Aereo, the streaming service that brings local broadcast television and DVR functionality to mobile devices, has taken another step forward to a full rollout in its test city of New York. You can watch TV for an hour a day for free, shell out $8 a month for a 20 hour DVR, or $12 a month for 40 hours. Those wishing to pay up front can do so for $80 for the basic plan, and if you’re simply vacationing, 24 hours of service can be had for a buck.
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. For more information on devices and a full list of available channels, please visit: Aereo.com.
It’s unknown whether Aereo will ever escape from New York, but if they do, you can count on litigation following them every step of the way. Aereo users are not currently counted for Nielsen ratings (though it seems easy enough to implement), and that threatens the bottom line of local stations even more so than the national networks, and of course cable companies are charged retransmission fees that also add to the bottom line. Will it survive? Who knows. It seems — like OnLive — to be a service designed to launch and get eaten by the cable companies, so we’ll see what happens in the future.