You know what is 100% free and doesn’t require any payment to the cable industry? Broadcast TV. This guy is suggesting people pay money every month – albeit to a different company – to watch something that is broadcast OVER THE AIR. [...] if all you are watching are broadcast channels, you certainly don’t need to be paying Aereo or anyone else for it.
While Turk makes some reasonable points regarding onerous retransmission fees and Aereo’s legal challenges, there’s way more to the service than basic access to broadcast channels. $8/month grants you access to two micro antennas and 20 hours of cloud DVR storage space (or $12 for 40hrs). So not only does Aereo provide “live” broadcast television, but you can schedule season passes and the like. Further, you’re not confined to a television and set-top box in your home as Aereo pretty much allows you to watch your live and recorded television programming via any modern browser… including the ones found on our smartphones and tablets.
But the main reason Aereo appeals is that my local broadcast stations and the FCC have failed me. Over the years, I’ve flirted with “cutting the cord” yet the digital transition didn’t go exactly as planned in all regions and I’m effectively a hostage of pay TV. Prior to the transition, I had no problem receiving ATSC OTA HD broadcasts via an indoor antenna and was a very early (and very happy) adopter. Yet once the switch was flipped and channels were remapped, including a transmission migration from UHF to VHF, I found myself on the other side of the digital cliff, losing access to a significant amount programming. As an apartment dweller for many years, a roof top antenna was not an option. And, now, as a home owner I don’t know that I want to pay to desecrate my roof and open walls for new cable runs with hopes that maybe I’ll regain OTA reception.
Live television, time shifting, and place shifting. On tablets and Roku. For just 8 bucks? Sounds good to me. Especially since I’m fortunate enough to ride Verizon’s fiber – high speeds, no caps. Yet the question of video quality arises. And I’ll be among the first to evaluate Aereo once they expand beyond NYC into more markets, including mine here in the DC metro area. Assuming they survive the courtroom onslaught.