling certainly seems to have bolstered Diller’s spirits. Aereo is currently only offered in NYC and only streams to devices within city limits, but yesterday, Diller told Bloomberg that will change soon.

“We’re going to really start marketing,” he said. “Within a year and a half, certainly by ’13, we’ll be in most major (markets).”

Don’t sell off your Slingbox in anticipation of Aereo’s arrival in your town just yet, though; the actual lawsuit brought by the television stations still needs to work its way through court before Aereo gets the legal all-clear.


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