Services like Netflix and Hulu Plus paved the way for watching TV on the go, but New York-based Aereo is trying something different. The company lets you watch live broadcast TV online–without a cable subscription. And now Aereo is expanding to 29 counties within New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut as well as New York City. More than 22 other markets are on the way.
Aereo is a TV broadcast service that lets users pay $1 per day or $8 per month to watch over-the-air television and record TV on their iPhone, iPad, PC or Mac. Aereo doesn’t offer support for Android or other mobile platforms yet. After choosing your payment plan, Aero then assigns two tiny coin-sized antennas to each subscriber. These antennas broadcast content from the company’s office straight to the subscriber’s handset or tablet.
“Today, consumers are tethered to expensive and outdated technology that limits how, when and where they can enjoy their own television programming,” Chet Kanojia, Aereo’s CEO, said in a statement on Monday. “Aereo’s technology now lets us provide simplicity, ease of use and rational pricing—three things that have all but disappeared for the consumer.”
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Aereo has largely stayed under the radar, but the company used January’s CES in Las Vegas as a launching pad for more ambitious plans. At the annual tech trade show, Aereo announced an expansion to 22 new markets across the US. Additional cities will include Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
Although Aereo has kept away from the limelight in terms of marketing, that hasn’t stopped TV networks from creating a fuss. Back in July an attempt to shut down the subscription-based broadcast service made its way to court, but a New York federal judge rejected TV networks’ request for a temporary injunction. Backed by billionaire Barry Diller, Aereo announced plans to expand its service the very next day.
ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox are among the network broadcasters going head-to-head with Aereo, arguing that the company is infringing copyright by retransmitting signals without permission. Aereo, however, argues that because its service uses a personal antenna system, the transmissions are private, paidContent.org reports.
Aereo’s broadcasting services are now available in New York’s Bronx, Kings, Queens, Richmond, Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Ulster, Sullivan, Orange, and Dutchess counties. The app has also hit Connecticut’s Fairfield County and Pennsylvania’s Pike County, as well as New Jersey’s Bergen, Warren, Union, Sussex, Somerset, Passaic, Ocean, Morris, Monmouth, Middlesex, Hunterdon, Hudson and Essex counties.