In the wake of Aereo’s Supreme Court smackdown and cessation of service, CEOs from the likes of TiVo and SimpleTV have taken to the press to pitch their case as an over-the-air replacement. But Aereo’s primary benefits can’t be replicated by these guys.
First, Aereo positioned their rental antennas where the company obviously received a strong signal. Which isn’t necessarily the case for our dwellings located in urban canyons or on the far side of the digital cliff. Second, with a shared, centrally managed infrastructure, Aereo didn’t saddle customers with the expense of hardware (or long term commitments), running only $8-12/month.
TiVo tells the NYPost, “Aereo’s consumer proposition lives — maybe even in a healthier form.” Yet cord cutters will need to front about $300 in hardware and $15/month to approximate Aereo. Minus Roku access and Android streaming, as TiVo failed to hit their revised internal “late June” deployment target. However, TiVo does have its place. And, for a pure over-the-air DVR, assuming reception at your location and available cash, the best option is a used 2-tuner TiVo Premiere with Lifetime Service. Whereas those with the technical acumen and a placeshifting requirement should look to the highly regarded Tablo TV. Or just stick a Slingbox on that used TiVo. But, again, what you’re left with isn’t quite Aereo and there remains a void to be filled.
What we’ll ultimately see is something like a Hulu Live in which the broadcasters work a deal with their online progeny that includes local affiliate revenue share. Because everyone must be paid. Also we look forward to an online television offering from DISH Network, who is reportedly in talks with all sorts of networks. As to content breadth, pricing, and functionality, we’ll just have to wait.