On the heels of District Court judge Alison J. Nathan denying a request for a preliminary injunction by the major broadcasters that would have shut down Aereo, the company is emboldened—and just announced a new membership pricing structure that provides consumers with more choice and flexibility. In addition, the company also announced a new feature called “Aereo Try for Free,” which allows the ability to access Aereo’s technology for a continuous one-hour period each day, free of charge. Aereo membership is currently only available to residents of New York City and the Aereo Try For Free feature is only available to people physically present in New York.
Aereo allows consumers to access live broadcast television on compatible Internet connected devices, at home or on the go. An Aereo consumer uses a remotely located individual antenna and DVR. Aereo is currently available to residents of New York City and is supported on iPad, iPhone, Safari on MacBook, AppleTV and Roku.
Says Aereo in a release: “Aereo believes that consumers have a fundamental right to access over the air television that broadcasts on the public airwaves, and that enhancing and supporting public access to that local broadcast signal is important. Aereo allows consumers portable and simple access to that broadcast television signal. In times of emergencies and breaking news, access to timely, live information is crucial. Aereo can serve as another avenue for the public to access that important information.”
“We know that one size does not fit all, that’s why we’ve designed our new pricing structure to work for a wide variety of lifestyles,” said Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia. “Whether you want a day pass to watch the ‘big game’ on your mobile device or an annual membership that provides you with 40 hours of DVR storage, we have a plan that works for you. Our pricing is designed to work with the consumer – not against them.”
Aereo Try for Free is simple to use and provides consumers access to live broadcast television free for an hour each day. For example, if an Aereo Try for Free use begins at 2PM, access will continue to 3PM. While the Aereo Try for Free feature is free, as with any Aereo plan, users are responsible for any relevant data charges.
All Aereo users, including Aereo Try for Free will be able to use Aereo’s remote antenna/DVR technology to watch broadcast television live and to pause, rewind and fast-forward any program. With Aereo Try For Free, consumers make recordings of their programming for live play but those recordings are not retained after viewing and there is no DVR storage for future recordings.
In New York City, there are currently 28 broadcast channels available over-the-air, including major networks such as WABC, WNBC, WCBS, WNYW-FOX, WPIX-11, WNET-PBS, and PBS Kids, special interest channels such as NYC.GOV, NYC-LIFE, Ion and Qubo, and foreign language broadcast channels such as Telemundo, Azteca, Telefutura, Univision, Sinovision, NTDTV and CGN-TV. Aereo is currently supported on iPad, iPhone, Safari on MacBook, AppleTV and Roku. Additional device support, including PC’s and Android is expected later this summer.
RBR-TVBR observation: It’s interesting that Aereo notes the public safety aspect of its service. We assume it has backup power in case of outages and can indeed send a live broadcast signal over the internet where the ACTUAL BROADCASTERS typically do not offer live streaming. There are not a lot of folks sporting battery-powered DTV sets yet, but there certainly are many who use the internet. Food for thought—TV stations/broadcast networks should find a way to stream their stations live 24/7 before Aereo gets more traction across the country.